C.O.P.E (Chosen Outlet for Powerful Emotions)

Did you know that what you’ve done is found a or many coping strategies? You might not understand what or why you do what you do sometimes, you just know it makes you feel ‘better’ or ‘in control’.

Back in 2006 I decided to improve my self esteem with personal development, it started with training to be a massage therapist all the while learning about who I was. There were things going on in my life even then that made me feel out of control and I needed a distraction, learning was it. In the following years I trained to be a beautician, a Nail technician, image consultant, make up artist. In 2010 while working full time with four children, I threw myself into learning both online and in class. Over the two years around work and family I completed my pgce in class and completed theory based online courses in life skills coaching, substance misuse counselling, counselling adolescents and children and child psychology.

In 2012 I was done with learning – I had no more capacity to learn, I was burnt out. That is when the balls I’d been juggling started to come crashing down. I fought my overwhelming depression for a further 3 years. But every time I got knocked down it was taking me longer and longer to get up, until I could not get up any more. What a horrible place to be.

I was using all sorts of behaviours to cope at this time. My emotional vessel was overflowing and I knew when I was emotionally shutting down, I had to do something. I would do anything to get a short reprieve to feel better or more in control. But it was all hiding how I was really feeling, distracting me from it, making me fall deeper in.

It was so hard.

So for today and the rest of the week, reduce the self punishment. You’re just coping, maybe there is a better way but for now, you are just doing what you know how.

Things can change. You can be happy the other side of depression. I do still have bad days (usually hormonal now!) but I am happier than I ever knew how to be, even with my imperfect life.