Depression is an absolute son of a bitch! That black hole is one of the scariest place to be, and if you’ve ever suffered from depression you’ll know exactly what I mean. I make no secret about the fact that I suffered from depression and high anxiety for the majority of my life. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about it because it helped me evolve into the person I am today.

When I was in my early thirties I went on a full blown mission to sort out my emotional and mental health. I had absolutely no idea where to begin, so my first port of call was my GP. To be fair he was super helpful, but unfortunately from a medical point of view my options were very limited. I didn’t want to go on long term medication, as I knew intuitively that this approach would only plaster over the cracks. It would be a temporary fix to a long term problem, and would ultimately only treat the symptom and not the cause. Me being me, I wanted to get to the root of my problem, no matter how terrifying that may be. All I knew was that I couldn’t keep living like this, and I desperately wanted to break the cycle for good.

Now that was all well and good, but where the hell was I going to start? The next logical step to me was counseling. I went to a lady for a few months, I basically used to pay her €50 to cry for an hour. Don’t get me wrong she was lovely, but I was just looping around and around in my story every time I went to see her. This approach wasn’t working for me, I was in complete overwhelm and all the talking about my situation was just increasing my levels of overwhelm, not reducing it. It was a vicious circle.

A year or so later my cousin suggested that I go to a guy she’d heard about, now this story is a doozie! So, I made an appointment with this fella, and I got to his practice filled with hope that I may have finally found the holy grail. As long as I live I will never forget this session. In I went and told my story yet AGAIN. I was blubbering away on the chair, and I just felt so broken, and all I wanted was to find relief. Near the end of the session he told me and I quote “you will never be anything more than a depressed person, this is who you are”. I swear, my heart sank into my boots, and I felt completely helpless and hopeless. I left his practice in a state of shock. I was never going to beat this, it was time to give up and accept that this is how my life was always going to be.

Now, this man lived a good two hour drive from my house, so I had plenty of time to reflect on my way home. The more I thought about what he said the angrier I got. Who the f**k was he to say this to me?!? By the time I reached my house I in a rage, I immediately picked up the phone, dialled his number and let rip. I’m not going to lie, the following is a very PC version of what I actually said. As you know by now I’m not afraid to use my words, especially swear words. I told him how unbelievably dangerous his comments were, and how his words could have been the straw that broke the camels back. They could have pushed me even further into the black hole, or worse still over the edge.  I also told him that I would beat depression and guess what, I did. Meeting this man was a super important part of my journey because it made me more determined than ever to become well. And I hope our encounter had a positive impact on how he worked with his clients in the future.

It took many more years before depression and I parted company. I didn’t know it then, but my journey of self-discovery was teaching me everything I needed to know so that I could help others in a similar situation. I tried every approach known to man, I took the best and left the rest. For me self-awareness is key, it’s an inside job. Knowing my body, mind and emotions inside out, means I can make adjustments to my nutrition, headspace or emotional health to ensure I stay well. My message to you today is please don’t give up, if I’d listened to that man the outcome could have been very different. Find an approach that works for you, and question advise if it doesn’t sit well with you. Remember you are an individual and one size does not fit all.

Ps I’m not knocking counseling/psychotherapy at all, it just wasn’t for me. I know lots of people that have gotten great relief and insight from it.

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