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The Battle
Posted by kev1n
27th Apr 2017

Please bear with me as I write this blog as this is the first time I've done this

On paper I have a life that should mean I am always content and happy. I own a good sized house in a great area, have a beautiful and loving girlfriend, a career, good friends and a great family that would do anything for me yet I battle the self deprecating illness of depression daily.

For years I've had periods where I've felt down and sad but then said to myself why are you sad....your life is great, snap out of it, little did I know the moments of be burying my head, ignoring the signs and continuing to crack on, was taking its toll.

I've always had a bit of addictive personality and tend to focus on things 100% but having no sense of what is going on round about me. This tends to lead me to working and only working whilst ignoring my own well being as well as those around me. I've always had this and doesn't matter what I do, I will always have an insatiable work ethic and drive to excel from those around me...why? I will get to that later now I know why!

Three weeks ago I sat alone, scared, teary, shoulders down, soulless in a doctor's surgery seeking help. I had rushed myself back to work 3 months after my last bout of depression what had that actually subsided? Any time the depression hits me I begin to worry what everyone else is thinking, what is wrong with me, why am I like this, I shouldn't be like this, I'm ok, I'm going to be ok, don't worry about me, you shouldn't worry, I don't deserve your worry, leave me alone, I'll sort it, I'm going back to my routine, its what I know, ill get through it, I'm ok, I'm ok, I'm not ok!

This time I was having thoughts I've never had before, dark, lucid, clear and cloudy yet I knew they were wrong. Why was I thinking of the easy way out, it wasn't due to life or running away from those I love and love me, it was because of the depression I wanted away, to get rid of those horrible thoughts of nothingness, alone, failure for good.

Something had to change this time!!!!

ME

A few of my friends had mentioned therapy to me but opening up doesn't come easy. When I've always known to work hard and fix things, I thought I could fix this but those thoughts made me realise I had to change. I've registered before for therapy on the NHS but it took to long and the storm had passed (always to return bigger). I spoke with my doctor through tears and was asked if I can keep myself "safe", I nodded and decided to go away and take the right action. I slept long hours for 3 or 4 days following that appointment and woke up ready to meet this head on. I bought a number of books from writers who have battled and overcome depression and one by Matt Haig really struck a chord with me. "Reasons to Stay Alive" showed that I wasn't alone, that there were ways to get out of this.

I researched therapy and decided to go private. Although costly, I cant put a price on being happy with myself again and to really fulfil potential I don't think I've scratched at yet in life. After a couple of sessions I'm already feeling the benefit and understanding the reasons to my depression....I've lost who I am!

Over the last 10 years or so, I've chipped away at who I am in order to please people, put on a front as that is what they expect, hide away from confrontation and sticking to my own thoughts/feelings. I rarely act on my feelings now and instead use my thoughts to talk myself into things being right, or that that's the right thing to say....I need to now curb this and feel more. Its ok to be angry, its ok to be sad, its ok to do things my way.

For too long I've always come across as a joker, out for a beer, having a laugh, happy when I am really not. I haven't taken care of myself for years and years and the upshot is that when I have these negative thoughts, I grab onto them and make them seem like its the end of the world unless I fix it/them now. I never feel good enough for praise and over criticise everything I do, this isn't right. Work is the biggest contributor to my thought process, anything negative - I focus on that and ignore life and work a lot. I always feel I need to be better than my peers, proving myself to myself and everyone else continuously. It is this drive to always be like this that make me feel worthy. It is only now after seeing my therapist that this is down to low self esteem and self confidence and a real feeling of no self worth that is causing this.

I need to learn to build back up this confidence in myself to ensure that my work ethic has a purpose both personally and professionally whereas at present its ruining me and my potential.

Although I'm early into my therapy, I've already learned more about myself truly in a fortnight than I have done in years and my mind is switched onto what is actually going on. I am returning to work in the coming days with a lot of anxiety as to what will happen but I know I shouldn't have this anxiety, people care about me and I need to embrace any questions/conversations that may come my way. I need to open up, put down the front and let myself be seen properly going forward.

I don't need to prove myself to anyone at all

I don't need to prove myself to myself either or convince myself anything.

Just need to let it flow and feel/act the way I used to as the results will be healthily and better for me and everyone around me.

Not sure what I expected to get out of putting the above down on paper but it feels like a weight has lifted by doing this, another stage in opening up and putting down the barriers....step by step....minute by minute....depression will be battled/beat.

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