I have periods where it gets harder for me to focus, to stay present. Often this leads to mistakes on my part, which leads to frustration and a feeling that I'm not improving, which can lead to depression. This can last for weeks if I'm not careful. When I felt 'the darkness' coming again a couple weeks ago, I made perhaps the strongest, most coordinated effort ever to stay in the present, or if I was having difficulty, to keep negative thoughts from possessing me. Through a combination of mantras, walking and sitting meditation, and prayers, I think I can finally say that I have weathered this normally darker period relatively unscathed. This is one of the first times I've managed to do this!