What living with depression taught me

So, As many of you are aware I have got a rather long history with depression. A rather long, Twisted, Messy history would probably be a better analysis of how I used to be. So i am going to take you through both sides of the coin today. What my thinking pattern was when i was depressed, What my thinking pattern is now I am out the other side and then finally what it taught me. So, here goes nothing…

Inside and outside the mind of an aggressive depressive.

It was like i didn’t know where to go. I had no one to turn to because i was so scared of telling someone in case they judged me and I no matter what could not take that. I did not want people thinking bad of me as I already thought bad of myself. I thought i was worthless, Like everyone’s life had a purpose but then there was me; a sad, numb, ugly, “friendless” (that is in quotations because i actually did have friends, but I thought at the time that they where just there but they didn’t care nor want me there) shadow of an adolescent man with no hope in the world because all I wanted was to be left alone by the voices in my head who told me all of this stuff that I believed. Too afraid to go to the doctors for a long time in case they told me something i did not want to hear. I was a paranoid wreck of a person who all he wanted was for somebody to tell me everything will be OK and actually prove that to me. I will openly admit i am an ex self harmer. I am not afraid of admitting that anymore, I used to self harm not because of feeling low, But so I could actually feel something just for a split second. I did it so I knew I was living because even though I knew I was alive, I was so numb, So lost, So twisted within this web of lies created by what i can only describe as “the puppet master” (my inner thoughts) That I could be doing anything and i felt no passion, no drive, no determination, no Nothing basically so to self harm showed me I was still living and there was still hope for me because I could feel pain and as twisted as that sounds at the time I figured “at least i can feel something”. I gave up everything i ever loved. I was a very good football(soccer) player. People used to tell me that i have got a  very good chance of going pro because I was exceptional. But then in my head I would think they are lying because they do not actually want to see me succeed they want to see me fail and laugh at me and make fun because they did not really care. The fear of that took hold and I remember i progressively stopped going to the games. It went from going to every one never missing any come hell or high water to missing 1 a month, To going to every other game to just going for the sake of it every once in a while, to never going again. I was also a very good Basketball player, Never the best shooter mind you but i was the point guard, I was quick, strong, rather tall, energetic, A great dribbler, Passer, I was the leader of the team for my school. I also played on weekends where i was a key figure still in that team, i played for Cheshire which is my county and my manager loved me as a player because i was dynamic. But the same happened with this. I stopped going to Cheshire first because i told myself ” you wont be good enough when you get older, you will get to the age where you can play nationally, You may get to play they will show you up and you will fail,so i slowly allowed myself to stop doing that because “it was for my own good”. Then my weekend team. I didn’t slowly fizzle out of that i just quit all together because i didn’t believe in myself. Then my school team. I remember my teacher/coach used to pull me out of class for this because i told him i cant play. I kept making up excuses as to why like “i hurt my leg i P.E” or something really pathetic. I had convinced all of these people to let me go and leave me alone when they believed in me. I thought they didn’t. I thought nobody did, including myself. I had completely given up on everything i ever was good at and everything i had ever known. To this day i will always regret those stupid decisions. Fear and doubt because my head was telling me all of the things i never want to hear again. On top of that i was incredibly depressed which only worked as a catalyst to speed up the decision of me giving up.  The voice never left me alone but looking back on it what ever i was good at, I convinced myself to give up, or i just quit, or i did not feel like doing anymore. I began to spiral out of my own body. Not literally of course but in the sense that It was like my external shell had cracked and i was allowed to see what Depression was doing to me but i couldn’t reach in to shake myself because when ever I tried to reach in or ” pull myself together metaphorically speaking” this thing was twice as strong as me. It ripped me further and further apart and i could not stop it. Every time i tried it was as though It broke me apart twice as bad as before I tried to help myself. I just did not understand how i was going to get out of this  oblivion that i sat inside for years. I just did not know. So i gave up. I gave up on myself years before the incident of stopping sports. But it was that type of giving up, As in finally giving up on 100% of myself that made things impossible.

Now i am outside that mindset and the clutch on my neck which starved me of myself by cutting off everything id ever known i realize or should i say i understand why I did all of those things. I was in a very dark world where there was just me and quite a few demons I didn’t feel like i had a chance because i was so vastly outnumbered so i gave up. I gave in. I became a slave to Mental illness. As so many people unfortunately do.. It is a very difficult thing to have to deal with. Which is why i help anyone i can. I do not want anyone to feel how i did. It was awful.

What i have learned.

Well to start off I have learned how to be myself again. I have learned to love and accept criticism. I have learned to control what goes on in my head as well as deal with it.Don’t get me wrong i still have bad days but i can cope with them a lot better now than i used to. But most of all i have learned the moment you give up on yourself is the moment when your uphill battle you are fighting so hard to win becomes a landslide victory to your opponent.  You see when you give up, Even if you think you are trying to get better if you’ve already accepted defeat you will be defeated. There is literally no way to win in that scenario. You have to  stand and fight. No matter the odds, no matter the circumstance you can not make an excuse for yourself like i did because things like depression feed off of that and they grow stronger and stronger. You have to have the attitude ” I would rather give out than give up or give in” . NO MATTER WHAT! . I have also learned that hate can not drive out hate, Only love can do that. So before you give in and begin to hate yourself. Try to find a way to make yourself feel good. Over time you will notice you take pride in yourself again. Once you start doing that, you are on the track to recovery.  Never give in! I promise one day you will be sat there, Just like me and  not only will it be a distant memory. But you may even decide to take a leaf from my book, and try to help others.

Depression is a dark and evil mistress, She is a temptress, But you have to try to not give in to temptation. You can do it!

Thank you for reading.