A year can seem to go so quick, it was 365 days ago I did what a few called me brave for doing by putting into words a brief synopsis of my struggles with mental health.
In that post I detailed roughly my experience, staring with a tattoo. Back then I had just one, now I have three. My first was all about my personal struggles and a message to myself.
“The best way out is through” written below a heart beat. It’s a personal reminder that there’s better things to come. I won’t go into the full detail because I’m still not ready to, but that was the first big step in overcoming my own personal fear of my mental health that helped me move forward with my life.
See, I often felt judged, I felt ashamed and I felt embarrassed. I felt like I was letting people down and I felt as though I was useless, all because I was raised rather privileged and I was still unhappy. I felt as though I deserved to be happy and felt ungrateful that I wasn’t.
To this day, the only person that has ever made me feel the way I have detailed above is myself. Nobody has ever judged me, or done anything of the above in a genuine way. There has been on occasion (that even preceded my last post on this) where somebody would use it against me to gain advantage in an argument, but despite that, nobody has ever meant it in a way to destroy myself. I meant it in a way to destroy myself.
Depression, anxiety or whatever any person suffers from hits us in different ways. For me, the depression was bearable, I was used to being not quite happy for years. Once the anxiety started I was paralysed, and I still am.
Anxiety for me is the one that stops me from fulfilling my dreams, it’s the one I’m desperate to cure but the one I’m aware I can’t. While this last year I haven’t needed my therapist, I’ve controlled my emotions better and I’ve controlled any influences such as alcohol, I’m still scared of having a panic attack as I always will be. Before I posted the post last year, having panic attacks in public was common for me. Since posting, I can count the amount I’ve had on one hand. But that doesn’t mean I’m fine.
I would love to be writing this post detailing how in 365 days I overcame everything and now I’m happy. I’m not, I’ve got better at dealing with it, better at treating it, but worst of all, I’ve got better at pretending I’m okay.
I have my moments where I let it show, those are the moments that I think about for weeks after. I’m aware I’m not the most masculine of men, but for me showing that moment of weakness embarrasses me and I hate to show it. I’d love to say I hate to show it because I don’t want to negatively impact your day, I hate it because I hate to admit I need help.
In the last year I’ve had extreme highs and extreme lows. I’ve laughed till I’ve cried and I’ve cried until I’ve laughed. I’ve slept well and I’ve not slept, I’ve basically spent the last year on a roller coaster of emotion.
I travelled to Canada in December and had the best time of my life. I met wonderful people, saw the beautiful city of Toronto, was left speechless by Niagara Falls and saw as much hockey as I could see in a 10 day span.
I’ve also had a visa accepted to move there for two years. I’ve got opportunities ahead that should mean I smile for at least a year straight.
But I won’t, whilst writing this I’m content, I’m not upset and I’m not happy. I’m right in the sweet spot. Tomorrow I might be over the moon, or I might be staying inside all day avoiding everyone and everything and pretending I’m okay. Who knows.
All I know is that my issues with mental health will never leave me alone, I just have to face it head on and not pretend anymore.
My mind is broken at times but it doesn’t stop me from living life as full as I possibly can. If I let me mind control me, then I lose.
And I’m too competitive to lose.