The Struggle Within

This is possibly one of the hardest entries I've decided to write so far,

Because it's a realisation and fear that regardless of how much good is around me or how far I feel I've come most days, the struggle within is still very strong.

Only last week I wrote about a feeling of guilt that I was disconnecting and a feeling of loss because I was moving ahead and really enjoying life again. When in reality, the disconnection was because I was sliding backwards, not moving forward at all.

I have so much good going on around me, lot's of supportive people and the rides and drives for awareness that we've been working on are looking better than I could of dreamed of, so why do I feel like this again? and why is the struggle so hard?

Before I go on, I'll just back up a step....

you'll notice above I wrote, 'not moving forward at all' followed by 'I have so much good going on around me', here's the thing, depression is full of ups and downs, full of contradictions and that's what makes it really hard to not only live with, but bloody hard for those around us to understand or even realise we're not ok.

People have been bending over backwards to help with taking care of a few things I can't do myself at the moment, so how dare I let them down by sliding backwards again? These are destructive thoughts and the more attention we pay to them, the more they consume us until that's all we're left with, negative and destructive thoughts.

I was told by a counsellor some time ago that these feelings of guilt would come, as I move on I'd feel empty no matter how much I did or how hard I worked at feeling 'better'. This is the time we really need to be careful, I'm lucky because I've been here before and I noticed what was happening (not as early as I'd hoped) but early enough to realise I wasn't ok and I needed to talk to someone.

In hindsight, the last week has been the most positive and rewarding I've had in the past 3 years, and without going too far into detail, the last 24 hours I felt like giving in, but I made that all important phone call, the Black Dog has been stalking me again for a few months and he took an almighty bite last night.

This isn't meant to be shocking or raise concerns that I'd act on those feelings, it's to highlight that it can and does happen and a simple phone call or conversation with someone that understands can make all the difference and early intervention can prevent thoughts turning to actions.

A couple of years on and 'that' feeling came back and it was gone just as fast after a phone call. I've spoken with people that say even after 10 and 15 years it still comes back, but with the right help they've learnt to manage it and it gets easier, so I guess that was my first self managed intervention/recovery or whatever we'd like to call it. I know it can be done and I know that I need to accept that it could happen again, but I'll be stronger next time and act on those feelings of disconnection much earlier.

This is why I'm so passionate about bringing awareness to depression and early intervention, if I was living in denial or covering up having this illness because of shame or embarrassment, I may not have asked for help last night.

For someone who hasn't been through a 'lived experience' they may not recognise it, they may not reach out and ask for help, so please if you think someone around you needs help, ask them if they're ok....you could just save their life.


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