Moose today

Here is a photo of me today. I dont even recognise the person in the photo.

I’ve got myself some contact lenses again as I hate my glasses and lenses give me more confidence about my appearance but i look fucked, drained, tired.

Form an orderly queue single ladies

From today I’m going to (try) treat myself better, be kinder to myself and focus on the good qualities I have, and there are more good than bad!

I’ve had the best nights sleep I’ve had in weeks and this time next week I will be on the plane to Majorca.

I met up with an old friend last night and thats really perked me up too. I am a people person and love the company of others. I feed off people so I need to make more effort in that sense.

I want to write more again, express myself without worrying about who reads it. Time to be selfish again for my own sake.

Lessons from the past

I am glad I never deleted this site and the near 500 posts on it. It has given me the chance to relive events from the past with a completely new perspective almost like it wasn’t me struggling with depression, suicidal, suffering and barely functioning. I have been able to look back at posts written in my darkest days and feel proud of myself for making myself write and share my battles with the world.

I dont see that person in me anymore. Thats not to say he isnt lurking underneath the surface or that I’m fully free from the black clouds that depression can bring. Its just that these days I am more aware of how much of a difference me controlling it can make as opposed to it controlling me.

The greatest gift I gave myself through blogging was the ability to re-read my posts. When I write its not prepared, edited or planned, an urge takes over me and I just go with it. The emotion, the rawness, the thoughts were all how I was feeling at that precise moment and that made me educated when it comes to recognising triggers and red flags.

I have been antidepressant free for the best part of 4 years, in fact in that time I have only taken them for a month as a precautionary measure when I caught myself sinking fast. After all prevention is better than cure as the saying goes.

I have triggers and symptoms that do rear their ugly heads but because of a greater knowledge and understanding I can usually get on top of them well before they can start a spiral.

I have spoken in the past about being a pessimistic/negative person by nature, thats a symptom of one too many kicks when I am down throughout life, but these days I am working a lot harder on optimistic believes and a more positive, happier approach to life.

You see things happen for a reason dont they? People come and go from your life for a reason and you have no control as to who stays or goes, destiny deals with when things happen and all you can do is follow your path and take the rough with the smooth.

Lessons can be hard, painful and destructive but I honestly believe that we can grow from them if we give ourselves time to heal properly.

I have been through hell the past 6 months but I made it through, the person I was 5 years ago wouldnt have been strong enough. Did it hurt me? Yes very much but ironically the person who hurt me pulled me out of depression in the first place. She helped me, made me stronger mentally and because of her I can work full time again. Sad because its over? Yeah I WAS, thankful it happened? Absolutely.

And life moves on, people move on and the next chapter starts.

I have bad moments, like everyone else but because I have been down that slope Im very well equipped to stop it happening again.

And the lesson I hope to teach you from this? Find an outlet, do what you love, explore your hidden talents because you just never know when they could be a game changer in your life!

The New Old Garry

As written before the old Garry is back and 2 weeks later still going on strong. Not a single depressive thought or negative feeling in all that time either although obviously alongside the old me is an improved version.

With all the old traits of sarcasm, confidence, and a yearning to go be out socialising comes the sensitivity to other people’s feelings and wanting to help out where I can, especially when it comes to depression and mental health.

At the same time though no longer will I be a party to game playing and mind games. I am a nice guy despite my recent failings and will never again allow myself to believe that I do not deserve better than what life throws at me, time has come for me to go out and look for opportunities rather than waiting for them to appear.

As far as socialising goes okay I will admit I haven’t been out yet for a drink or 12 but thats because I have no friends in the real world to go out with. However, only having online friends is not as much as a handicap as I led myself to believe in the past. A few of them are still local to me and eventually they will take the hint and invite me out for a cup of tea at the very least! oh and pay for it cos moose is poor don’t forget. Hell I don’t even need alcohol to go out and make a prat out myself I can do that just as well with the bubbles from the pepsi in the pub 😀

A friend is a friend no matter where in the world they are.

So what tips can I give to people on how to cope with the black dog of depression?

Here are my 3 top tips

First thing to do is learn not to be so hard on yourself. This has been my biggest issue because every little mistake I made I allowed to fester away at me and increase the feeling of being a failure. Admit the mistake, apologise if anyone was caught in the crossfire and move onward and upwards. If you keep saying sorry you will only end up making it worse in your own mind.

Show me someone who thinks they have never made a mistake and I will show you a liar…

Get active is number 2! I have seen a massive increase in my recovery since hitting the gym, or even just getting outdoors for a little while. Fight through the pain if needed for the first few sessions and soon it will become part of your routine. I feel in better shape than I have for a long time and although that shape is more circle than anything else the results are there to see!

Make plans – It has always helped me to have something to look forward to, even if its just simply a friend coming over for a cuppa and a chat, it may not be a proven scientific fact but gossip helps 😀

Naturally it is all easier said than done but each of the 3 above have been major reasons as to my current state of mental health. That’s not to say they will work for you as everyone is different BUT if you haven’t tried some of them then give it a go, you have nothing to lose by trying something new.

To keep myself going through the last 2 weeks I am keeping myself  busy by staying on top of the housework and getting out at least once a day. The treadmill is slowly being tamed and after an hour on there yesterday I even attacked the rowing machine. Here is a tip for you though when using the treadmill – dont hit the fucking emergency stop button half way through your workout because you lose the stats and have to start again. Some dopey bastard did that TWICE yesterday!

Speaking of something to look forward to… Now I just need to save up £28 to book my place in next years 10k run……

If the black dog comes near you today make sure you growl first and watch it run off tail between its legs…