Mental health and getting better: David’s story
Client David shares his mental health experiences and offers words of inspiration and encouragement for everyone working through difficult times of their own.
This is for the people who are out there suffering in silence and think they’re alone.
Well, honestly, I can tell you, you’re not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. You can open up, you can live a life well with a mental health condition, you just have to stay strong and speak about how you feel to someone you trust.
Mental health isn’t a destination; we can’t go there to physically stop it, but it’s a process, it’s not about where you’re going, it’s about making you feel yourself again.
You are not the storm you walk through.
I understand your pain. Trust me, I do. I’ve been through it. I’ve seen people experience their darkest moments and go on to having happy, fulfilling lives and you can do it too. I believe in you. You will never be a burden.
When I’m upset, I shut myself down. I am not motivated for anything. I tell myself that nobody cares, even though I know some do. I think of all the negative things I could possibly think of. I give myself all the pain and suffering I think I deserve. I’m not sure why I do that but that’s just how I am.
For me it was, ‘Hi there, could anybody teach me how to feel again?’, then my anxiety would say, ‘Hi darling,’ then my depression says, ‘Yeah, old friend,’ and I’d get suicidal thoughts every time. I think of it as a ‘family meeting’ where self-harm keeps saying ‘Did I hear crying?’. I was thinking ‘this is it; it’s going to be the end of me.’
I used to fake a smile; I’d hide my problems from everyone to avoid the people I loved getting stressed. I’d always pretend to be mentally stable. I covered my scars and I thought ‘I don’t want to talk to anyone’ just so that they didn’t have to put up with me.
I stopped talking about how I felt because at the time I thought no one cared. People would ask me how I am and I’d say, ‘Just tired’. In my head I would think ‘Yeah, I’m tired but I’m not the kind of person sleep can cure.’ I was tired of trying, I was tired of being let down, I was tired of faking happiness and I was tired of being sad all the time.
I was sinking into a black hole and that’s when I realised, I couldn’t handle it myself.
For me to get to where I am now, trying to help other people with mental health problems, I make sure to look after my health and even create music. I don’t know about you, but music is a great way of letting your feelings out and that’s why I like it so much, that’s why it’s my passion.
Low self-esteem caused me to believe that I had so little worth that my response to feelings of depression didn’t matter. With repentance, however, I understand that I’m worth so much to God, therefore, my response is important.
Don’t be hard on yourself. When you tell yourself ‘I am worthless’ and ‘I hate myself’ it’s not going to help you get better, it will go around and around and around in circles. We all wonder why we are stressed, upset, tired and angry and it’s because we, as humans, think about the same thing over and over again until we break down. That’s where we go wrong.
It’s not about that though, it’s about challenging ourselves to get back to work and striving to be the very best we can be but without pushing ourselves too far.
Some things to remember when you do feel down about yourself are setbacks don’t equal failure, you are allowed to set your boundaries and you are more than an illness. It’s okay to rest and not everything you think is true, everyone’s journey is different and everyone goes on different paths. Positive thoughts create positive outcomes and smiles are contagious.
It’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathing.
Strive for progress, not perfection, and don’t get ahead of yourself.
It’s very okay not to be okay, never be scared of not being okay. Everyone has their day to be a warrior. Remind yourself of what you’ve been able to overcome and all the times you felt like you weren’t going to make it through. You proved yourself wrong.
You’re more powerful than you think you are.
Don’t let things be one-sided. It’s not healthy for you and it’s not fair to you either. Always spend time with the right people who are good for your mental health.
When it rains look for a rainbow and when it’s dark look for stars. You’re not alone.
In 2014, around 17% of people in England reported experiencing common mental health problems during any given week1. 50% of all mental problems are established by the age of 14 years old and depression is one of the leading causes of mental health problems, affecting about 264 million people worldwide2.
Mental health is all about having the courage to conquer your illness instead of you letting the illness win. Have faith, hope, and love towards yourself.
Believe in yourself. Fight it and win. Live your life to the very best you can and take one step at a time to get well. I didn’t want to talk to anyone but I’ve realised since then that talking helps.
If you need to talk to someone, we’re here for you – our free helpline Guide-Line is open every day 12pm-12am on 08001 884 884, our friendly team will be there to listen and provide confidential, emotional support.
- McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult psychiatric morbidity survey 2014.
- Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. (2005). Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.
Posted on: 29th June 2022