For the majority of the population its easy to climb a hill, metaphorically speaking that is, but for those of us who do suffer from any mental illness, then those little hills become mountains, and I don’t mean just one little mountain standing out there on its own, but a whole range of them. You have to decide, when you can make decisions, which one you are going to tackle first, which is the most important one, and you then have to ask yourself is it going to be worth it, or is there any point?
Lack of any motivation or inspiration, means the task of climbing these mountains is nigh on impossible. I think it’s only fair to say the majority have instances where there is a lack of motivation to do something, like mowing the lawn or doing the ironing, going shopping and so on. With depression however the list is far more extensive and complicated…….I say complicated, because for those of you out there who have no idea what depression is like then it would be hard for you to understand that the simple tasks of daily life become irrelevant and pointless, having a shower, making yourself something to eat or drink, getting dressed, brushing your teeth, combing your hair.
It’s very easy for anyone, especially non believers to say, ”pull yourself together” or ”there are people out there far worse off than you” and even ”we all have our off days, why should you be any different or worse than me?” . These are just a couple of the comments I have aimed at me over the years, by people who have a simple lack of understanding about the true nature of how depression feels. When I was very close to suicide on more than one occasion in the past I was asked by someone, why did I want to kill myself? The truth of the matter is I didn’t want to kill myself, I just wanted the misery and how it affected me to come to an end.
I have often replied to people who if I thought myself or any fellow sufferers had a choice don’t you think we would do something about it. When the chemicals in your brain are affected so dramatically, you can’t think straight, you certainly can not think positively, it’s not because you don’t want to, it’s because your unable to.
For a couple of years now I have started to develop a little understanding about myself and the triggers that start my bouts of depression off, this does not mean to say I know all about what causes the depression and therefore how to avoid those situations that do trigger those bouts, but I am learning to realise that I should try to avoid as best as possible or even minimise certain areas of my life. Its a fact that certain instances in your life just can not be avoided, family and health matters, theirs and ones own health. I have realised that stress is one of if not the biggest factor that is a trigger to my depression, but it’s extremely difficult not to avoid certain amounts of stress in my life, in fact it is nigh on impossible.
At he end of last year I made the decision to take my redundancy a few months earlier than intended, several factors about the job and the stress I had constantly been under for those last three years before loosing my job, had made me make that decision. Whilst going through a bad spell last November and December with my physical as well as my mental health, I had to make a decision that would affect not just my immediate future, but also my long-term future.
At the time, and up until now I was ashamed to admit that for the last few months I was there I was being verbally bullied by a couple of ex work colleagues in my dept , whose talent for extreme sarcasm and hurtful and spiteful remarks where just the normal for their every day behaviour and didn’t realise or stop to think their behaviour was unacceptable, and as ever in my belief it was their way of coping with their own forthcoming redundancies, I let it go and chose not to pursue the matter by my taking it down official channels, as I was advised by some to do. My only real instinct was to just survive and to get out of there as soon as I could. I had a couple of options, firstly go on long term sick leave with the stress anxiety and depression and to not have to go back there and just wait a few more months until my official date in May/June to leave. Financially I would have been better off with a little bit more service pay, however this seemed to me an option that could cause problems finding a new job having been off long term for stress etc, after all what new prospective employer would want a weak link in the chain! My other option was to get out whilst I could,knowing I would lose the extra financial monthly income and extra financial security for another few months.
I do believe that had I pursued the bullying complaint through the official channels, the extra stress alone would have had a more negative impact on my health both physically and mentally, and at the end of the day I just didn’t want to be bothered in bringing other people down, that is just not in my nature, as wrong as they were to treat me in this way. I had no intention of ruining their futures, having said that I do believe in Karma! Leaving there when I did is one decision that I made that I have never had reason to regret.
Needless to say had I have gone down that road and made the official complaint, it would have dragged me down even further as well as having to get statements from and involving other work colleagues, managers and team leaders who have been for a long time and still are good friends.
So I made the decision to lessen the stress, leave then, and build myself back up again. Having self doubts about my ability to adapt to a new job, work environment and new work colleagues and having a high level of lack of self-confidence, didn’t help matters in my recovery. Fortunately I was and still am on a high dose of medication, and despite discussing with my GP in March that I felt I was ready to start reducing my medication with the intention of eventually coming off it, I am glad I took on board the wisdom of what my GP had to say at the time. Because all though leaving that environment behind and finding a new job and fitting into it and enjoying it, having had my first proper holiday in over a decade, and being inspired and passionate with my photography, the long terms effects of the stress I had been enduring doesn’t just come to and end at the click of a finger. There are long-term effects, and although my life has had a lot of positives happening to me these past few months, there is always at the back of my mind the thoughts that eat away there knowing sometimes something can and will go wrong. I still get very anxious, although on the outside many wouldn’t realise that. I recent weeks I have been going through a bit of low mood, and I know that I am not out of the woods just yet, but I have an incredible friend who understands how I feel and have been feeling these past few weeks, and as well as the medication this has all helped in a big way to get me back up there.
We are after all both climbing our own mountains, and we still have many more to climb!
We all have our own mountains to climb
Many thanks for stopping by.