I write this with personal experience – I have battled depression myself. Every night before bedtime, I mentally searched for the big red pause button – one that would stop the world. I was desperate to find an escape from the daily turmoil – so I could breathe, shake off any responsibilities and have time alone because life felt just too much. I believed that I was failing at everything – as a parent, a business owner, a wife. This sense of failure ate away at my self worth, I thought I was good to no one. I lived with these thoughts for years, certain there was no way out. I was beginning to accept that this was how it was going to be, forever. An overwhelming thought came into my mind, it physically knocked me back. I could no longer ignore my mind and my emotions (or lack of). Feeling like I can’t go on, but impatient for things to change. My frustration needed an outlet, and action – I had to do something. Left reeling with two options; either leave my kids, my world forever – or change my situation. This decision was critical, and finally the light bulb switched on. I wanted to save myself – I wanted to get better and feel better.

Following this realisation, I started finding solutions, answers and opportunities for help. I fought with everything I had – not only for me but my children. No matter how hard it was or how appealing doing nothing was, I was prepared to give it a try. That led to meeting two ladies who could help. A wet early morning in October, we were introduced at a networking meeting; Janine – a grief coach, and Catrin – a homeopath. To this day, I have so much gratitude for them and their work. What we did together allowed me to build a stronger foundation to win my battle against my mind. Using their different approaches, I recognised the lies I told myself. Over time, I began to challenge every negative self opinion. It was integral to regaining control of my mind, my emotions and my mental health. Oh my god, they were vital, just so important to my progress. The change was that I had gradually started a new habit – one that was kinder, more compassionate and understanding to my needs.

Instead of investing in my negative thoughts, I made a conscious effort to step away from those old patterns. I was kinder to myself, and still invest my time and energy into a positive mindset. In addition, I found new ways to positively care for my emotions. You might want to try these for yourself, and see which ones benefit your mental and emotional state. Breathing exercises help with those occasions when you want to stop time. Exercise that you enjoy gets your blood pumping and can help ease tension.Try something new – a new place, new experience, new therapy.  In time, you too can develop more self care habits to help you feel good.

The road to recovery wasn’t easy for me, or instant. But learning about myself was the best education I have, and will ever do. Knowing more about how I work empowered me, reassured me and made me more determined to beat my depression. So much so, that ‘self knowledge is a super power®’ is my motto in life and business – a daily reminder of the strength I have built up from discovering more about my inner self. Learning about my emotions, thoughts and behaviours was central to making the necessary changes. It was scary trying to disrupt these patterns and it raised a lot of doubts. Who was I without the depression? Will I like myself? Will others like me? What will life be like without these patterns I had come to know so well? So many questions whirled around in my head, the voices of my inner critic. What if I can’t change it? What if this is it? But I couldn’t afford to think like that, I had myself and my family to save. As hard as it was, I found the person I never knew, a happiness I didn’t recognise and my kids had their mum back.  Realising that I was strong, I was already fighting everyday against these thoughts. Knowing this strength was useful in my battle to conquer my mind, and depression.

I have every belief in your ability to overcome your struggles. Simply, I believe in you. It is possible, although you may not feel like this today. I remember feeling the same way, many times. You won’t need to work any harder to be happy than you are already, fighting how you’re feeling and thinking now. Remember that you don’t need to be perfect, and your illusion of perfect is created by your illness. Mistakes are good lessons to learn from, and everyone makes mistakes. Believe there is a life after this, another chapter in your tale. Tomorrow could be different.  Change how you fight – you may have to change your course many times. I know I did, before I found the right fit for me. Keep going – You have so much to give to the world. You are worth every bit of effort that you, and others, take to help you to be happy again. Understand that the opinion you have of yourself isn’t real – your mind and your thoughts are liars. The love around you will come into focus again, soon. Believe that you are strong, and you can do this. And remember – YOU matter. 

Inspired by Melissa Curran and Modern Mind group, who had the idea to create searchable online content to infiltrate the 74,000 monthly searches for ways how to kill yourself. Sadly these numbers reflect the desperation and isolation felt worldwide when it comes to mental health. The internet can be a powerful tool for education and research. The purpose of this post, and others like it who are supporting Melissa’s idea, is to spread a message of hope. By delivering a different – and positive – message to anyone searching these terms, maybe we can appear in these searches and offer a different viewpoint. 

If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out to the many crisis support lines available. There is no ‘one way fits all’ when it comes to caring for and overcoming mental ill health. There are complementary therapies and holistic approaches to mindset and health to explore, many of which you may not have heard of. If you have tried one way, and it didn’t work – there is no shame in that. You have done nothing wrong, you just haven’t found the way that works for you. Yet. 

#suiciddeprevention2020  #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness