May 4, 2014

I didn't know what it was to be on my knees, what it felt like to feel isolated day after day, not able to explain an illness that was destroying my existence. To feel consumed both emotionally and physically, feeling hopeless and unable to control anything in my life - in fact, not caring about anything in my life. That was until I became depressed.

Things in your mind move so slowly

The thing with depression, is that it takes time to manifest itself, like a disease just gnawing away. You feel a bit down, so isolate yourself from friends for a couple of days, you start to feel indifferent about the interests you once loved and you notice your confidence drops too. At the same time, you don't want to be a burden to family/friends so you either force happiness or you shun them away. Sometimes it is both.

Socialising seems fact everything seems so pointless. Things in your mind are moving so slowly, even you're moving slowly - unable to get out of bed, not bothering with make up and personal hygiene. You have no focus, just want to sleep a lot because you don't want to deal with all these dark feelings.

I believe that you can still get back up again

I don't know the exact solution to getting straight back up again when feeling that low. I know it's easier to fall down than to get back up, but I also believe that you can still get back up again even though it may take longer. If you can drag yourself out of your bed to a GP surgery that would be a good start. Or even phone a close friend or family member. You could do it right now from the comfort of your own bed. Get something like an appointment set in stone. If you're not doing much else, then what have you got to lose?

I know that just like depression takes time to manifest and doesn't happen over night, then neither will getting fully better again. With depression, it can be very difficult to make decisions, decide what is causing you so much pain and therefore you might go back to old habits without realising. An outsider can help you eliminate the bad, self-destructive habits and work towards getting you back to your old self. I believe there is hope in the most darkest moments, that we can only ever really truly appreciate the value of something until we have lost everything.

There is light at the top of the pit you've found yourself in

Most importantly, I believe in determination, and every day I am inspired and amazed by the people who will not give up. The marathon runners who kept running despite water supplies being cut off, our men and women in uniform preparing to give their life for Queen and country, the Women of Steel who worked tirelessly in the Steel factories during the Second World War, whilst men were sent to the frontline - never thanked or praised and fired when the men returned home. Every day, I am influenced and feel encouraged to be more like them.

There is a life out there if you are willing to try and get back up again. You may need support, you may need courage, but there is light at the top of the pit you've found yourself in. I've lived life well and I've also seen the darker side to life. No one ever has the intention of going under, mental illness is not deliberate or attention seeking. It becomes a state of being when you are too tired to get back up and stand on two feet. Yet, I say hang on in there, because you will learn to stand back up again. It will just take time.

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