Accentuate the positive….

Believe it or not, depression does have a positive side!

Over the years I have found self doubts and lack of confidence are what contribute to my biggest downfalls in my own depression…….and this unfortunately are what  I suppose in a sense have held me back from my recovery on numerous occasions. Negative beliefs!

I’ve mentioned before that going through dark stages in depression I have lacked the ability to do things I want to do because I have always put myself down and  the negativity side of things always manage to worm their way up into the forefront of my mind. Thus I end up feeling I am a complete failure, not just at the odd thing in my life, but everything,  and then I felt I was  a complete waste of space on this planet and feel I would be better off dead. And I bet many more people who do or have suffered depression have been through these various stages.

However, last year for the first time I learnt CBT, and in addition to that I became more open about my illness with a few people. This year I have found the ability to be more open about  mostly the negative side of my depression with my Counsellor but in more recent sessions we have talked about looking at any positive aspects within me……….it all becomes part of the gradual recovery process. However, as I said my really big problem was the self doubts which led to severe lack of confidence on many levels. Not being in the best of health physically also plays a major part in my depression. The ‘key’ I would say in my case was  try to get myself back on a ‘even keel’ and thus be able to think straighter. By thinking a little bit straighter, it helps me to put into perspective of what I can do rather than what I can’t do. I’m not saying my confidence has come back yet, but it is gradually starting to shift a little in the right direction, by doing what I want to do and when I want to do it. High levels of anxiety also play a major part in my life……by learning to be more positive about yourself and about other things it does in some way help me to bring the  high levels of anxiety down  a few steps.

I have been doing the same job for twenty years, (in fact it will be twenty years later this month as a permanent employee, and an additional six months prior to that as a temp.) Routinely doing the same type of work day in day out. At the start of my ‘career’ twenty years ago, I was put on a major stock project, I must have done something right….or why else would I have remained in the same employment for so long?  The only reason I will be losing my job this year is through redundancy, because all our jobs will be going abroad. Earlier this year I did a ‘full circle’….my final year in this job was my contribution to overseeing a major stock project.  If this  means  others have confidence in my abilities, therefor why shouldn’t I have confidence in my own abilities? My only setback was I pushed myself far too hard,  I suppose more than anything to prove to any perspective new employer that ‘I’ve still got what it takes’. This was on my part a wrong decision. Pushing myself far too hard is not going to make any difference, I’ve come to realise that now, although there are still a number of employers out there who do believe in the getting everything out of their employees that they possibly can, for little in return.

I do of course realise that getting another job is not going to be easy. One only has to open up the newspapers, or listen to the news and hear about the jobs market. Ok, so my health problems do pay a part in what sort of job I can or can’t do…….but at the end of the day twenty years of service in one company must say something,  especially with regards to my knowledge, honesty, loyalty and dedication up to the end of my service. I have had to adapt to many major changes going on within the company….not just the company changing ownership  or merging with others on four occasions in my time there, but also constant changes in the way we carry out certain procedures. I am lucky in that I am amongst only a handful of people at our site who over the years have had the opportunity to learn and carry out almost all the jobs there and as a result of this also train others. In addition to this I count myself lucky, in that during my earlier years there I trained and became an internal ISO auditor (originally known as BSI auditing). Have been a union rep for the last ten years and a qualified first aider. Unfortunately though my ‘licence’ to carry out first aid in my work premises is something else that is shortly due to come to an end this month, and there is no point in going back to retrain to renew my skills at this point in time for the short time I will be here, unless the new company I’m working under presently look upon it as a good investment for my remaining few months.  However,  looking at the positive side of this, it is something else I have to offer any new perspective employee, another skill so to speak. However, this still doesn’t guide me in the direction of what job I want to do after I get my redundancy.

In addition to all this I have found I have other abilities which I have been trying out over the past ten or so years, such as my watercolour painting and drawing, and in more recent months other forms of art and craft, of which  my art work until very recently I have kept ‘hidden away’. But  I have come to the conclusion these don’t have to be hidden away  but I should feel very pleased with myself for displaying it in the form of one of my other blogs. After all  what is the point of doing all this work if you have no way to show or  share it. My hope is it might even encourage others (especially those who suffer from depression) to seek out their own hidden talents by having a go…..for me personally it’s about showing  and sharing another positive side of my depression, about reaching a much wider audience on the internet. Ok so my art and craft work isn’t that brilliant, but at least I have given it a go, and practise makes perfect, and by visiting other art/craft blogs I am opening up to some new ideas which can be developed to suite my own styles. And I do it simply because I enjoy it and get an element of satisfaction out of creating something from almost nothing. One is never to old to learn anything!!

I addition to all this I have had the pleasure of owning four wonderful and full of character rabbits over the last seven years. My remaining  buck Sooty (Sootykins) is now six and a half years old, which is by any standards a good age for a rabbit, I’ve had him from the the very day he was born, and nurtured him all the way through his life…..my darling little Venus had a couple of ‘buns in the  oven’ so to speak.  Whilst recently spending a week in hospital, I realised how much I missed him, as this was the first time I have ever spent more than one night away from him.  Back when I had my first rabbit seven years ago, I did have my doubts about my own abilities even then to be able to look after them and see them grow up. By looking after them I have learnt something about myself. I know that may sound rather a strange comment, but anyone who owns any pet that becomes part of their family will hopefully understand what I mean. Because of all this I have had in the planning for a few weeks my third blog ‘Ideally Rabbits’.  Which I finally published for the first time last week. I chose this title because I have found rabbits are  ideal companions. I want to be able to share my stories, tips and knowledge to a wider audience…..again on the internet, so another blog is in my mind the best way forward. I have a fourth one which is still in the planning stages at the moment to do with coarse angling, and I very much hope to have that one up and running in the not to distant future. At the end of the day, its all about sharing the good and positive aspects than one can find in their lives.

I suppose in a way what I am saying with this blog today, is the fact that despite depression or any other mental illness being negative and having so many negative effects, there are also some very good positive effects to come out of it. You can’t always see this at the time, the dark veil that is pulled down over you at the times of your darkest moments prevents you from being able to see anything else. But once you can get your feet back on a ‘even keel’ it is worth taking a view at all the good positive aspects in your life, and always try to remember them…….so if you find yourself slipping again, hold on to all those positive thoughts and aspects of your life. Because even though we can’t see it at the time…….they are always going to be there.

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