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Dear Depression

I think it is about time we sat down and had a little chat. It’s been a long time coming.

I’m not a fan of yours, not at all. We’ve known each other for quite some time now but the deeper we get into our relationship the more I want you to go away. You have to laugh at the irony otherwise you’d cry. I remember the first time I noticed you’d rocked up on the scene, I couldn’t get my sentences to string together, I couldn’t keep thoughts in my head and you began to strip me of my greatest love – learning.

See at the time I was meant to thrive, to be doing my best intellectually and absorbing as much as possible, I grew disinterested in everything I once loved. My motivation dropped to zero and school became a chore, so I didn’t go. You clouded up my brain and consumed my thoughts with emptiness, until I gave up.

I’m so angry at you for making even the tiniest things like waking up in the morning seem impossible. As I try to will myself out of bed you lure me back to the faux warmth and cosiness by overwhelming me with the fear of outside.

You shroud over every aspect of my life, infiltrating everything, I think I’ve managed to lose you for a while but then I turn around and there you are. I kind of want out of this game of hide-and-seek if that is okay.

When university was meant to be a time of adventure, self-discovery and trying new things, it was instead a time quite often of overwhelming loneliness. It is hard to meet new people and make new friends when your esteem is so low it is virtually non-existent, you don’t even want to hang out with yourself so why would anyone else.

You’re selfish Depression, you want me for yourself, you crave so much attention, that you ruin all the other relationships I have. Pushing the people who love me far far away so we don’t hurt them because somewhere along the way I lost where you began and I ended; we became one.

You make me tired, exhausted, grumpy, anxious, sad-then-happy-then-sad-again, weary, angry, frustrated, impatient, scared, worried (about every little thing; from the future to ‘did I turn that plug off?’), cynical, kinda rude, scary, closed-off and so so weighed down.

But, old friend, I really do not want to be one anymore. So even though you drag me back by the feet everytime I try to escape and kick me down every time I stand up, I think I need to try.

I don’t think there is much point in me being angry with you really, that just drags me further down the rabbit hole, and that’s what you want. So I choose to be thankful. Thankful that you have provided me with the skill set to be there for people, to be empathetic and caring, to be honest and open with others because your presence only grows when I keep quiet. Thank you for allowing me to understand what it is like to pretend that everything is fine because it allows me to recognise when others are doing exactly the same. Thank you for teaching me to be vulnerable, that it is okay not to have everything altogether and to rely on other people. Thank you for allowing me to recognise how you affect the people around me.

I’m thankful for all I have learned from you, and all I will continue to learn, but you’re no longer welcome at the party so I’d like to show you (gradually) to the door. I’m aware you’re more like that pesky person that doesn’t get the hint that it’s time to go, that this will take a lot of time, but I have hope, even if small.

Not-so-kind regards,

Sophie

Worth

It’s been a very long time coming, but here we go writing again. If you are an observant individual you’ll notice that this site was created in 2015, and alas, it is now 2016. It has taken me a very long time to get to now, but here we go.

It’s Mental Health Awareness week (woo!) and so I thought I’d talk a tiny bit about that. I think it’s great because it brings what usually is kept in the shadows out into the limelight.

The thing about mental health is that deterioration can happen slowly, your life getting more and more grey each day, or  suddenly appear, generally without realisation of what is going on until it’s a bit too late. It gets progressively worse, some days you’ll have good days, some days you’ll have the worst possible days imaginable.

Over this period of time, your self-worth is stripped away, the little voice inside your head tells you that you are unworthy of others’ time, effort, love… that you’re a terribly boring person and not worth listening to anyway. Until eventually you don’t feel as though you have any worth at all. And there’s no point being here.

That’s the scariest thing, when you are your own worst enemy. When you are the person that puts yourself down and tells yourself you aren’t worth it. You don’t need anyone else to because honestly you do a better job yourself.

And so you end up trapped in this ball of worthlessness, ashamed that you’ve become so low, all confidence has disappeared and you don’t know how to get out of this rut or what to do to make things better, so you don’t do anything.

I’m writing this post because I think awareness needs to be brought to mental health. I’m writing this post because there’s so many people who suffer and feel so completely alone when they don’t have to. I’m writing this post because if it helps at least one person talk to one person and realise their worth then that is all I could hope for.

You see, those who are drowning in darkness are generally the people you would least expect. They are masters in perfecting the facade of happiness, when inside they are crumbling to pieces, afraid.

It’s a very long, twisty, dark path. It takes a very long time. I know I still have days were I don’t want to move from my bed, I don’t want to talk to a single person, I wake up in a terrible mood and I go to sleep in a terrible mood. But it’s getting there.

If you’re reading this and you are feeling like everything is grey, you don’t know what to do, I can only tell you that you are worth more than you could imagine. You deserve more than how you are feeling right now, you deserve happiness just as much as the next person. You are worth the effort, the time and the love. You are worth it*.

So please do something for yourself, don’t keep it all to yourself. Tell one person. Whether you whisper it, text it, write a letter, send a smoke signal, tell a doctor, a friend, a parent, a dog, don’t carry the burden all by yourself. Take tiny baby steps, even tinier if you need. Be patient with yourself. Admit to yourself that you aren’t okay, that you need a helping hand, and that is 100% alright.

If you’re reading this and you know someone who is feeling this way, or know someone who is struggling, help them. Listen. Have a real conversation. Don’t give up it will take a very long time maybe until someone feels comfortable enough to talk, but be patient.

I’ve been challenged a lot recently with having a real conversation, not ‘banter’, but a real pouring-out-of-the-heart conversation. So I encourage you to do it too. It can be nerve-wracking to lay cards on the table, you may feel that the other person does not want to hear about your woes, but the odds are they probably need the same thing too. Lean on people, find good people who want to be leant on.

Take tiny steps.

(*this post is in no way endorsed by L'Oreal Paris)

 

 

 

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