Free writing: my thoughts

The screeching of the car brakes, the skidding to a stop on the road and the happiness is left in the marks, the trail of the tyres. As I reach out my heavy hand I fall further back into myself, further into the thoughts consuming my mind. What does it even feel like to be happy?

People tell me all the time that I’m inspirational, I should be proud of myself and of course I should. It hasn’t been easy at all getting to where I am today where I can even write these posts so openly about my mental health or talk within the National media about my experiences to help raise awareness but most importantly, to make society a more understanding place for generations to come.

Depression doesn’t just jump in, it slowly drives into my life and it brakes hard causing me to watch my life from the outside, everything stands still, and I just watch life pass me by with tears in my eyes, frustration and anger. What have I done to deserve this? – the fear of the future circulates my head and sometimes I think about having no future at all. What would happen if I pressed stop on this life and never pressed play again?

I was talking to a friend recently about my friends passing, something I rarely ever talk about because to be honest I haven’t even come to terms with it almost 3 years later. The guilt is still there, the confusion, the upset and frustration still floods in and drowns my thoughts and how I feel about myself. Some people ask me why he meant so much to me, it’s because in school I had a big crush on him and I was too shy to ask him out face to face so that’s where Facebook came in so useful and he went on to say yes and that made me so happy, the happiest I ever felt during my time in education. I remember walking to the maths building with him, holding his hand and he opened the door to let me in with a big smile on his face. As we walked up the stairs those were the moments I felt true happiness, but it didn’t last. The bullying continued and for some reason being in a relationship at school always put the couple in the limelight and I didn’t want that because I was fearful of it making the bullying worse. I will live forever with the regret of breaking up with him. Why did I let others control my life?

Depression is like that constant weight of the whole world on your shoulders weighing you down telling you that you aren’t good enough, that seed of self-doubt playing on your mind all the time, wanting to look after yourself but not caring at the same time. It’s a crumbling of all confidence, self-esteem and belief. When I’m happy I am always waiting for the cloud to come back to flood me once again with the intrusive thoughts.

Depression isn’t me, it’s a part of me, it’s an illness which I struggle with but it doesn’t define me and it never will win. If you are struggling then please reach out!

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Nearly 3 years on #Suicide

This is a piece of free writing so please take care when reading.

Society is crazy, its understanding and belief that grieving is this set process, this process that we all fall into after we have lost anyone close to us and yeah, pets are included in this too because people don’t understand that they are very much apart of the family too. In some cases they are keeping us alive, they are something to talk to knowing you will feel no judgement and only a source of comfort which we need in our darkest hour.

I have only got to look at myself to figure out that grieving is something i very much struggle to do. Facing the truth is painful. It’s almost been 3 years since my friend decided that life was too hard for him but it still feels like yesterday that i heard the news of his death. The why question consuming my mind still to this day, the trying to talk about in with my counsellor but running away from it because talking about it makes it seem real. I can still remember sat in the church with my two friends each side of me and both of them were crying and i took tissues with me, i gave some to each of them as i just sat there feeling nothing, in shock and i can hardly even remember the service. I was there but i wasn’t there at the same time.

I just kept thinking about going home like where i was in that moment wasn’t real, i treated it like a nightmare and i tried to rush back into ‘normal’ life to bury it in my mind. The speeches of the loved ones at the funeral i can just about remember, the songs played at the service i still listen to and the sadness and guilt i still hold on to.

It was particularly difficult for me because i came home to an empty house, my parents were in Italy celebrating their wedding anniversary. The house stood in silence, i was falling apart and just needed someone there, i would have done anything to have someone there with me. I remember it well, i came home and fell onto the sofa and fell asleep. I wanted to forget it happened. I felt the wave of guilt, upset and anger flooding my mind, i needed to punish myself so i put some water in the kettle and poured some boiling water over my hand, my first ever experience of self harm.

