The following article may seem not to apply to tennis.
But if something like one out of ten people are affected
by this illness, then it becomes significant, RE: "Managing
the Mental Part of the Game" - What this Blog is all about.
THE BELLY OF THE BEAST AND HEAVEN'S DOOR - A DISCUSSION OF MANIC-DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS;----------HOW TO PREDICT YOUR DANGEROUS TIMES
I've been in the belly of
the beast for three weeks now, underwater, in the
tunnel. And the worst part of it - I didn't know it.
I thought the Doom that I was feeling
was permanent: feeling doom was simply reality, just the way it things are. Learn to live with it.
Right! That is horrible advice!
I feel just fine now. The cycle is moving
along in its inexorable way and I don't worry about
a thing. I can organize twelve things at once
that's what I think in the manic part of my life.
And the problem is, at that particular time, I
really can do it!
So I get twelve projects started,
and people agreeing to work with me. I
can make million dollar deals. I once
put a bid in for a gravel pit.
I put in a call to the owner at
7:30 A.M. and he was up. I asked
him how much he wanted for his pit
trucks, conveyers and loaders. He said
We phoned each other back
and forth. By breakfast I had him down
to 4 million.I'm good at that kind of
Problem was I had about
three dollars in the bank.
There was the fact that
I didn't really want or need a gravel pit
to begin with. You might say, "How crazy
can you get? Buying something
you don't even want."
Well I can get a lot crazier
than this. Once I get an IDEA and
I'm manic, well, I'll follow the idea
It's all this manic energy running
through me. You can make deals that
you think you can manage. And maybe
you would be able to manage a major
enterprise, if you stayed in that manic
Problem is, next comes depression.
And when you are in deep clinical depression,
all your ability to follow through is gone
and all urges to follow through are extinguished.
You are immobilized. And you can be in
In deep and ongoing depression,
the only creative urge you might have,
is the urge to end the utter misery
of your worthless life...(you are saying
this to yourself. The negative script
is a component of depression - and the voice(s)
in your head telling yourself how stupid and useless
you are, how lazy... And on top of these things,
what a prick you are!
This continuing script, in my view,
has to be attacked.
One quarter to one third of manic
depressives kill themselves. So obviously
it's a dangerous disease.
I hadn't been taking my diagnosis
seriously. I just thought I was way, way out
there. I started plotting out my cycle for
the depressed period, way before I knew
about any diagnosis, I knew I was subject
to a disturbing cycle.
There's a short period of time
during your depression, I call it "the depressive
peak." That's when you have to really
watch yourself. You can really go over the
top, during the peak ( which might be
3 days or thee hours or three weeks).
You have to counter the negative self-talk
with positive images, which you have prepared
There are ways to train yourself
to picture one scene of a place you love,
or a person you love with whom you feel
grounded, or tender moments with a dog or cat.
You find these moments of joy within yourself
(And sometimes it takes a week to think up
even one such image. Don't worry. Just
don't stop. You need the positive image to
counteract the ravening beast who is calling
you names, deep in your own mind.
Press one index finger on one hand
against the index finger of the other hand.
This becomes a trigger for you.
Every time you press the two
fingers together, you imagine your
When you have a horrible
suicidal thought, you trigger the scene
to offset the doom and gloom of
the thought , and it helps...truly
it does help. But it takes a while
and it takes practice.
You have to practice. The
non-medicinal cure takes work.
It works better if you can borrow
a hypnotist to help you with your "imagining
sessions" and to help you embed your image
into your mind so you can call up the scenes
of joy and happiness quickly, when you are
in desperate straits. When you are under
We all get in desperate straits. I used
to hit the depressive peak every thirty-four
days. I'd map the times of my cycle. I had to,
to protect my life, it was a lot better when I knew
the timing of each phase my cycle time map.
I used to call it my 'psyche map'. At
least when you are attacked,
when this dark curtain is pulled across
your heart and mind, you know when it's
coming. You have a calendar of days.
You have a map of your own psyche. By
writing down notes on each stage of your
cycle, as you pass through each cycle,
you can nail the time frames down. It will take
about three times through, to get a somewhat
accurate cycle time map.
You know when your depressive peak is coming
And more important you know when it's leaving, and
you know it IS GOING TO LEAVE.
You know this dark beast is
leaving. And you have a projection
as to how soon it will leave. So you
know this terrible darkness will stay for just
This way you are dealing with
a finite situation. You are no longer facing
infinite misery. The feeling of Doom
will NOT stay with you for the rest of your life.
Just this one little step
can make a huge improvement
in your life. You are going from
passive to active. And that
always feels good and helps relieve
the feeling of "helpless" and "hopeless"
Of course , there are
exceptions! I've just come out
of a 2 or 3 month depression
and I didn't even know I was depressed!
Sometimes it comes up on you from
And creeps into your being
slowly, oh so slowly that you don't
feel its presence or it's growing
power over you, until you're in a situation
that seems impossible to change.
(This is starting to sound like a sci-fi
. The weird stuff happens. There's
no denying this fact. But I'd say the
'psyche cycle',the timing of your cycle,
which enables you to project your dangerous
time... I'd say this works and will help you
8/10ths of the time.
Good luck and happy hunting.
Respectfully submitted, R.R.R.
(C)2014 by William G. Milne