World Mental Health Day 2018 - My Most Recent Struggles with Depression
Updated: Oct 11, 2018
The most important aspect about today is to bring awareness around the topic of Mental Health. In 2018, it still remains a taboo subject although one person in every four will suffer from some type of mental illness in their life. My heart goes out to anyone struggling with mental health issues. For many years I battled to get a hold of the darkness that consumed me. It started in my teens and lasted, well, up until last year.
My depression was crippling last year. More specifically the month of August 2017. I remember staying up with a friend until 4 in the morning, not crying but bawling. I was telling him I just wanted it all to end, I wanted to drive my car straight into a pole, that somehow that would end all my suffering. I should also mention that my drinking was at an all time high then too. Coincidence? Ya, no. That month I probably cried daily. That was also the month my friend called my parents and the proverbial cat was out of the bag. Thank god he did because who knows where I’d be if he hadn't. I was too scared to ask for help. Was it a sign of weakness? Or was I too scared to be judged? Shouldn't I have my shit together by now? What I do know now is that none of that matters. The people who love you won’t judge you or care about any of that, they just want you to be happy and healthy. And I believe you want that too.
If I can offer one piece of advice – please don’t reach for any substance that you think will give you a ‘quick fix’ from this. Because it won't. I reached for alcohol for years to self-medicate (although I didn't realize that's what I was doing), to quiet the thoughts and subside the tremors that creeped deep within. There is no amount of alcohol or recreational drug that will help fight that battle. You have to realize that they just make everything worse. Believe me. I felt like I had nowhere else to turn for years. I had no idea how to deal with these feelings. And why they were even there. I felt as though I was the only one battling this. I felt like I could talk to no one about it. And the beast inside grew and grew. Twice I went to my doctor, and twice he quickly prescribed me anti-depressants that made me literally go nuts (not to say they don’t have their place, they do, the reaction for me was just so brutally negative). Alcohol was the only constant. It was always there for me, soothing me, cradling me, comforting me, listening to me - until it wasn’t. Once I released that shit from my body & mind, something happened. A light came back into my eyes and an absolute spirit in my body. It wasn’t easy, it took a good 3 months to fully get the poison out, but can you believe my depressive tendencies subsided within that time, and I have lived free ever since?
Don’t get me wrong, I do still have shitty days where the anxiety creeps back in, but the clarity & focus with which I can see my life is something that I wouldn’t change for FUCKING anything. And I finally love myself, like really truly feel whole and happy. I used to pray for this – how can I find happiness?? How can I just fucking live without hating life?? Now I know. So what can you do to help deal with anxiety, depression, sadness? First step is to get rid of any form of self-medication, alcohol or otherwise. Next, talk to someone, talk to a professional. Talk to someone who's been through it all and come out the other side. They are usually willing to tell their story to help others. Change your diet, eat better food, get more sleep, brush up on some self-care tools, get some movement back in your life. Yes, it's going to suck at the beginning, to really transform your life. Your mind is going to fight you tooth and nail, but if I can be of any example, the hard work is so worth it. xo k