In my head i was thinking come home someone, i need help, please help me, i don’t understand what is going on. My friend had taken his own life and there was so many missing parts of the puzzle, there was no relief from the thoughts in my head but the main thing is why? – that honestly is so painful and i guess i will never know but i always hope for a miracle.

He was my friend, my protector, he made me laugh and also taught me so much. I will forever cherish the time i had him in my life. Yes, i will struggle and sometimes i will think that life isn’t worth it but the battle never ends. If you are reading this and thinking that you are a burden, you aren’t. Please talk and just know, things will get better.

Till next time,
Jacob xx

 

Still struggling….

This is only going to be a short post because its one of those ones i make up as i go along, its a post to express how i am feeling in the current moment.

I have moments where i just start thinking about my friend, my friend who is no longer here because he took his own life 3 years ago and in those moments i sit and reflect the great memories we made together, how much he helped me in school with defeating the bullies when my confidence and self-esteem was at rock bottom, someone i could turn to when it felt like no one else was listening to me and taking me seriously.shaun

3 years later and i am 20 years old now. I haven’t even grieved yet, i haven’t shed any tears and over these years i have felt a constant sense of just feeling absolutely nothing and i try to get on with my life, follow my own path in life, get my counselling degree but he is always on my mind and yes, i shouldn’t feel guilty because there was nothing i could have done to stop him pulling the trigger but i do feel guilty and i know it is unhealthy for me to carry this huge load around with me but what am i meant to do with it when i don’t understand it myself?!

I have spent all of this time looking forward and yes that is amazing because that is how we all progress but there are things i seriously need to patch up in the past. I seek therapy weekly but nothing is helping me with the loss of my friend. I feel guilty for not being able to grieve yet.

Anyone struggle with this or something similar?

All the best,
Jacob xx

Gym Newbie

Back when i was in secondary school we used to have our PE lessons in the gym sometimes as my school was specialised in sport, like we even played wheelchair basketball in some lessons and that was so much funny despite not being able to reach the ball very well because of being so short….i honestly don’t think i have grown since.

The more and more the time went by i just became more self conscious so began to comfort eat and the bullies made me feel like i was nothing and my confidence just crumbled so with it self care, i didn’t look after myself at all. My doctor has always recommended i go to the gym and has offered to refer me every time to lose some weight but to also help with my mental health and i have always said no because i was so scared that i would walk in there and people would judge me as well as unfamiliar surroundings alongside meeting new people used to always trigger panic attacks which were like hell.

Today i went to the gym, i took the first steps to looking after myself. Not going to lie, i will filled with dread and worried again that everyone will be looking at me but just for other gym newbies, no one even looks at you, everyone is doing there own thing and couldn’t give a toss about whatever you are doing so don’t worry!

If i can go to the gym walking in as a nervous wreck and leave wanting to go more then anyone can do it.

Being a YoungMinds activist

I first started as a YoungMinds activist back in 2015 shortly after my friend took his own life, things seemed really dark and i felt so isolated. I was in college struggling with work and staying a full day without jumping on the bus to get home was incredibly hard, i just didn’t want to be at college and as a media student when group work was always happening it became even harder for me.

Everyone that knows me would say i was incredibly shy, lacked self belief, confidence and i always used the struggle in silence. If i was struggling in class then asking for help was something which i just didn’t do out of fear of sounding stupid and if i hear the words presentations and public speaking then i would run a mile.

I reached a stage back in 2015 when i was frantically searching the internet for support, i was taking anti depressants and i honestly didn’t understand the information my doctor gave me so i needed more child friendly information on medication so i found a website called Head Meds where i could now fully understand what i was taking and i can’t remember how i did but i ended up applying to become a young activist and its the best thing i have ever done.

