Saturday, 11 October 2014

World Mental Health Day 10 October 2014

Today is world mental health day. Thank you jade for bringing it my attention and encouraging me to speak up.

Those closest to me know the battles I've faced for the last decade and more. Depression is a real thing. There were many nights lost in a blur of tears and many days were I felt completely alone in a roomful of my friends. I'm not anti-social, I'm just struggling. There were many times when I had to hit rock bottom to rise again. The darkness becomes so familiar it almost becomes a comfort.

It's not your fault you suffer. I used to feel so guilty for feeling so sad when other people had much more wrong with them, like terminal illnesses. You can't just 'snap out of it' or 'cheer up'. How I wish that was true. Please please talk to someone. Reach out, scream, yell. The person who steps up might not be the person you thought would.

It wasn't until I was much happier and a dear friend was suffering that I realised just how hard it is to be a friend to someone with depression. You feel so helpless because all you can do is listen and encourage them to see their worth, the pain they feel inside is something only they themselves can address. You can't teach someone how to be happy, they have experience for themselves how to work through it. But I know for certain my friends are heroes for sticking by me. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

There are distractions available. ESCAPISM is key. It's not a negative thing if you treat it with the respect is deserves. There are video games to play, there is cinema to go and see, be it Hollywood or art house, there are walks on nature trails, trains to get, places to go, friends to see, gigs to watch, an iPod with a song for every feeling... And failing all that, there is a sunrise and sunset everyday to stare into and realise how beautiful the world is and how lucky you are.

The darkness no longer consumes me. I barely recognise the person I was before but I know how easy it is to slip back into the darkness.

I've been really blessed this year to have such a good run of happiness. Actually happy days, Laughing days. If there is one thing I've learnt this year it's that peace has to come from within. Because as Darren Hayes once sang "The monster you were running from, is the monster in you"

You can and will be happy again. Even if it doesn't seem like it now. It might not be tomorrow, this week, or next month but it will come around again. I will always be a tortured soul prone to depression but you can fight it. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.

"There is hope in the darkness, you know you're gonna make it" - Savage Garden.