In my role as a Chief Operating Officer for a charity, I have come across many different views and opinions on mental health issues. These have been both a lovely surprise or struck me silent with shock.
Every day I wake up to a different version of me. Will I be happy or sad, will I feel safe or scared? It’s not that I am unstable; I have grown to become a master of me. The things I feel because of my Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) aren't invisible to others. I like to think of myself as a warrior in my own right, because I face invisible battles every day. But we all have our own battles, diagnosis or not. Do you know what mood you will be in when you wake up tomorrow?
I don’t think depression can be summed up in one image. I think at times it’s a lot of images. I spent some time with my niece a few days after I had felt the lowest I have ever felt. My nieces and nephew mean the world to me. They remind me of the simple joys in life. I had just taken my niece to the park and she was so happy just sitting in a swing and it made me think “Why can’t everyone just feel that happy all the time?”.
Never one to be the quiet or timid type, it would be difficult to find someone who thinks I’m anything other than boisterous and over-confident. Yet behind this male bravado there’s a sensitivity and vulnerability that I have always tried to mask.
As a child I was very curious. I was restless and always fidgeting in class. By the time I was a teenager I began experimenting with different things. I was always looking for a high. I wanted something to make me happy, because most of the time I felt sad.
That’s how I got into high-strength alcohol and started smoking weed. It reached a point of no return and I couldn't work anymore, I could not fit into social circles.
I was subjected to electro convulsion therapy due to a diagnosis of substance-induced psychosis. But in the real sense, I had depression.