My story and where the positive mindset began
I was plodding along quite nicely in life. Then things happened that shook me to the core.
A long-term relationship ended (by him, which was a bit of a shock… though not a shock at the same time. Surreal!)
There were 2 bereavements in quick succession … 1 expected, 1 completely not.
My work wasn’t ‘working’ for me… by that I mean that I didn’t enjoy going to work anymore and I began to get anxious about it all. Very anxious and stressed out.
I was flung into a black hole
Without even really being aware of it, I was flung into a big black hole. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I couldn’t physically swallow and I was getting panic attacks.
My doctor signed me off work for a week with stress and anxiety. He told me that he didn’t want to put me on medication, for which I’ll honestly always be grateful. I’ve got an addictive personality (hello typical Piscean trait!) and both of us deciding that meds were not the way forward for me actually gave me a massive nudge forward. A huge step forward. I talked to my doctor, who didn’t rush me, and we both came to the conclusion that work was adding to my anxieties. So I approached my work and ironically, work – one the contributing factors – were fantastic and the Occupational Health Department had me referred to a counsellor within a few days.
I saw a counsellor
And at the counselling sessions, I cried… and cried lots more.
5 sessions later, I felt like I needed more, knew that I needed more but couldn’t justify financially going for private sessions.
So…. by taking on board the counsellor’s ‘tips’, I turned to self-help and clawed my way out of the black hole.
Depression is rubbish. It really is.
I was the missing link
No one should have to suffer alone, but you have to accept it yourself before you can get that help (in whatever form) that you need. The help that I needed came in several forms, all jigsawed together. And as cliched as it sounds, I was the missing link, the middle piece that needed to click into place in order to start on the journey to understanding, acceptance and recovery.
I had a support network, my work were helpful, a fantastic book that was my saving grace at the time, and I learnt to recognise the triggers of that black hole. For reasons that I couldn’t explain at the time and still can’t, not really, I had momentary feelings of dread, sadness, loneliness, despair… and then came the anxiety and panic attacks all bundled into one big ‘thing’. Yes, I learnt to recognise that when I felt these things alone or all together, I needed to act to avoid that black hole.
Thanks to my counsellor and a book (50 Things You Can Do Today to Beat Depression by Paul Vincent), which I will review at a later date), I would tell myself that everything was okay and learnt to ground to myself to be in the here and now, not allowing my mind to wander to things that may worry me and make anxious, resulting in a panic attack.
I’m not going to sit here and say it’s easy. Because I know that it’s not. Please don’t ever think that I would suggest that it’s easy to get back out of the black hole. What I will share, here on my blog, are what helped me to overcome the depression that took over my life and me, what helps me whenever I recognise a trigger, what I do every week to help me to have a positive mindset.