Stephen shares his experiences of depression
I will fully admit now before I write this that I am not quite sure where this piece of writing will go. I have just completed my first session of karate for two months and my mind is unravelling and doing silly things but I'd still like to share this with you.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought as a kid that I would have depression and battle it for a number of years, it is pretty rubbish I can tell you that. Looking back I have probably had it for the last 10 years or so, but I had no idea what mental health was or how it could affect my life back then. I just thought the constant battles with my mind were normal and I was just weak and pretty much not good enough, so I battled on and on and on until I snapped.
I needed to talk to someone
It literally took two mini breakdowns for me to realise that I needed to talk to someone. In the end when I look back it all stems from me being a victim of some heavy bullying at school as well as my parents divorce and the break up of what was a sturdy family unit. Being told you were crap and rubbish (that is putting it mildly) and then beaten up for 5 years at school was not good. The problem was I had no idea I was cracking up, not a clue.
I am currently sitting here in my room with my karate gear still on, trying to think of a way to describe depression or tell you what it is. The thing is, I can’t, it is all in the mind and it is different for everyone. All I can really talk about is my experiences and myself.
It's so tiring
You know I am struggling to hold everything in at the moment as I am a little fed up of the battle and the strength needed to battle this illness, it is so, so tiring to battle your negative thoughts every single day. With me, it just takes my identity away once it is triggered, Stephen the person is gone and what’s left is this anxious, mumbling, nervous, paranoid wreck who think he is not good enough for anyone or anything and who has no motivation for anything. I hate it, I really do, it has wrecked large parts of my life and a lot of the time it has only been my sheer stubbornness that has got me through.
I'm still discovering how to cope
I am pretty much in pieces at the moment, as I just know how much it wrecks me and takes away who I am. That is what it does! It takes away my identity! Imagine knowing who you are but not being that person because your mind will not let you, that is what it is for me…it affects me in so many ways, and even now, two years after I finally realised that I needed help, I am still discovering what depression means for me.
I am still discovering about how it is triggered, how my view of the world is not quite correct and how my passion and desire for the natural world just disappears into a black hole with the words “you are not good enough to do this”. That really upsets me, as the environment is my greatest passion and I am determined to change the world, the problem is that my mind at the moment is not playing ball.
The last couple of years have been one hell of a battle and I have needed my friends and family to help me, especially my youngest sister, even though I would never admit it.
The hardest step is to admit things are wrong, after I admitted this I felt as if a huge weight came off my shoulders.
I am very open about my depression, which helps me as it makes me feel more normal. The main thing is depression is far from being rare, many, many people suffer in silence. You are definitely not alone.
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