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How to Fix Your Soul When Your Brain is Kicking Your Heart in the Dick

13/08/2014 18:18 BST | Updated 13/10/2014 10:59 BST

Yesterday was a sad, strange day. Sometimes unhappy news can serve as a sombre reminder that we must all try hard to be kind and compassionate to one another.

I posted the following on someone's blog a few months ago after they'd candidly shared their ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety. There's a lot of grief, shame and cynicism in discussing the illness, and I wanted to share a little something to help neutralize that. It might just be the thing that that one person needs to read today.

Dear ___,

Thanks for posting this. Sorry to hear you're having a rough time.

When I was ill, I remember how hard it was to imagine getting better. Be kind to yourself. It takes time. Nourish yourself - your body with healthy food, fresh air and lots of sleep; and your soul with beautiful art. If your concentration is shot to pieces like mine was you might struggle to read for long, so poetry and graphic novels are a good choice - Craig Thompson is excellent. David Shrigley is great, too. These things help me remember what's important.

I watched this many times - a clip from 24 Hour Party People, where Christopher Ecclestone recites from Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy.

"It's my belief that history is a wheel. 'Inconstancy is my very essence,' says the wheel. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don't complain when you're cast back down into the depths. Good time pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it's also our hope. The worst of time, like the best, are always passing away."

Remember these lines from "If":

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

Allie Brosh's blogs about her experience with depression are also excellent.

If you feel stressed and under pressure (hahaha..."if") write yourself a list of things you do and don't have to do every day. I did this for a short time when I was so ill I couldn't work:

I DO have to:

Get out of bed, shower, get dressed.

Leave the flat for at least 30 mins a day.

Cook dinner for my partner.

I DON'T have to:

Go outside of a two mile radius of my home.

Respond to emails if I don't want to.

Talk to anyone I don't want to.

I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful partner - he and my family are an amazing support network, and it sounds as though you have a very similar one. Let them look after you - remember you'd do the same for them. It's what humans do.

There are a number of experts you can turn to as well - Samaritans, Mind and Rethink to name but a few. Textcare from Sane is a wonderfully heartening and free service which provides support via a simple, pertinent, calming text at regular times or a specific occasion when you need the most.

I hope you don't mind me making these suggestions - and I'm certainly not suggesting that if you read a couple of blogs and watch a few Youtube clips you'll be able to ditch the meds and spend your days cartwheeling through clover fields. I just wanted to share some little things that helped me fix my soul when my brain was kicking my heart in the dick.

Bests,

Michelle x