Looking back – 2015 and beyond
Today as I reflect I feel happiness as well as unexpected flashbacks of deep sadness. Please let me explain.
Just about this time three years ago, I fell into a dark vortex of severe depression. As often happens, depression eventually invited anxiety along to keep it company.
As a result the past few years have been the most extraordinary of my life.
Depression is cruel. It distorts perceptions; emotional, mental and even physical. On looking back through my journals, I can see how quickly my world became small, dark and lonely. The life-force was sucked out of me and has taken years to rebuild.
No one really knows. For some of us, there is no particular cause. However, in this instance, I can trace this latest bout to a sequence of major life-changing events and lifestyle choices.
For years, I chose to live with constant stress. My desire to be a successful demanded that I be out-going, confident and enthusiastic – all the time!
There is nothing wrong with being out-going, confident and enthusiastic – except when you start faking it!
It’s then that you could be in trouble, even more so when hit with life’s tragedies such as a major illness or death of friends or family.
Ignoring the signs
Looking back, I can see that I ignored the signs of stress. These included weight gain, high blood pressure, mid-winter blues and exhaustion.
My drive to achieve was strong and I thought I could handle it. I know I’m not alone.
I am surrounded by people striving for success and prepared to give 120% – and for many, that’s completely okay. Some people thrive on going hard-out, all the time!
The twin emotions – happiness and sadness
My new-found happiness grows as I begin to relax. In 2015, the black cloud of depression has lifted, the anxiety symptoms are shifting and my energy is on its way up. (Long may it stay that way.)
I am also blessed with family and friends who have supported the lifestyle choices I’ve made to speed up my healing.
Heart-stopping sadness still turns up in the moments I let my guard down. The dark days with their shadows of despair, return briefly to frighten me and remind me to that this experience has left an imprint that has changed me forever.
But mostly my mental health journey is a blessing. It’s not something I would ever wish on anybody else; however I am enjoying the new Me. I like that I am softer, kinder and more compassionate.
I also like that it has opened up a new creative channel; blogging. It’s not easy but what keeps me writing is that it helps me and it’s my way of helping others.
How can I help?
Please feel contact me, or leave a comment, with any thoughts on how I can offer support to you or someone you know.
I am interested in being a mentor/coach (face-to-face or via Skype) and working with groups. (Please note I am not a mental health professional.)
PS. The Comments Form is at the VERY bottom of the page.