Mental health awareness week is upon us, and although there is so much information already available about mental health, there is still a lack of understanding of what it constitutes and entails. I have a mental health issue, I’m a severe depressive, and have been for as long as I can remember. Depression is oft a word on the lips of people “I’m so depressed today” is a phrase so frequently repeated, yet little is understood about the true meaning of the words. Today was one of my harder days in terms of my depression, and because it is mental health awareness week, I would like to share with view just how difficult my day today was.
It was a normal day to begin with in all honesty, It was a work day, so I knew what lay ahead as I went to bed last night. Upon waking up however, the day took an altogether more complicated and nerve wrecking turn. I woke up full of despair and crippling fear, fear of having to interact with people, fear of having to go out into the real world, when all I wanted to do was to hide under a blanket somewhere, hidden from sight.
That was an impossibility considering I had to go to work today, and I knew it. This morning I saw the looks of love and admiration in my children’s eyes, I saw the esteem in which they hold me in, and found myself undeserving. My children see me as a hero, through their eyes I am the greatest man that ever lived, in my own eyes however, the view is somewhat different. When I look upon myself in the mirror I see nothing, less than nothing, a pitiful excuse for a life who lacks ambition and even control of his own emotions, unworthy of the love of my children.
It was with this mindset that I woke up this morning, I could barely even bring myself to raise a voice beyond barely a whisper. The entire morning was spent with me in a constant state of trepidation and fear, fear of doing such a mundane task as going to work, for again I knew that others would wish to converse with me, and that today simply could not be.
As the clock ticked by, and the seconds turned into minutes, and the minutes turned into hours, the moment wherein I would have to go to work drew nearer. All the time I hoped that I would somehow be able to avoid going to work today, my hope however, was in vain. As I arrived at work, just outside the building, my hand began to shake uncontrollably. So affected was I by my own fear of having to interact with people, that it began to show rather physically.
If this was not bad enough, then came the thoughts that lead to some form of escapism. My mind gave me three options, to either call in sick, though this was not feasible, to go in and soldier through the day, but turn my mind to any vain and foolish thought to distract myself from the task at hand, and finally, kill myself (though this again was not feasible for the sheer pain it would cause my children).
I decided to go for the second option, and it did not work, at all. I spent the entire day at work trying to keep my interactions with people at a bare minimum, choosing to lose myself within the task to ensure the day passed by quickly. I was also having to deal with the fact that my hand kept continually shaking, I knew I looked terrified, and several of the senior managers noticed as well.
As the hours whittled by, and the end of my working day approached, thoughts immediately turned to getting home safely and quickly. I raced towards the bus stop and headed home in quick time. Upon arriving at home, again I was filled with thoughts of both unworthiness and honestly wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I know that my condition leads me to such emotions and such extremes, yet I still blamed myself for being defective and being abnormal in my own mind. Tonight I head to bed with thoughts turned to contemplation of my unworthiness and with no hope that tomorrow will be any better.
This here, is just ONE day, a mundane day with no moments that would spark such reactions as the ones I suffered today. This is just ONE day with depression, and this is not even my worst day, I’ve had days far, far worse, wherein suicide felt like the only option, and yet this singular day, was such torment for me, that it left me suffering both mentally and physically.
My hope with this article is to be able to raise awareness for mental health conditions and issues, so that people can see, just how difficult it can be to live with a mental health condition. Today more people than ever are suffering with mental health problems, please raise awareness as much as you can, so that as a society we can become more aware of these issues and have more understanding of those that suffer under the effects of their mental health.
Until next time,