Tag Archives: recovery

Looking into the mirror and reflecting

I woke up this morning not unlike any other day. But the realisation of today’s date hit me.

15 years ago. I woke up in the middle of my summer holidays after finishing my GCSEs and ecperienced the worst day of my life. One that has shaped my personality, character, values and self ever since. That was the day i lost my dad. 15 years old. 5 days before my 16th birthday.

The 13th of August has plagued me ever since. Like a grim reminder of life’s cruel twists. For me, this event has no doubt been the trigger for the crippling depression i have battled for half of my life. From the dizzy highs to rock bottom. There is a cause. 

But in recent years, i found myself infinitely more reflect about the hand life has dealt me so far.

So this morning. I took a long hard look in the mirror and refused to allow this date to ruin my day and weekend. I stood. Quietly taking stock of what was looking back at me. Sure the greys are coming through thicker by the week. And I’m not in the best of shape. But all of those external things i am very aware of.

It’s time that shown me my internal struggles. Through several, and i mean several, therapists, i am now at a much reflective point in my life that allows me to look in the mirror and not hate myself. And not cry. And not despair.

Yes. I would took give a limb to have my dad back by my side. But i am quickly turning into him. And I’m ok with that. His influence on the person (some would say man but i still feel like a kid) i have become. I utilise humour. All the time. I love food and cooking. I love my family, and being a good dad is key to me. The list could go on but my hand is getting tired.

So, where do we go from here? I would usually raise a glass to my dad, but I’m taking a break from alcohol. So I’m going to put on some old punk, and look in the mirror. Grateful for those who have made me who i am.

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The Drugs Don’t Work – Or do they?

So.

For various reasons I stopped my medication a few weeks ago and I could almost feel the serotonin dropping put of my system.

Ive been on and off various medications for my moods over the years with varying degrees of success and side effects – some bearable, some completely unbearable.

So, I’ve recently re-started my anti-depressants and had what is known as a rebound effect – not as fun as it sounds. Basically my mood has dropped significantly to the point where wearing the “normal me” mask is exhausting. I find myself either wanting to sleep or stay up all night, starve or eat everything, laugh or more likely cry.

But things are beginning to feel normal again, so the medication must do something. It keeps me on a relatively even keel even when the stresses of life get to me. But its my friends and family that keep me, me.

I’m hearing so many more conversations about mental health now which also encourages me. I know I’m not alone in my struggle and I would welcome anyone who needs to talk to have a coffee (or tea) with a loved one and talk. Failing that, drop me a line and let’s talk.

You are stronger than your depression, and by sharing the burden, you make it weaker and easier to beat.

We can do this.

Appetite for Destruction

I’ve always had a difficult relationship with food since day 1 really. As a fussy vegetarian child, my diet consisted mostly of baked beans, lentil soup and potato in its many guises.

But, in time I grew to love food for the most part. Though the last week has shown me that in crisis, my body just doesn’t want fuel. Food can bring out great emotional responses in people, triggering memories, both positive and negative. But when you feel empty, where’s the joy?

I hadn’t eaten for almost 36 hours by the time I arrived at the doctor’s surgery. Not through any sort of blind dieting, but my appetite had upped and gone. Just like my get up and go.

Resolve and determination to change myself dragged me into that appointment. And I began on my road to recovery for the umpteenth time. My gp was really supportive and confirmed my severe depression, putting me back on a previously successful medication regime.

Some people will argue that pills don’t build skills. But for me, before I start thinking about any further self help, I need to redress my chemical imbalance. This is a long road which many think will be a quick fix, but I’ve never found it to be that way.

Having made the decision to speak out about my depression, I knew that I had to maintain some of the things that keep me going in life. Work is definitely one of those things, I have a great job surrounded by great people. This gives me a reason to drag myself up in the morning however hard it may feel.

Though starting difficult conversations has never been easy, compiling a blog a week behind allows me time to reflect on the weeks events, thoughts and feelings.

I feel these conversations are starting now, and that can only be a good thing. Suffering in silence isn’t the way to go. I’ve thrown a happy face on far too many times to know its really unhealthy. Time will tell if the stigma around mental health will change.

But this is me, this my stuggle, my difficulties, my relapse and it will become my recovery.