STAND UP to depression.
Having any kind of mental health problem is an incredibly confusing, lonely and often desperate state of being.
When mine was at its peak I felt as if I was merely existing, while the rest of society (the monotonously happy bastards) were able to feel, touch, smile and even laugh.
It was inconceivable to me that anyone actually enjoyed deeply inhaling fresh air on a calm morning, filling their happy lungs with the joys of Spring.
My air wasn't 'breathed in'. It was wheezed . . and despite the oxygen, I still felt numb.
I became so twisted and turned upside down that any drive to better myself was replaced with a resentment towards the insufferably, sickeningly content.
Hardly surprising, when my morning consisted of rolling out of bed, crawling to the bathroom to stare at my withered face - still in its twenties yet resembling an abandoned chicken nugget - before heading downstairs to pour myself a large, steaming mug of self disgust.
It was OK, though; Loose Women would be on soon. Empty time-killing to avoid the realities outside.
This was how I felt, every day.
If you relate to any of this, I have this to say to you, my depressed friend;
even though it's an avalanche of textbook symptoms of serious depression, I clawed my way out.
And so can you.
I found that admitting I was struggling, firstly to my loved ones and then to my friends, lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and allowed me to breathe out - and in - and take stock of the situation.
With that support in place, I sought professional help.
Together we decided what would work for me, and began a course of action that I still continue to this day.
It will be hard. But the most important thing is to be proactive.
Depression will do it’s very best to flatten you, beat you, squash you to the ground and sit on you.
You need to stand up, face it, and start to find ways to beat it - or live with it in a way that works for you.
Through seeking treatment I’ve become more resilient and practical. I've found that by taking each day as it comes and living in the moment, I can find joy in the smallest of activities, whether it’s listening to music or having a coffee with friends.
I have decided to break down the big picture into a manageable jigsaw puzzle (Age 3+) and I'm putting it together exactly how I want.
If you've been affected by anything like this, or know someone who has, please don't keep quiet about it.
Please DO something. Please talk. Please seek help.
Please find that jigsaw, and start to put it together in a way that works for YOU.