Writing has been one of the tools I’ve used in the last few months as part of managing my depression or as I like to call it my ‘get back to life’ process/journey. It has helped me during moments of severe lows (when I feel myself dipping, I stop everything and write), it keeps my mind occupied which stops the constant flashing of negative thoughts. I use it reflect on my individual battles with depression; why did it happen this time, how much of a low did I endure, how long did it last, was there anything specific I did to help me break free……..and how did I manage myself during it!!
This is a Reality
Before I continue I want to address something very important. I have received 100’s of messages, extremely supportive and positive. I have reconnected with people from childhood, school and college years. People I don’t know too well have offered support, an ear and even sent me their private numbers – INCREDIBLE!!! But listen, you must also realise that you will have people not quite understanding it, some not wanting to and then you will get that one person that is just very negative and wants to bring you down. This is the only negative email I received
How did it impact? Well, a couple of months ago this ONE email would have negated the 100’s of positive and supportive emails and would have set me back. It would have taken a long time to overcome its impact. However , NOW it can be brushed off, this person was not brave enough to identify themselves. I just hope someone close to them is not suffering or never does, I hope if or when they have children, that they do not suffer depression or anxiety, because we know this unidentified mailer will be of no support whatsoever. YOU WILL GET SOME NEGATIVITY , ACCEPT IT, RECOGNISE IT AND FORGET IT. I have.
How do I feel about blogging my personal life?
Yes, I am nervous, I am exposing a part of my life very few people knew about. Will people look at me differently?, will it affect relationships, work and friendships?…I don’t know. I’m going to be honest here, after my first post I became quite anxious, all the attention started to freak me out, I have always wanted to be invisible, but now no chance of that. Do not stop supporting and interacting, I can handle it 🙂
This is something I wanted to do and still want to do. I recognised this anxiety and dealt with it and now can move on. This part of me has been hidden it for 21 PLUS years but now it is time to stop masking my issues and be true, true to myself, family and friends.
Invisible No More
I am not overly worried about how people will view me, but when you have depression the last thing you want (well that I wanted) was for people to notice me. I never wanted people see my low times but also I wanted to be invisible, not to exist, to be able to walk around without anyone noticing. So NOW I very much want to be treated the exact same, I am the same person, the same person but who has now shared a little more of himself.
Please Start Noticing
I started to realise I noticed similar signs in other people; clients, friends and even acquaintances. I began to share some of my story with one or two of these people. When I shared they were shocked but then something great happened , they shared, they opened up for the first time. They were comfortable with me. This has now continued here with all the private messages from people sharing their own personal dark moments and experiences.
If you are like me you will not have availed of the many services that are currently working hard to support us, you are not ready to label yourself. For me there is a missing link here. What is the step for me before I am ready to link with a counsellor or organisation? Maybe this blog can be that link, maybe you will find a few things helpful, maybe you will share.
Let’s not just create awareness but to let’s all take NOTICE. Think about this, you have many networks , family , friends, colleagues, teammates, what do you think the chances are one if not more are suffering at some level? Remember I am probably the last person people expected to be suffering. So notice the person next to you, your neighbour, your Mom or Dad, your grandparents , your colleague, do you notice anything?
Accepting depression and that it is a part of you is the only way you can manage it and live a full and positive life.
This is me, I am Neil and I have depression.