This coming weekend is a tricky one for me. This time last year was the lowest point of my life when I was ready to do something silly and end it all!
Thankfully the really negative thoughts I have been dealing with the past few days have subsided enough for me to be able to look back at how far I have come in the last 12 months with a sense of pride and achievement.
I have said it many times before but cannot emphasis enough how important is can be to realise that hitting rock bottom does not have to be the end. The challenge of fighting back and seeing a new day brings it’s own rewards.
At times it has been a struggle, especially as I am someone who finds it difficult to see the positives, but I am still here! I am still fighting and I have not given up. And that is reason to celebrate a new improved Garry since the dark days of March 2012.
In a strange way dealing with depression has made me into a better person. I am more tolerant of other people and their problems and certainly more open and honest about my own issues, as opposed to the person who took years before admitting he needed help. I certainly feel more creative since I decided to embrace my illness and try and turn it into something that could provide other people with a point of reference in terms of how someone copes with depression.
The biggest difference for me though is that I am not afraid. I am not afraid to ask for help when I need it, not afraid to talk openly about my depression and not afraid to face anything depression can throw at me.
I know there are bad days and good days and the important thing for me is that I know that mood cycles do change. When I am going through bad cycles I know that good ones are just around the corner and this helps me get through them.
A trick I like to use when I am having a bad day is to use the clock to my advantage. One day has only 24 hours in it so when I am having a bad day I work out how many hours are left in the day and wait for tomorrow to begin when it may be a good day! It may not work for you but worth trying out at least.
Here’s to another year of never feeling so low I think about not being alive anymore!