Stay Positive: Previous experiences with mild depression. Expect strong language, dark humour and the occasional outdated opinion.
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(Originally published in January 2011):
With last Monday being scientifically labelled as the most ‘depressing day of the year’, I’ve (co-incidentally) thrown together another lengthy article that talks about my own experiences of living with mild depression, and how I’ve personally managed to deal with it over the past 12 months.
It follows on from where part four left off, and deals with things on a much more ‘personal’ level. It probably doesn’t make for wonderful viewing, but if you can, try and… enjoy it?!
It’s been about 6 months since I last did a proper ‘Stay Positive’ section, so I thought (with it being a new year n’all) it would be a good time to ‘catch up’, or so to speak.
Since the last section, I finished my counselling sessions, clocking up nine months of sessions (in total), which – by any means – is longer than I had anticipated. When we last talked, I was about a third of the way through.
Even though it’s a long stretch, the sessions were once a week, for 50mins. Take out at least ten weeks for cancellations, etc., and then you’re looking at about 26 meetings. Considering there was a change of counsellor in October, that’s not so bad.
(Well, I don’t think it is at any rate).
The bottom line is – those sessions have given me a chance to get back on with my life, which twelve months ago looked a near impossibility.
Without sounding too dramatic, there was a short time where I really wasn’t sure how much longer I could carry on living, and that - more than anything - scared the piss out of me.
When you conventionally have a ‘tumble’ in life, you have friends and/or family around you to soften the blow – to nurse you back to health, or kick you square up the anus.
But when I was in the midst of the depressive state, no matter how many times people said they would be there for you, they didn’t feel there – or more importantly, I didn’t feel there. Sincerity and generosity felt hollow and distant – encased in another glassed-off world, even.
And that had nothing to do with the persons in question - I wouldn’t doubt their sentiments - It was down to something inside of me, which was preventing myself from accepting the positivity. I remember reading along the way that people with low self-esteem can find it hard to benefit from positive dialogue, and I can see why.
After all, how can you accept praise or positivity when you can’t feel positive about yourself in the first place? The only things being let into your mind are disparaging, negative notions.
But until you have someone who can help you through all the internalising you need to do, the world can be a truly horrible place. Instead of the mattress of love and support you get from the aforementioned, there’s just an endless hole.
This hole sits in the very pit of your stomach, reaching up through the bones in your arms to your shoulders and neck, providing a persistent need to brace yourself for an impact that never arrives.
It’s similar in feeling to the ‘falling’ dream you have when you’re half asleep, only greater in its subversion...