My Journey through depression men’s health it’s ok not to be ok! 1 year on.

So yesterday marked one year since my full mental breakdown.

What a year it has been from the major low, self harming times to the major highs spending time with loved ones and caring for my own wellbeing.

To help me start this year off better than last I have given up alcohol for the month and one week in a feel marvellous, more energy, clearer mind and absolutely no stress at all. The way forward for me I think apart from the few special outings of course.

On reflection it had been a bad year but also a good year, I managed to survive, to pull through what is a horrendous illness, what is hidden from everyone apart from yourself and I am so so glad I had the strength to seek help straight away, without the support I had I truly believe I would not be here today.

But look a year on doing well for myself, love my job, my family, myself which is the key to well everything, if you don’t love yourself you can’t love others. Remind yourself you are special, unique and always loved by somebody.

If you are struggling in anyway no matter where you are in the world there are helpline, groups and family there to support you.

Have the strength to seek help and then have even more strength to push through, it is not easy but it is truly worth it and you will find during recover you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and before long you are through it and a not necessarily “new you but what I believe is an “improved” you.

Remember its OK not so be ok!

Take care people.

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My Journey through depression men’s health it’s ok not to be ok! Nearly a year on.

Today is new years eve and at this point last year I silently started to break down, realising i was not ok but tried to brush it off.

As I am using today to reflect on my journey over the last year I can say I have been there, I have done that and I have almost come through it, yes I am “ok” but not fully recovered as I still have my moments but I try my best to keep going and overcome my situations as quickly and pain free as possible, which most of the time I need the support of my amazing wife.

From my lowest point in February to my highest most thoughtful and mental health free day in Ireland in October I wanted to reflect further and it took me time to realist what I needed to do, get my first tattoo, now this is something i would jot normally consider but my best day of the year was a trip to the Jamesons factory in Dublin where the motto of the Jamesons is Sine Metu which means without fear. This went deep inside and touched a point of my depression that felt amazing to me and so I decided to get it tattoed on my wrist to remind myself of the best day in my darkest year and to go forward without fear. Yes easily said than done but it does help me push through my fears.

We bought sorry that is the wrong word, we now have a puppy well a 1 year old malshi who helped me massively over the darkest time and kept me going when I was home along. Now he is just amazing and we could not be without him.

I must say I am far better than expected at 9pm on new years eve and really enjoyed my evening so far, onwards and upwards for me for 2019 got a lot to look forward too, my best mates stag do, my best mates wedding, more time with my wife and dog (Barney), more time with my family, a job I love and is totally stress free What more can I ask for after 2018?

Now it’s family time and I hope everyone enjoys their new years eve and celebrates another year that they are here, that they are close to their loved ones and can truly say they lived another year.

Just remember it’s ok not to be ok as long as you talk to someone. Happy New year everyone and best wishes for 2019.

My Journey to freedom

It has been one tough year, from a totally mental breakdown (Which I was open and honest about), self harming, suicidal thoughts (Which at the time I did not realise that it was actually that bad or serious) to a slow recovery with massive ups and downs. In the early stages of my recovery I decided to sign up for the hike dawn to dusk, a twelve hour epic hike for the charity #mind who have supported me to recovery and support all mental health problems. Have I doubted my ability to do it, more than you can imagine and not just physically but mentally too.

Over the coming months I went to one to one therapy which dramatically improved my wellbeing, without that I truly believe I would still be suffering, that and my focus about my charity hike spurred me on to keep going, I even picked up a song that inspired me during my training, David guetta and Sia’s “Just keep moving” if you listen closely to the words you will understand why it inspired me.

For a good week before the hike I have had mixed emotions about the hike and why I was doing it, I fully knew I would find the anticipation tough but not as tough as I thought. On registration I was not feeling good at all and decided I would stay in the local hotel rather than the YHA and as soon as I made that decision my mood started to lift.

That evening i had to keep reminding myself why I am doing this hike, why I decided to book it in my low momentsand why it was so so important I started the hike alone finish it.

On the morning of the hike it was dark, cold and wet and when I entered the tent to see others having breakfast I joined in and felt ready to go, ready to achieve my goal I set some month ago.