3 years later and i have had some incredible opportunities where i have shared my experiences of mental illness to batter down the stigma and raise awareness, campaign for better services for young people, met some incredible people and tested my own capabilities. I now don’t run away from public speaking, i can now get a train to London alone when before i joined YoungMinds i couldn’t even get my local bus to town so i really believe that mental illness stole my independence but with the help of the charity i have got it back.

I now feel a valued person, accepted and more able to ask for help, they are the first organisation i reached out to when i was at my lowest, they have saved my life and continue to support me with whatever i choose to do.

 

We can do this!

*This post was created by using the free writing technique*

Why does life have to be so fucking hard?! We are all just constantly seeking validation for others around us, well…i feed from reassurance, i gulp it all down to better myself, the inner me.

This world is full of fear, hatred and numerous roller-coasters that we all just jump on and off throughout life. Mistakes are seen as bad things, mental illness is seen as a no go area like a road full of road works and diversions that people try to avoid altogether, the hush, hush, lets just sweep it under the carpet type thing.

None of us are superhuman, we all have our flaws, our imperfections but that is what makes us unique. Imagine if everyone were the same, all from the same cloth, that would be so boring! Yes there may be more peace in the world, less hurt, anger and shame but diversity is what keeps the world going round and it certainly is a beautiful thing.

We are all here living and we have this opportunity to put our stamp on it. Don’t just sit there waiting for that thing, that opportunity, go and get off your butt and get it. Self motivation can be so bloody tough sometimes, i have been there but passion and enthusiasm show more, don’t just follow the crowd, be you, do whatever you want to do and if you are happy then keep chipping away at your dreams and trust me, you will reach it. You will see the blue sky, the light at the end of the tunnel. NEVER give up because you are one of a kind!

All the best,
Jacob xx

Jobs vs mental health #Employment

People always go on to me that having a job will make me feel better, ”it will give you a focus and something to keep your mind occupied”.

For me jobs and generally applying has always bought a rush of anxiety my way. The never ending application forms which seem to take hours to fill out these days full of information im sure they don’t even need to know, like why ask if im married because surely that doesn’t matter. And it is SO competitive out there for even a job where you are basically just stacking shelves which is just crazy!!

For me personally the fear of not knowing to reveal if i have a mental illness on my application is something i would sit around and think about for ages before clicking the submit button or handing it to the manager in store.  There is so much diversity legal stuff these days that helps stop discrimination but i seriously don’t feel it is enough for companies to just count us out with a mental health problem all together, they can easily pick and choose. I feel i should be able to disclose it without fear of not getting the job just because of that small thing about me and i’ve even been told in that past that it makes me unreliable.

I had my first ever job at a local garden centre cafe where i washed up which i actually kinda enjoyed but the minute they told me to also go and serve food and drinks to the tables i freaked out, they didn’t understand that i couldn’t do it, they didn’t understand my anxiety that filled me with dread. During that time i had also found YoungMinds and needed to attend 2 days of training over the weekend in London so lets just say i abandoned that job and found my new love. (Money isn’t everything, as long as i was happy then that’s great!)

My second job was something i knew i would find incredibly challenging as it was a customer facing role and most of my customers were under the age of 10 years old with there parents so that was particularly difficult. I wasn’t really enjoying it to be honest but i was only a Christmas temp and was determined to complete all my shifts but things happen and change, i became highly suicidal and after just over 2 weeks i had to tell my boss that i needed to quit so i wrote her a hand written formal letter with the reasons on why i need to leave with an apology for any inconvenience and lets just say after i said i had depression she gave me an evil look, sighed and said i know now why you aren’t fit for the job, people with a mental illness are never that reliable and with that she told me to finish my shift and with a couple of hours left and tears in my eyes i just walked out. Yep, best decision i ever made, fuck them, they shouldn’t ever treat anyone like that!

From my experience of employment i guess i am scared of it happening again and simply scared of responsibility as well as letting people down. I am so passionate, hard working, kind and mature person but some people can’t see that. Maybe someone will one day, i seriously need to find a job though and i am trying.