In one of MB’s past lives, he was a football coach to adult and underage teams in his HX homeland. MB regularly bumps into former players on trips home, who were young kids back in the day, but who are now young adults. Some even buy him a beer occasionally in gratitude, when they meet him in some local pub, and always nice to receive of course (the gratitude more than the beer, needless to say). But it’s not such sentiments that brings MB to this particular post on mental health issues.
Last night, one such former underage player of MB’s, posted a piece on his facebook page in relation to the darkness he has faced in his own life. Readers will see that this young man is extremely eloquent, in addition to being extremely brave for writing and posting the piece.
Normally, MB would never ask fellow-bloggers to re-blog any of his HX posts. But on this occasion, MB will make an exception, and requests fellow bloggers who follow MBs regular nonsense, to re-blog this post on their own blogs or any other social media fora they use. The message is certainly worth spreading, and big thanks to BC for his bravery, and for giving MB permission to post.
I’m not the type of person that gets depressed, I don’t fit the classic stereotype, if indeed that stereotype still exists…..it shouldn’t by the way.
And yet there I was, in the depths of my own mind. I don’t know how I got there but I couldn’t get out. I had, and indeed have, a great life. A childhood filled with great memories, surrounded by the best people anyone could ever wish to have around them. The good memories didn’t stop at my childhood though, I was creating more memories of great times with great people every weekend/month/year, many of which have been shared with you great people reading this.
I had, and still have, so many opportunities and possibilities of what I could achieve and do. And yet, I couldn’t see any of this. My mind had turned against me. Darkness. Lots and lots of darkness. Like a little gremlin (not the cute kind, like….after they ‘ve been exposed to water or fed after midnight) sitting on my shoulder constantly reminding me of any perceived failure, listing all the reasons why things wouldn’t work out, reinforcing that the people closest to me didn’t like me at all, that I was in actual fact getting in the way of their happiness and holding them back.
Eventually, I spoke about it. Later than I should have but I got there. Eventually, I saw how wonderful people are. Even if they don’t know how, they want to help you so much. People want to help people by nature, nobody has all the answers but they’ll help you look. They’ll let a crack of light into your mind. And they’ll remind you that even though you are still in a dark place, you will find your way back. Back into the light, back to being you.
Getting better isn’t as simple as telling somebody your depressed and feeling better. It’s much tougher and far more complex than that. But talking is the first step and every single thing we do in this life requires us to take that first step.
To the people close to me who are only learning of this now; to those who I didn’t ask for help; it’s not because I didn’t think you would help, I knew you would. I know you would have bent over backwards for me to get me to a better place. I needed some people to help me through. But as well as this I needed more people to talk to me as if nothing had happened. I needed to be able to feel normal and to be able to talk with you just as I always had, while I was working everything out. I didn’t want to have you worry about me. Even if I have never spoken to you about anything that has gone on in this brain of mine, you helped me more than you will ever know, just by being you.
I write this from a good place, a happy place, but I know there are probably so many people out there who are in that dark place now and are struggling to take that first step.
There are seemingly loads of reasons to stay quiet, to not admit your having a tough time. There’s one to ignore these reasons – it could save your life.
Thankfully over the past few years, a lot more people have spoken about their personal battles with mental illness and each time somebody does it further removes the stigma surrounding it. In most cases, these stories involve celebrities or athletes who it would seem have the perfect life. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate though, it can affect anyone of us at any time.
Despite all my posting of links, articles and everything else, I’ve always refrained from talking openly about my own mental health. Firstly, because I’m not famous. I guess, I assumed that me talking wouldn’t help anyone. Secondly, some of the amazing, inspiring stories are those of a near death nature, of people who have had suicidal thoughts and dragged themselves back from the brink. I have suffered from depression but I’m lucky to have never gotten close to that end of the spectrum.
However, now I realise that it’s important for all of us to talk about it, it’s a way of letting everyone else know that they’re not alone, that its normal to not be okay…..even if your not sure why you’re not okay. Stay strong and take that first step. Talk.