I had a good chat with some lovely people on the hike, have a chat really helped me at the start and then I was fine for a while, I decided to focus on me for the majority of the hike and connected my earphones and listened to inspirational songs, motivation songs, some cheesy pop which helped me out however I did still speak to people as and when was required.

Half way through my charity hike and I’m feeling a little low due to the emotions and thoughts coming back to me. These thoughts are not my original that caused depression but the thought going through it and how hard it truly was to get better, to focus on this hike as a long term goal.

I must say at the end of the hike seeing all those people who were clearly struggling physically but continuing in aid of someone they know, maybe themselves was truly inspiring. It made me realise how my physical fitness was so ready for the Hike and even more so my mental health was, and throughout the day when I had a few dips were my reflection moments and I’m pleased to say they past smoothly and at the finish line I felt an accomplishment like no other, not that I completed the hike but I SURVIVED!!!!!

Am I “cured” if you want to use that word or a better word is “recovered” well the answer is NO, so will I ever be me again; well actually who was I, what type of person was I when hiding my emotions, thoughts for all those years, did it effect me in some way? Am I myself again, once again I know the answer is NO, I truly believe I am a better person for what I and my family have been through.

As this is my last blog for “my journey” I wanted to say thank you to so many people and organisations who helped me without My judgement,

My doctor who saw my original state before anyone else and helped me straight away,

My family who did not judge me, did not care why I was off work but just so so supportive to seeing me get better.

The Samaritans who got me through my darkest moments.

The NHS and all the staff who put their feeling, emotions aside and focused on me.

Mind Charity who helped with there sole focus of mental health.

Most of all my wife Julia, for being so understanding my actions without truly knowing why I did what I did, everyday being there for me no matter what, no hesitation, no questions asked, no judgement just pure love.

It can’t be easy for your sole mate to see you at your absolute worst and this not only broke my heart but it inspired me to fight, not just for myself but for my family.

I knew I could beat this with my support but 90% + of the fight has to come from yourself, My advice to anyone out there on the brink of mental health issues just stop what you are doing and evaluation your life, why you drink every night, why you don’t want to go to work, why you feel angry, frustrated, sad. It can take time but do it I can see now my actions, My ambitions and stature was a mask and not truly me, what I wanted. Money is nothing, a good job is nothing possessions are nothing if you are lost, please remember this and don’t make the mistakes I made thinking I am a strong person when deep down I knew I was not and now I am not ashamed to admit it.

Please if anyone who reads this just understand one thing just one, YOUR LIFE IS WORTH MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE, cherish it and enjoy every moment to the fullest.

I leave you now with my most inspiration phrase I have ever come across (and I have come across many)

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”

And let me tell you all I have won! 🥇

Daniel.

Men’s health it’s ok not to be ok!

Monday 9th July.

Well I have been writing my blog as normal but it has stopped working on WordPress so I am looking for an alternative website to write my blog.

Basically I have had a really good few days apart from yesterday about 4pm I started dipping, negative thoughts, negative outlook, negative feelings, short tempered and any at nothing but just angry. Went to bed Julia and Barney were fast asleep and I was awake for quiet some time and even cried for the way I was feeling, my mind racing with what it’s. I’ve not had it this bad for a number of weeks so it was a shock for me and I struggled to express it to Julia.

I am extremely unsure this morning about my volunteering and I keep thinking in my head various ways to not go and make some silly excuse to everyone and tell a white lie but also on the flip side I am really fighting myself to go and I think I will win and go and hopefully it will make me feel better. But I have an hour till I have to go so I just need to keep focused on some positive and try to not block but move my negative thoughts onwards.

Managed to get to the volunteering but took alot of effort and I just cracked on today but did not feel right at all, when we finished I left and on the way home was thinking did I achieve anything and the way I feel right now is no I don’t think I have, i just feel like I need sleep and lots of it, feel very tired.

Yes fell asleep for and hour and now awake but a bit dazed, was not sure of the time or day but as I come round more I am feeling better, a bit more positive and calm.

Julia is home now and I feel much better, glad I’m on the up again being that low is just awful but I fought back and got through it.

Now let’s try to get this blog back up and running on my new site. Hope it works.

My Journey through depression men’s health it’s ok not to be ok!

My Journey through depression men’s health it’s ok not to be ok!