It’s Mental Health Awareness Day today (Tuesday 10th October 2017), so this one is for those of you that know me and those that know me but don’t really ‘know’ me … if you get me. I don’t usually dedicate posts to anyone, but this post is for my Family (blood or not) and those amazing close friends who pester the hell out of me to talk, but I love you for it more and more.
Mental Health can come to people in different forms. For myself this was in the form of Depression. Depression can be triggered or brought on by many different things, usually specific to the individual. In todays society it’s more common and excepted/understood than say 15+ years ago. Unfortunately, you will still get people that do not have any acceptance of and will tell you “Man up”, being told this, this phrase has never left me.
Almost everyone I know will say that I am a very happy, bubbly person ready to take on the world and all their problems, but people can put on a strong front. For people that know me personally, they will vouch for me being a pain in the arse (to put it politely) when it comes to dealing with my own demons, I don’t want help off anyone and it’s not anyone else’s problem to burden. But this attitude takes it’s toll on you.
Some of you may read this and be shocked by my depression but I don’t want people to be sad or even hurt cause they didn’t know they extent of it. Read this and be happy and positive I am on the other side of it.
Plain and simple, my depression came on from not having any self-worth, that I wasn’t worthy enough to be loved, to be made time for and that there is always going to be battles to go against.
What was my trigger?
The bloody education system for one. Always failing on paper, but ask me answer a question face-to-face and I’d pass with flying colours. I now know that you shouldn’t see yourself as a grade or percentage on a piece of paper. I went through extremely weight loss, drinking excessively at uni to numb the pain so speak. It was my friends and housemates that sat me down and gave me some home truths … you know who you are, and Thank you x I then went to the extreme of staying in, isolating myself, bringing myself down by trying to over compensate with work that I struggled with (but wouldn’t ask for help) and comfort eating to keep my satisfied so to speak. This then lead to self harming to ‘punish’ myself, for being: fat, stupid, lazy, not as good as I could be, not as good as anyone else. Not many know, but I use to self-harm, but for those of you that do, will know that I now have a Tattoo over where I use to self-harm, as a form of power to remind myself, that I am better than to let myself defeat myself.
You are your own worst enemy
I went through planning to take my own life at one point. Now this bit is for my little brother, Jack. I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing this, Do you remember that day you rang home to tell us that you were struggling at school and self-harming? Well you saved my life Jacko, that phone call was like a cold slap across the face to snap out of it and support you. I am the older sibling and it’s my job to be there for you and make sure I am your rock no matter where in the world we are and what we are doing. It was the day after that I got my tattoo and started actually working on myself and try and understand myself and my depression.
So where am I today?
I am in a great place today, that’s not to say I don’t still have my bad days, we all do. But I know myself better now and what I can do to help myself from going back into that vicious little circle I got myself stuck in. Daft as it sounds, the best thing that works for me ….. my dog. I am animal mad, but when I am around animals and nature I am chilled and peaceful.
Find time for yourself
This is something I have taken onboard and tell my clients, if it’s all getting to much, have some time to yourself, whatever shape or form that may be for you. A walk, a spa break, getting a cuddle off of your dog or even a holiday …. make time and do it. I hope this that has simply given some people some courage to understand what they may be going through, whether they know it or not.
I have come along way and I am extremely proud of myself, with what I have been through and how far I have come.