I’m sure many people with mental health problems have asked themselves this. Sometimes you don’t even want to see if there is a light. I would actually go back to bed, not being able to face the day. It’s sad that my thoughts led to me believing sleep was better than my life. But what did I have to be depressed about? People would genuinely ask this and I’d be thinking f*** you! On paper they saw my physical health was fine, my family around me, a loving wife and two healthy kids. I had friends who I would socialise with, a nice house, no debts and earning a decent wage. So why was I feeling like this? Why was I feeling utterly consumed and suffocated by depression? Is there a light? I still couldn’t see one. So many questions flying through my head, combined with even more negative self limiting thoughts and beliefs. My stress and anxiety levels peaked to the point where I couldn’t bear to be near any noise or people. Not ideal when you are a husband and dad to two young boys. Withdrawal is a big sign of someone being depressed. If you notice someone do this, reach out to them. They might not want your help or will just need some space – but they may well appreciate the gesture whilst they work out what’s going on.
There were my ok days where I was more functional, but I became an expert in masking myself to different situations. In front of friends I was the usual laughing, joking, piss taking self. In front of family, I was “fine”. At work, it was all systems go. Inside was a different story. I will cover more on masking in a future post, but I was pretty much avoiding my responsibilities I have to my mental wellbeing. Over time it bites you in the arse. Well guess what? I have a massive chomp out of mine. I entered a habitual phase of going to see the GP, being slapped on medication and feeling ok. I’d then eventually stop the medication and months later be in the same situation. It might not have been till nearly a year later – but as I wasn’t changing things, depression would slowly take over again. It’s certainly a journey of self discovery once you are able to get one positive factor to snowball. You then see a glimmer of that elusive light. You then start to believe that there is a way out of it and that’s where progress is made.
The day that you admit you have a problem is the day when you can move forward though. Find a talking therapy that works for you, get comfortable with your chosen therapist. Embrace talking and get that shit off your chest. Open up to your friends and family – some of them might be going through, or have had problems themselves. By you talking, it might encourage others to do the same and maybe seek help. There will be days you still don’t want to do anything or things don’t work out. Don’t beat yourself up about it and develop a deeper sense of gratitude for days that are better. Some great advice I received was simply take it day by day. Know that storm clouds do appear on the horizon. Over time you just acquire the skills to be able to deal with them. You learn to be that tree that bends in the wind – you don’t break. You are the catalyst for change when you are ready.