The big “D”. Depression. Maybe not what you thought… naughty!
There, I’ve written it. I’ve also just said it.
I’ve become more and more thoughtful about how my mind is actually processing day to day life. I’m also ashamed to admit that I built up such a stigma about mental health and being depressed, that it has taken me over 4 years to admit it. Quite simply put, I was a stubborn sod, who refused the admit that a person like me would actually have depression. What do I, have to be depressed about!?
Thinking about it though, my brain was actually quite clever. It’s stamped out, spun around negativity and refused to accept that I’m not myself – what ever that is! It’s clever because I know I want to be happy and my first way of dealing with unhappy feelings is to refuse to acknowledge they’re there.
I have a wonderful group of family, friends, a steady job, a house and car, so why am I in such a rut? Why, have I chosen to limit conversation, socialise and alienate myself from a wonderful group of people. Why, am I not enjoying my job? Why, do I hate the house I’ve spent 4 years renovating with my partner? Why, am I not like other, happy people? The list goes on but, stick with me. I’m determined.
Writing this down I can actually see that the reason I’m not myself, is because I’m not giving myself a chance too.
Today, I’ve taken my first sick day due to depression. This would’nt have happened before. Will doesn’t do sick days. Will thinks taking sick leave is weak, lazy and a complete waste of time. Although, look who’s sitting in bed, admitting that taking a day is needed and acknowledging that this is important. Important, I know! If I was reading this 2, 3 or 4 years ago, my thoughts would literally scold that statement.
I’ve now been on anti depressant medication for 2 months, something which I vowed never to take. Remember, I wasn’t the “type of person who was depressed” – my doctor, a stern, middle class and well brought up lady with a rather marvellous up-do, scorned at this comment. “To be honest, these are going to make you feel worse in the short term but will hopefully make you feel better after 2 weeks”. 2 months in, 2 different types of pills and I feel fucking shite! But, I’m determined.
So, after 4 years of hiding my depression to myself and others, what am I going to do about it?
No, this isn’t a rhetorical question.
Plan A, well to be honest, Plan D (A, B and C didn’t go well).
Stop lying. I don’t want you to all to think I’ve just fed you a pack of lies but, if I’m honest, I haven’t admitted that something is wrong and would never dream about asking for help or even talking about depression. That needs to stop.
If you’ve read this far … Fair play. At this point I grabbed a cuppa and 2 (by 2 I mean 5) chocolate digestives.
Plan D has been going on for 2 months and involves making changes to my job to make sure I actually enjoy and grow in what I do. I’ve applied for over 20 different jobs over the past year and I’m not waving my rejection flag any more. If other people can see I’m not myself then I need to do something about it. I’m determined.
Giving something back. I challenged myself at the start year to raise money for the hospital who cared for my brother after his accident. I miss him every single day, but you can guarantee that Glyn would be rolling around in hysterics at me running a race. Doing this has really helped me deal with not being with him when he passed away.
The last one is the hardest. Stop being self critical. I LOVE being self critical, I push myself to do everything to perfection. What I say, how I look, what I do and how I see myself literally goes from one end of the spectrum to another. Does this sound familiar? How do you deal with it? This one, is where I need you wonderful people, my friends, not to be afraid to pull me up.
So, I’ve accepted it, I’m working on plan D and I feel so much better getting this down. I’m bloody terrified mind. The black dog is out of the bag. But, I’m determined.