Well, where to begin? I often feel like it's an insult to people suffering depression to say that i'm depressed (I wonder how many people think like this) because in the main it's mostly self-inflicted and my symptoms don't seem anywhere near as bad as some of the stories people have shared.
You've all showed such strength, its incredible and I wish you all the best of all the wishes.
In summary, it was a few things at once, a collection of things that perhaps by themselves would have been more manageable. I've smoked weed since I was 14 and that really ended up being the catalyst for all of my problems.
I managed to quit around 24 yrs old, I'd met someone and I felt the weed had to go to make the relationship work to it's fullest (I was ready for it to be firmly in my past).. after two years apart whilst she travelled and I finished University, we finally met again and it was all supposed to kick on from there. In those 2 years I'd also worked night and day to clear debt from University and had the genius idea of placing a bet on the football to clear the last £500 (this was shortly after we'd met up again), anyway that relationship broke down suddenly and we never met again (man I was so head over heels) and shortly after I started smoking again. Betting on the football to win back loses soon led to me being back where I started financially and soon after that I'd discovered online Forex trading and over the next year proceeded to lose 25k on credit cards, mainly due to Brexit.
I think that was the kicker, to experience such euphoric extreme highs and such heightened lows and then to wake up from it in an even worse position then when my self destructive behaviour began, shortly after that, exacerbated by cannabis, I started to lose any sense of a future, a very real a cerebral hopelessness, my attitude was one of "fuck life, whats the point" and I became extremely Nihilistic.. I recognise how close I was to a potent mix of emotions and beliefs which could have led me down an extremely negative path.
I was a care worker at the time and I had to leave my job because I just didn't feel like it was right for me to be there with these people feeling how I am, retrospectively, losing myself in the service of others was doing me the world of good but I couldn't see it at the time.
I secluded myself from friends and family, smoked more than ever and things just got worse and worse, well they definitely weren't getting better and I couldn't see a point where they would, which to me felt like things were getting worse.
I'd thought about suicide, wished for my own destruction, I'd wake up in the morning with a feeling of absolute hopelessness, with a sense of a lack of a future and all my past mistakes would hit me at once with complete clarity, but I can't help but feel its natural, as if mind, body and soul are all telling me that something needs to change.
Where I struggle is turning that feeling into action, perhaps that will come in time, when i'm ready but for now maybe I need to feel it, to let it stew and gradually the answers will surface themselves.
I don't think i've ever been sustainably happy but until the last few years I could always find a contentment in the dullness of everyday life, a saying of mine used to be "to find contentment in adversity is to find your fortitude." and i've tried to do that, but it feels like accepting that this is it, and that won't do.
I feel i'm acutely aware of the reasons why i'm feeling this way and I prefer to let it marinate, to feel every ounce of it rather than medicate and miss the opportunity to feel real raw human emotions in their full and colourful range.. but then I can empathise with those who may not be feeling this way for any obvious or logical reason, I think that would really scare me and my heart goes out to you if that applies to you.
I don't think feeling this way is unnatural or wrong in any way, and it irritates me how society seems to freak out when someone is unhappy when most of the time it's a perfectly natural emotional response to dissatisfaction or trauma etc and part of the problem I feel is that the rhetoric around mental health suggests being unhappy is a feeling to fear. Life is mainly pretty flatline in terms of emotions, it's not reasonable to expect someone to be happy all the time. Embrace your depression and let it show you the way to a better tomorrow, listen to it's intuition.
For me, I saw that Cannabis was the catalyst, so that had to go, to recluse and avoid friends and family wasn't helping so I made efforts to socialise, what helped me to do that was getting some routine back into my life, getting up early, going for a walk, eating healthily (all the boring stuff that really does work, especially when it stops feeling like a chore) the debt, I did some research and there was a charity that could help out with a payment plan so my monthly payments weren't more than my wages, and even so, by letting it stew, I eventually came to terms with bankruptcy at 29, it's nothing to be ashamed of.
I still feel like I have no future, I still get that hopelessness clarity in the mornings but I try to think of it as a signal to change rather than a reason to be ashamed.
Bless you all, stay strong.