My Depression
Posted by adamsoli
22nd May 2017

It all started with a slip on the rugby pitch – which resulted in me severely damaging my knee. I crunched and twisted badly, I knew straight away it was done for a long time. 
Since I remember I’ve always been a high or low person emotionally; there was never any way I could get past the things that weren’t going EXACTLY the way I wanted them. The bad times heavily out weighed the good, because I had such a fear of the bad coming through I would often self-sabotage the good. I never accepted I was good enough for anything, that people wanted to speak to me, that I deserved to be OK or happy or I could achieve anything apart from living up to the failure I had expected for myself. I nestled deeply into my comfort zone which was sport (playing, talking, watching, listening, reading) and seldom tried to move out of the domain. Anything new or different became an attack on myself as a person, because of the fear I would fail, or worse, be embarrassed. 
All my relationships suffered due to this mindset. I couldn’t understand sometimes why anyone would want to sacrifice their time to spend it with me. I just assumed at some point they would get tired of my lack of self-esteem or lack of ambition, and by that time, would just resent me. 

Flash forward to last year and almost 10 years later, and I went to the GP to discuss the next steps for checking out my knee, and after running through the options I just said to her, ‘I think I’m suffering from depression’. It just came out, I never planned to say anything to anyone or discussing it simply was an impulse. In the weeks before, I’d moved job (from one I hated to another I hated) and was feeling unsettled.  I read Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography and he mentioned how he had suffered from depression during his heyday. I didn’t realise that having suicidal thoughts was not a normal thing.

I was recommended to start Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as anti-depressants. I took the CBT, and started it but was against the medication - as I guess it made what was going on more real.

After trying CBT out, I still felt nowhere near being able to understand what was happening, and so admitted myself to the mental health services. I was recommended to undertake counselling, which has beyond anything I’ve done in my life. 

And it changed who I am for good. It opened so many avenues in my headspace about why I was upset, why I was so depressed and how I had let myself fall into this spiral. Understanding that the things I ‘hated’ about myself, often weren’t who I was but simply a reflection of the society I was in. The deeply ingrained fear of new, different, or uncontrollable things came down to anxiety of failing at it or embarrassing myself.  I developed tools and became able to express myself in a more positive way. I started writing, short stories, poetry even dabbing my hands at song writing, and overall installed in myself to be confident without a fear of what people would think.

I still get depressive moments, sometimes hours or days, but I can understand them now. It’s not something that will ever leave me. 

Throughout all the this, I have learnt that these deep thoughts of unhappiness are not okay. Sometimes they are inevitable, but now through hard work, I am now able to understand them and compartmentalise them more.  It has made me realise that if something makes me unhappy, then it is just that thing.  It is not every single thing in my world.  

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