When going through a Mental Illness such as Depression, it is easy to lose sight of the things we should feel proud of ourselves for. Even when people are at their lowest, they can still achieve something they never thought possible. I think most people with a Mental Illness would agree with that. I am proof of what can be achieved through the darkest of times.
Let’s see what I’m proud of myself for;
Being in love with somebody.
Working for a major high street bank.
Living on my own.
Dealing with my “issues”.
Coping and managing my episodes a lot better than ever.
Not drinking alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
The first thing on my list; “being in love with somebody” may not be a big thing for most people who will read this post but to me it is something I am immensely proud of. Even though we are no longer together, I would and will do anything for this person. I was with them for nine years of my life, until I was at the beginning stages of Depression. My Depression caused me to think, feel and say things that weren’t the case. Nevertheless it hurt my partner so much that she had to leave. At the time I didn’t know this was to be the kick up the arse I needed to get the help that I needed. I don’t resent her for leaving. I just wish I listened sooner to her, and then maybe, just maybe she’d be led next to me as I am typing this out. I hopeful that we will get back together as there is a lot between us, as you can imagine after being together for nine years of our lives. I just don’t see myself with anyone else and it would be a massive shame to lose what we have over me being ill.
The second thing on my list; “working for a high street Bank”.
Now I know people who work for banks aren’t the most popular of people right now, given the current economic climate we are in, but stay with me. I have worked for this Bank for five years. I worked for another Bank before this too. Am digging a massive hole for myself aren’t I? Stay with me. I am proud to say I work for a Bank because I was never really good at maths or anything number related in school. But that is a misconception of working for a Bank. All you need is a certain degree of common sense and application. Oh and you must have a very thick skin. I have enjoyed my time working for this Bank. It is laid back and I can have a good laugh with my team. I do admin support work for a call centre. I undertake a wide variety of tasks and although some can be boring, it’s a job at the end of the day. And in this day in age, is something to be very proud of.
The third thing on my list; “living on my own”. This is a massive thing for me. As I mentioned earlier I was with my ex partner for nine years and to suddenly be on my own was a huge shock and wake up call for me. I have been living on my own for nearly two months. I have never done it before and moved when I was at my lowest point. This is monumental for me as I’ve never been independent to this level before. I am washing, drying, cooking, cleaning and ironing. I had never ironed before in my whole life. But I have taught myself how to do it. It has given me something to focus on and it has helped me immensely in my war against Depression. I am thoroughly enjoying my independence and having to do stuff for myself. It’s given me fresh perspective on the role I played and now want to play in any future relationship I may have. That’s not to say I don’t miss my ex partner because I do but am glad I’ve sort of got myself on my own two feet.
The fourth thing on my list; “sorting my issues out”. This is quite possibly the biggest thing along with living on my own on the list. I have had issues right from being a young child when my parents split up. I have never talked about my problems in depth before. I have always been a closed book. I wouldn’t open up to anyone. However when my partner left, I knew I had to. As a result of me being more open about things, I have slowly realised that it is good to talk and not everyone will judge me for the experiences I have had in my life. Slowly, through this blog and Twitter, I am laying myself bare for all to see. I want to share my story to help others. Which brings me to my next point.
The fifth thing on my list; “helping others”. Now to some people, this is no big deal helping others. But to me it’s massive as I firmly believe in compassion and humility. Recently I helped a former Blackburn Rovers player seek help for his anxiety, depression and alcoholism. Slowly but surely he embraced the help I and others were offering. And now has taken the first step to recovery. I am so proud of him and myself for giving him the help he needed in his hour of need. Get well soon Ben! Keep fighting mate.
The last thing on my list; not smoking or drinking alcohol. Again, this may not seem a big deal to most people reading this. To me though this represents a lot about me. I have absolutely no interest in alcohol or cigarettes. This is mainly due to my Uncle being an alcoholic when he was alive. His death further fuelled my desire never to drink. Most of my friends consume alcohol and I completely respect their choices, though sometimes that same respect isn’t reciprocated. But I am proud I can say no to alcohol, as well as cigarettes. I find cigarettes repulsive and they make me feel sick. I hate them so much.
Other things I’m proud of include; doing better in my GCSE’s than expected and attaining my NVQ Level 2 in Business Admin. Most of all though, am proud to still be alive and well telling you my story and the world as I see it.
As you can imagine this post took a lot out of me to do. It’s hard to think at the best of times. But this is something to be proud of, typing up these things have given me renewed hope and optimism that I can win my fight against my black dog.
What are you proud of yourself? Think about it. Write about it. Share it with friends, loved ones, even strangers. It will make you feel better! Even if it’s just a short while. Keep adding to it as you find more things to add. And you will notice yourself feeling a lot more positive. You can do it!!