Where to begin with writing a blog about curing depression?
I figured, I’ll tell you my story. Maybe it will be similar to your situation, maybe it will help you believe that it is possible to remove this crazy condition from your life.
So, in the beginning . . . well I don’t know where the beginning was, I don’t believe it’s important anyway. All I know for sure is that I lived with the condition for maybe 25 to 30 years. It ruled my life and the way I lived for all that time.
Every now and again, I’d find the strength to go to the doctors and ask for help. I went through all the usual ‘cures’, medication, counselling, therapy. Nothing worked.
So, I carried on, stumbling from one self-made disaster to another. My family stayed with me for all of this, I don’t know how they did, but eventually they couldn’t take it anymore and on the 4th October 2014 my wife left.
The ultimate disaster, and of course, self-inflicted. Now I can really feel sorry for myself and really pile on the pain. Mmmm that was a hard sentence to write, but I think that’s how I felt at the time.
I didn’t know what was happening and I really didn’t know how to react, I didn’t see it coming and had no idea how to deal with the situation. My answer was to carry on as normal and think that my wife would come back in a few days, you can probably see where this is heading now.
I got through the day, watched football on TV, then went to bed. I’ve never been able to sleep properly during the illness, so took a sleeping pill and off to bed. Of course, I had no chance of sleeping, I lay there for an hour and decided to get back up. In the past, when insomnia was at its highest, I would have another sleeping pill with a small glass of wine, then back to bed again. Nope, not a chance of sleeping, back up again. By this time it’s probably 2 in the morning.
OK this is the crazy part. I’m thinking only people with depression will understand this. My family had left and there’s only me left, and even I didn’t want to live with me anymore. I hated who I was. I am a recovering alcoholic, but on this night, I drank whatever I could find to try and numb the pain, and as the alcohol kicked in I finished off the box of sleeping tablets. At this point I started texting people who I knew and apologised for the way I had behaved towards them, one of them was my sister and fortunately, she called for help.I was woken from the kitchen floor by a paramedic hammering on the door, they took me to hospital, checked me out and sent me home.
And then the miracle of people.
People are the most amazing thing, I know this now.
Some people had started to reply to my texts, one in particular, who I’ll call G.
G told me that he would call round and try and help me. He did, he’s like that, he always does what he says he will do.
He didn’t talk to me about depression, his first question to me was, do you see things in black and white? We talked for about two hours, he told me about how he had dealt with his own, very similar, situation and agreed to come back the next day and continue the conversation.
Already, I knew that G was making a lot of sense. When he returned on the Monday I made a point of writing down what we had talked about, it was important. In essence it was a different way of thinking about things. It was about having empathy ,not seeing things in black and white, having a positive mental attitude and putting things in there correct perspective by putting distance between yourself and the situation.
When I woke on the Tuesday morning, I experienced a very unusual feeling . . . happiness!
I knew that depression was gone and that I had the tools to deal with life in the proper way. Don’t ask me how, but I just knew.
Right now, its 10th April 2017, my wife came home on 4th March 2015 and I am free from depression.If possible, I would like to try and help other people beat depression. This blog is all about my conversations with G and the experience of dealing with life during recovery. I truly hope it will help at least one person, hopefully more. That being said, I’m not an author, just your average guy, so spelling and punctuation is not my biggest priority. Honesty and happiness are my priorities and, of course, people.
Where Did It Come From?
I often wondered where this crazy illness came from, it wasn’t until I had the cure that I realised.
During ‘The Cure’ I basically had to re-program my brain, I had to re-set it back to its original condition. This involved the way that I thought about situations and my expectations of what life would bring, basically removing my negative mental attitude and replacing it with a positive (or at least a realistic) mental attitude.
I think I got depression through experiencing the down side of life on a regular basis, from trying to deal with one hardship after another, until it felt like the norm, that life was just going to be really hard. I think this re-programmed my brain to expecting the worst, as this seemed to be what was always happening.
It makes sense to me to look at it like that and seems understandable and could explain why it can affect anyone, in any part of life.
Life was hard. I was an alcoholic and this truly trashed my life big style. It brought about a situation where I couldn’t get work, struggled to find a place to live and alienated most of my family and friends.
When I left school, I was lucky enough to find work as an apprentice electrician, what I didn’t realise was that this included being an apprentice drinker. I was really good at this, the electricians thought I was a great lad, always up for the laugh and ready to get stuck into a great night (or day) out. Having a drink opened me up, I wasn’t quite as shy, I loved the freedom and apparent popularity, it was a drug that I was totally hooked on. My life revolved around it, but as I moved through my apprenticeship, I earned more money and so had more money to drink with.
Without going into all the details, this resulted in me becoming unemployable, my life was totally out of control. I would wake up the day after drinking and not have a clue what had happened the night before, it soon became apparent that bad things had happened and that I had a large part to play in them. The downward spiral was in full swing and I had no-one to blame but myself.
And then salvation . . . a friend of mine, who was also an alcoholic, called to see me and brought a leaflet from Alcoholics Anonymous. He asked me to answer the questions in the leaflet honestly. I think there was around 30 questions and I answered them as honestly as I could. I think I ticked yes to around 24 of them. On the reverse of the leaflet it said ‘if you answer yes to ten or more you could be an alcoholic’.
OK, so this was a surprise. But, the more I looked into it, the more it made sense. I had no choice but to accept it, it was the truth.
So, that was good, really good. I had now removed the one thing that was controlling my life in a really bad way.
The trouble was, I was left with a shattered life. Friends had become ex friends, family had had enough of the trouble I had caused. I had become an electrician, but no employer would employ me.
It took me two years from that point to find some normality. It was a struggle most days, from money problems to housing and loneliness. And I believe this was the beginning of my depression.
A total of ten years of alcoholism and trying to deal with the aftermath had left me with a very negative outlook on my life and how my future would pan out.
I had been re-programmed to expect the worst, because that was the experience I had had, over and over again.
So this leads me nicely back to ‘The Cure’. I believe I have had to re-programme my brain from that part of my life. I now think I’m back to where I should have been all along. It accounted for around 30 years of my life, but it wasn’t that difficult to get back to where I should be. I think it was there all along and who I am now is the real me, I was just hidden away behind a curtain of depression. My hope is that you too can find the real you and experience the true happiness that life brings, its honestly not that difficult 😉
Life Is A Rollercoaster
(When To Begin)
My life was a full on rollercoaster, one day I would be seriously down, unable to even speak most of the time, then I’d go through a gradual recovery period, maybe for a couple of days, and finally reach some form of normality. This would last for a day or two, or until something happened to give me a high, or I dealt with a situation badly and this would signal the beginning of a decent back down to the depths again. And repeat . . . for x amount of years.
I would recommend you try this process when you are feeling as normal as possible. For me, at this time my mind was open, I could be honest with myself. I felt I could treat the information correctly. All you have to do is be honest with yourself. If you know that you have this illness, and you want to get rid of it, hopefully you’ll find it easy to be honest to yourself. Take a simple question like ‘do you see things in black and white? For me that was easy, if I decided something was bad, that was it, no further discussion required, it was bad, forever, end of. This applied when I was in what I called a normal place, or even when on a high, it was black and white and that was that.
When I went through my recovery, G said to me, there is no black and white, only a million shades of grey, he then went on to give examples and, because of my ‘normal’ state of mind, I was able to accept what he was saying and see the sense in it. I do feel this is probably the most important bit of the whole process. I had to be in a mental position to accept and work with, the information I was being given. I would suggest you do the same, I think that at this ‘normal’ state your mind is ready to be given and accept this new way of looking at everything. And, putting it into practice.