It was actually on the way to a counselling session that I had the realisation of how serious things were. As I said earlier, earphones were in so that I wouldn’t be disturbed or have to speak to anyone. I was crossing over a road, not really paying attention when I heard a car horn sound. A car was coming straight toward me, it swerved, I jumped back, we exchanged passing obscenities It was actually on the way to a counselling session that I had the realisation of how serious things were. As I said earlier, earphones were in so that I wouldn’t be disturbed or have to speak to anyone. I was crossing over a road, not really paying attention when I heard a car horn sound. A car was coming straight toward me, it swerved, I jumped back, we exchanged passing obscenities and then carried on our separate ways. As I started to calm down I thought to myself, “that was close”! The voice in my head didn’t stop there though, “you could’ve been run over”. The commentary continued, “could’ve broken your leg, broken pelvis, fractured skull, knocked unconscious, ended up in a coma, even died”.
I’d gone from”that was close” to “could’ve died” in seconds! That wasn’t the worst part though, the next sentence that went through my mind was, “but that’ll be ok, cause all this shit will be over”.That’s when I realised that I really was far from ok, that I really needed help and that I was gonna have to come clean about my true thoughts and feelings!
Try to imagine how you'd feel after uttering those words to yourself? You'd rather be dead than be alive.
Having to tell the people closest to you that you've had thoughts about wishing you were dead isn't pleasant but necessary on the road to recovery. First getting real with yourself, then accepting the situation followed with the action of communicating. It's that lack of communication that causes so many problems, not just around mental health but in life full stop. This is something I didn't do straight away which would be to the detriment of not just myself but those around me as well. I was too ashamed and embarrassed to confess, again for fear of judgement. The thing I've figured with judging others is that we judge others harshly usually because we are so hard on ourselves. Think about it?
The way we speak to ourselves we usually wouldn't dream of speaking to someone else that way. Yet we do this regularly for the tiniest of mistakes or errors in judgement. By accepting ourselves we open up the possibility of accepting others for who they are and not as we would wish them to be.
That lack of communication from myself led to anger and frustration of other people. They were doing their best in trying to support me and give advice but without the true knowledge of my state of mind it either fell on deaf ears or really pissed me off!
“They just don't get it”, I'd say to myself as they'd offer suggestions such as, “you just need to get back to work”, or
“Get a new job”
“It'll blow over”
“Keep yourself busy”
“What you need to do is” (fill in the blank)!
The one that sent me reeling from though was on my way to pick my daughter up from school after someone asked me how I was.
I replied that I was “suffering with depression“.
Their reply was “what've you got to be depressed about”?
Talk about a kick in the bollocks! I'd been brave enough to be honest about my current situation but that kind of reply is what stops people, particularly men from talking about their feelings. A response based on what that person thinks your life is like compared to their own. I felt unworthy, ashamed, embarrassed and silly for feeling depressed. It confirmed every thought I was already having about myself. I didn't hang around to chat and those feelings of anxiety came flooding back. I wanted to run home and hide again but had to pick my daughter up so I kept my head down to avoid any more conversations, get my daughter and get home as soon as possible. Those 10-15 minutes were absolutely awful! So many emotions and thoughts swirling around in my head. Trying not to cry, trying not to make eye contact, trying not to panic while pretending to be ok yet feeling desperate to get home and get back under the covers to my safe place all while trying to concentrate on having a conversation with my daughter about her day and not to alert her to the state her daddy was in. We got home and I retreated, back under the covers until the kids were in bed, again feeling useless, inadequate and ashamed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day I thought.