I apologize for not blogging for a while. To be honest I’ve not felt great in myself of late. If you’ve had any experience of the symptoms of depression, you’ll understand. For those who haven’t I’ll attempt to explain. In the last few weeks- for whatever reason, as it’s tightened it’s grip on me, I’ve felt an unbearable sadness and hopelessness, so much so that I’ve found it hard to concentrate on anything else. I’ve not wanted to face anyone or anything, and that even goes for my immediate family. I’m ashamed to say I’ve not been seeing very much of the day- going to bed ridiculously early and getting up as late as possible. Spending as much time in my bedroom as I can get away with. If I lived on my own I doubt I’d get up at all when feeling this way, but this would only result in worrying my mother and so it’s not an option.
Am I Enough? It pains me that I’m still asking myself that question. Imagine how exhausting life can be, as you continue to self-doubt every given situation. It’s like I can never truly relax. Even around my closest friends, I find myself wondering if my company is good enough. I plan topics of conversation to keep them interested! I mean for Gods sake, these are supposed to be my friends, how sad and pathetic can I get! Feeling like an inconvenience and a huge burden is horrible and I sympathize with anyone like me. You can soon start to believe you have nothing to offer, no purpose in life and no reason to exist. Of course this is not true, it is in fact just the illness talking.
Regular visitors to my blog will know I’ve come up with many solutions/ coping strategies for living with depression. What the last fortnight has reminded me is that depression is a debilitating illness and even with the best will in the world it’s extremely difficult to prepare yourself for the emotional roller-coaster that comes. My anxiety issues and depression seem to always go hand in hand. The more anxious I get, the less I’m able to achieve on my own and the more isolated I become, which leads to me having more depressive thoughts. In a previous post I talk about how difficult I find it going out in the six week summer holidays. Normally when the kids are back at school, I gradually start to find my feet again. It’s a tedious and frustrating process, but one that I’m used to, as I endure it every year. Unfortunately this year there’s been a couple of reported assaults in my local area, including a stabbing. Worst still, this happened right in the middle of my usual short walk route. As you can imagine I am completely unnerved by this and I now find myself terrified to leave the house again! It took me ages to convince myself that this was a safe area to walk and now I’m questioning if there are indeed any safe areas at all.
It’s not all been doom and gloom. I’ve enjoyed doing some gardening work for a disabled gentleman. Through no fault of his own, the area has been neglected for several years and to get it looking remotely like a garden again has proved a mammoth challenge for my friend and I. But it’s been great to have something else to focus on for a while. Plenty of physical labor and fresh air has been hugely beneficial. It’s amazing how one selfless deed for a complete stranger, can make you feel useful and necessary for once. I’ve always had this excessive urge to help others and feel needed (It’s arguably one of the reasons I’ve created this blog). Undoubtedly this is to do with my lack of self-esteem and brings me right back to the original question of Am I Enough? It might simply be down to me being a nice guy! either way it’s got me out of the house and given me a purpose when I needed it the most, so perhaps it’s best just to leave it at that.
When I’m feeling down it’s so important to have something to look forward to, a light at the end of the tunnel- you might say! I honestly don’t know how I’d cope without my table tennis. It’s great to have something I know I’m reasonably good at, in an environment where you don’t feel totally out of place. The truth is, it’s the only place I feel like I truly belong. I’ve started to play more regular in the league and I’ve even played in a few local tournaments. Being successful at something is always going to be good for your self-esteem but as well as this, in table tennis I have a great form of escape. It’s almost like stepping into an alternative reality, a world where I’m completely comfortable and have confidence in my own abilities. It’s a great drug for me- much more effective than any anti depressants!
The majority of people who know me through table tennis would be shocked if they learnt about my anxiety issues and that leaving the house on my own can turn into such a big ordeal. How can there be such a transformation in me? I wish I knew. All I know is that some people with depression don’t have such an escape.
I know that today’s post hasn’t been the most constructive. On honest reflection it’s impossible to be positive all the time. For fellow sufferers, one piece of advice I can give is to make the most of your good days, and do whatever it is that you love to do. I will try to write more regular again but I can’t promise anything. I hope people appreciate that this will be completely dependent on my own mental health.