These past few weeks since I started blogging, I have talked with several people who are going through or been through some traumatic events, thanks to anxiety and depression.
I am grateful people shared their story as a direct result of my experience, also that they care enough about another person to reach out. I am truly humbled and grateful for their empathy that I hope I can, even in a small way, help others going through a rough time.
The stories have been harrowing. People who have attempted to end their lives, more than once, with one telling me in detail how they were going about it in an empty public place and what pulled them back was their dog. I hope no-one minds me blogging about this and of course our confidentiality is paramount, as is our mutual trust. I’ll never break that.
The thought of who would care for their dog when they were gone got their feet moving away and to get help for themselves. I can tell you that person is an inspiration to me for having the strength and courage not just to walk away but to recover to be the wonderful person they are, creating a happy life for themselves. If that person is reading this, I’m proud of you and well done. And also thanks for the inspiration.
A couple of others have surprised me by their candidness, as they are suffering but not sure what to do next. I can tell you that’s normal, that doubt in your head talking is the issue. Speak to someone, anyone you feel can help and don’t delay. Once you do, you have shared and you will be relieved to finally get it off your chest with another person who is there for you, can take a load from you. Then go see your doctor and start the path to getting well.
I am so fortunate in that Lady Mackay (see previous blog posts for reference) is my best friend and she knew instinctively that I needed help. I pushed her away a few times, hid the worst of it from her but she knew. When I did finally open up, I was a big soggy mess, a wreck. That’s the male script for you – don’t talk about feelings, don’t show weakness of any sort, get on with it, man up, give yourself a shake, stop feeling sorry for yourself. There are people worse off than you, all those starving folks in Africa, people with cancer, SORT YOURSELF OUT, you malingering waste of skin. And it’s all destructive bollocks.
Trust me, it doesn’t work as a coping strategy. You have to let it out, allow others in and get the help needed to get you well again. After two breakdowns, I know this to my cost.
I’m in the grip of a down day and there is little reason for it. In Oxford, I had a great coffee, got home to go for a lovely walk in the woods with Lady M & dogs, no reason for the low mood. I saw a blog from someone I recently befriended on social media, a lovely lady who blogged this today, It’s okay to not be ok and after reading, it helped me a lot. Just to say that I wasn’t good and be fine with that took the pressure off.
For those who are struggling, know you’re not alone and other people have been through this, are going through it. Ask for help and you’ll see the best in people.
Remember, be kind to yourself, always.