Sunday, March 7, 2010

clearing the fug

For the last couple of days I have been in a state of mental fuggishness. There is no other word for what my head has felt like: filled with an unyielding fug.
I even looked up 'fug'. It is defined as 'an airless smoky smelly atmosphere' or 'a heavy, musty and unpleasant atmostphere, usually in a poorly ventilated area.' Spot on.

I am never quite sure what brings on this condition. But when it descends I drag myself around with a head filled with hateful thoughts and self deprecating banter; I feel miserable, alone and full of despair. For all I know it could be purely physical, brought on by premenstrual tension or one too many mouthfuls of a disagreeable food, but it feels as though there is nothing in the world that can drag me out of the mire of my misery. I feel fat and unlovable. Even though I am not very fat at all. And I am surrounded by a lot of love every minute of every day. There is just no logic to my craziness.

But I have spent most of today working through the muck and slowly I am starting to see light again:

First of all, I phoned my Mom and my Sister. They are my biggest fans and I am eternally grateful for their unwavering love and support. If ever I feel like I am the world's worst person all I have to do is pick up the phone and they will convince me otherwise! Thank you. I love you both.
Then I drank a few large glasses of water.
The girls and I went down to a local farmers market. We bought passion fruit, candy floss, walnuts and muesli. A generous lady gave me a free hand scrub with some essential oils and mineral salt.
I ate a delicious mussel fritter for breakfast with some garlic aioli and a squeeze of lemon on a slice of fresh bread.
I sat looking out over the vineyards as the autumn breeze brought goosebumps to my arms.
I pushed Anika on the swing.
When we came home, I cleaned the windows in the cottage and the morning sunlight came streaming in through smear free glass.
I tidied the kitchen and cleared away some clutter.
I spent five minutes in uttanasana.
I wrote.

I still feel a little fuggy but it feels as though I have opened a window to let in some air and light. And soon the atmosphere up there should be as clear and blue as this afternoon's autumn sky.

I ask myself if there is a way I can prevent the fug descending in the future. In what ways do my daily choices contribute to the gathering of fug until it takes over and I can't see clearly anymore?
Is there some way I can keep that window slightly ajar even when its getting stormy or polluted out there?

Any ideas are most welcome :)


  1. Dearest Kathleen -
    Perhaps the most important suggestion is to realize that EVERYONE goes through this or something similar, that it is just a part of life, and that if you ride it out, it will go away.

    The events of the last few years of my life have left me vulnerable to depression, anxiety and stress. I never get debilitating amounts, but it can be quite uncomfortable at times. I've learned lots and lots of ways to cope:
    deep breathing
    meditation time
    listening to my inner stories and gently changing them
    laughing at myself
    not taking it all so seriously
    focusing on just the moment around me
    finding the best thing around me (sky, my daughter's golden hair, a flower, a scent, a soft pillow) and focusing on that feeling
    daily taxing exercise
    yoga, esp a class with others
    talking to someone caring
    being around people
    reading to my daughters
    juggling scarves
    dancing to a song
    smelling wonderful smells (herbs, essential oils, perfumes)
    wearing gorgeous jewelry
    dressing up
    finding someone that I can help with something
    realizing that everybody's life is hard
    writing down what I'm grateful for
    cleaning or clearing up even one little thing (a drawer, an errand, a business call)
    eating healthy food
    eating decadent food
    a small glass of delicious wine
    a cup of steaming tea/cocoa/coffee
    indulging my girls in a treat
    watching a good movie

    I hope these will help! Let me know if it gets you thinking of more!


  2. Thank you so much, Marie - for this wonderful generously long list of reminders!! I am going to print it out and keep it as a daily checklist. Blessings to you xox