Win From Within!

‘To externalise or not to Externalise, that is the question’.

After many years fighting the urge to leave this ‘painful’ world, in order to find eternal peace, I realised unexpectedly, that this so-called eternal peace could only come in life. As the very insightful Shakespeare’s Hamlet informs ‘For in that sleep of death what dreams may come’ (how do we know this peace will come in death)

A Time to Share

Before I proceed, I want to stress two important points. Firstly, the importance of sharing your issues. As they say ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Reflecting on that life changing moment of my ‘sharing’ , the almost instant release was tangible. Would you believe I even thought that was all I needed. ‘sure I’m FINE now’…….

So I had externalised my depression, realising not all things were my fault and that this world had a place for me just as much as anyone else. A breakthrough yes, but as I would come to realise ……..only the beginning.


Secondly REMEMBER THIS your depression or any issue you may have DOES NOT DEFINE YOU, I am not Neil ‘depression’ Kelders, I am not someone you need to feel sorry, all you need to be is there for me when needed, for when that person YOU KNOW needs it, I am not someone that deserves easy breaks. There is no need to walk on eggs shells around me.

I AM NEIL KELDERS, this guy from Ireland, someone….. just….. like……. you, someone with an interest in health and fitness, in sport, a new found love of acting, enjoys making new friends and socialising and goes through bouts of depression. MY DEPRESSION IS NOT MY EXCUSE. IT DOES NOT DEFINE ME!!

I know this now!

 From External to Internal 

I tended, as many do in my situation, to believe that this life was ‘just not for me’. I was not supposed to have the ‘luck’ to get ahead, I was not to be the one who ‘got the break’. I was the one who would continuously fail, continuously lose out, continuously struggle and not be the one to succeed.            Does that ring a bell with you?

This they (Julien Rotter 1990) say is external locus of control 

‘the degree to which persons expect that the reinforcement or outcome is a function of chance, luck, or fate, is under the control o f powerful others, or is simply unpredictable.’

I believed that I had little or no control over events or such things that affected me.

Go Internal!

My focus had to change. I had to look internally. I HAD to internalise my depression.

‘where focus goes energy goes’ (Tony Robins)

Julian Rotter (1990) describes the internal locus of control:

‘the degree to which persons expect that a reinforcement or an outcome of their behaviour is contingent on their own behaviour or personal characteristics’


locus of control


Firstly, I had to accept this depression was very much part of me.NOT DEFINING ME, but one small part of me. Right now it is here! I have to accept it. I have to accept it may be there tomorrow and the day after that; even day after that; the next month, year, lifetime….who knows how long?                                                                                                                 But what I do know, it is here and I have to be able to manage that!

This may sound crazy but I believe it is essential in order for you to be able to continue with your journey and be the success I know you and I can be. So..I had to and you have to…

STOP laying blame elsewhere… and realise you can take steps to manage it.

LOOK within….and find that small part of you

ACCEPT your depression…acknowledge the low times

RESPECT it… by being fair to yourself when you are low and encourage yourself through those hard times

BEFRIEND it…..get to know its characteristics, its triggers, its WHY. Once I did

UNDERSTAND it………when you get to know and understand something, then you can address it, make changes to alleviate it, manage it and eventually maybe eliminate it.

The decision to internalise my depression, I truly believe, allowed me to for the first time to positively address it. I was beginning  to understand it, that impending feeling was no longer mysterious, I knew it and what it stood for. I now knew that my depression was  highlighting conditions that were not as they should be. I was able to and understand all this and then this allowed me to relate it to, my feelings, thoughts and actions.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! (Rumi)

Why would I externalise depression?

Is labelling it a ‘black dog’ that becomes our shadow, a challenger that we need to beat or run away from or a friend, someone separate to our identity. Is this really addressing the issue? I think not. To do so seems, to me, to not address the issue at hand, to not ACCEPT. Doing so, I believe can do more harm in the long-term. Externalising it is to keep it separate from ‘us’. 

To externalise is to be in constant conflict

Let me ask you this… it not harder to control (I prefer to the word manage rather than control) some external circumstance. Is it not easier to control or manage from within.

If you externalise you are always fighting, being aggressive, which you have to be in order to overcome the odds. What happens on that day you can’t control it? What happens when you lose the fight, anything can happen! If you go through this conflict aggressively, you become angered, you lose control, there is no controlling a depression you can not relate to or you do not know………………..what the fuck do you do then?

Don’t Control

As with everything we try to control, eventually no good can come from it. You will lose control. I implore you not to keep depresion separate from yourself, for now he or she is part of your makeup. Keep him close, by doing so you will be able to USE him, in turn, this will enable you to grow, progress and gain the inner strength needed to develop daily.

Who knows what can happen then!

With this new found knowledge, you are now stronger, you have a solid CORE strength, it becomes harder for depression to crack you, you will grow in self-confidence. These ne found charateristics in collaboration with your new learnings, tools and resources you have gathered along the way, will allow you, when YOU ARE READY, to let him go. This may be a total separation or a partial separation, but by now it will not matter, because again you are stronger on all levels, both mentally and physically.

It is very much a part of us

But IT IS a part of PART OF US!, for how long, who knows and actually, THAT is a question I needed to unlearn or learn to not ask.

So again, my belief, which is informed by my own personal journey, and that of some close friends, to positively address your depression or any internal issue, you 1) have to externalise it and make use of your supports, then in conjunction with those external supports 2)internalise and create an internal locus of control, take some resposnibility, get to know ways you can manage your depression, ways that are subjective and sustainable for you. WIN FROM WITHIN!!

Depression has kept the true NEIL KELDERS hidden for many years. Now, because of the steps I have taken and continue to take, the real NEIL KELDERS can stand up and be counted.

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.



2 thoughts on “Win From Within!

  1. Dear Neil,

    This is terrific, thoughtful ,heartfelt, practical and inspiring. Hope you have good weekend.


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