This is me at work, a place with green open spaces, beautiful gardens, lakes, woodland walks… all good for de-stressing and positive mental health.
The thing is that I suffer from depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, even in green open spaces. I guess they have always been with me and may have a root cause: I can’t see my own face. I understand I must trust that this is the same for everyone else too but it doesn’t help me to feel less lonely and insecure. I usually try to ignore this and get on with my life, not be too introspective and deal with my mistrust of mirrors. Not many people close to me know about this existential crisis and I don’t know if anyone understands how it affects me.
Much like I don’t know if anyone really understands my depression and esteem issues. A few years ago, the rate of change in my life and relationships became too much to bear and I started to feel low moods, couldn’t sleep, I was haunted by hearing banal pop music in my head if I woke during the night and it wouldn’t stop. Things started to spiral out of control at home and work, I cried during important meetings and couldn’t see an end. Colleagues at work began to work from home because they couldn’t work around me due to my deepening mental instability. Things were getting bad.
I went to see my GP, armed with a pre-prepared written script. I was diagnosed with depression, prescribed medication and also referred to the local NHS Wellbeing service. I can’t speak highly enough of that experience and after 20 CBT appointments I was armed with the tools to deal with crises as they arise. It was certainly worthwhile but I have to admit now that I lied occasionally when completing my weekly report sheet: there were times when I DID feel as if life wasn’t worth living and perhaps things would be better for everyone if I just checked out. I still feel like that now from time to time but, fortunately I’m still here.
A big issue for me is connecting with people and my environment. Cause and effect. This is how I know something is tangible. So long as I am connected with someone or something and I can see there is a response then all is well. Running connects me, I can certainly feel the response from my muscles and I love data so my phone and laptop are close friends!
Anyway, I will be keeping a diary for the month, May is a time to begin rebuilding again and also for getting a medal… I’m the only one in our house without one!