June 20, 2012

Photo of Col, a Time to Change bloggerThe first time I understood the true feelings of depression was when I was around 15 years old. I still remember sitting on my kitchen floor, feeling lost and hopeless with no clue what to do about it. All I wanted to do was shut myself away in my bedroom and ignore everything I didn’t want to deal with.

I’m now 33 years old. Over those years I never actually managed to treat or deal with my depression properly, only using my own tactics to ignore the issues and block them out as much as possible. I felt I couldn’t cope with the world, wasn’t normal, had to fake being ok and putting a false smile on my face to please others. Over the years it just seemed to become me and I lost track of the fact I was doing those things, it just became second nature.

I spent years and years at my parents shutting myself away, wasting my life away. At times there would be glimpses of things being a little easier, new relationships would bring joy and happiness temporarily but it felt like once I hit a stumbling block and the other person saw what I thought was the real me, I then felt weak and broken once again.

Time and time again I’d try to explain what was going on but would meet with the same old comments

Time and time again I’d try to explain what was going on but would meet with the same old comments: “Pull yourself together”, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself”, “I’ve got problems too you know” and “I can’t cope with you like this”. Those would come from family, friends, partners. Each time I would become so frustrated inside that nobody understood and would then turn it in on myself even more.

What was wrong with me? Why was I not normal? What was broken inside my head? Every time I’d do the same process and have lost count of how many times I did. I’d convince myself that I could fix myself and then I’d just try to act normal, I’d act like I was ok, go out and get a job that I knew I didn’t want to do but would do it to appear like I was getting myself sorted. I’d act and be what people wanted me to be.

trying to be what I thought everyone needed and wanted

I spent so long adjusting and switching myself around trying to be what I thought everyone needed and wanted that I don’t know who I am anymore, and the depression has come back worse than ever anyway.

I lost my dad nearly 2 years ago and it crippled me, the person who I could always rely on was gone and I had to face it all. I knew I’d hit the bottom because I could no longer use the same tactics to escape my depression and the issues which affect them. It feels like I shut all my emotions down and can’t feel a lot of the time.

My son shines through it at times with a smile or a hug or other things, but the rest of the time I live in a fog watching other people seemingly living easier and happier lives than me. It was at this point that I was advised to see my doctor again.

I’m determined that I will get past this and that I will use my experiences to help others

As I type this today I have seen a very good doctor who made me feel at ease. I’ve decided to try some different anti-depressants along with more counselling and am determined to work on the issues this time once I’m feeling better enough to do so. I know that I can no longer pretend or go back to my old habits but I see it as a good thing. This time around I’m determined that I will get past this and that I will use my experiences to help others. That in itself is a massive reason to keep going.

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