We're doing show and tell, are we? Bloody splendid. Valuable stuff.
I've experienced/suffered/whatever-you-want-to-bloody-call-it depression, anxiety and a bit of PTSD at various stages of my adult life, but particularly the past four years. My marriage almost ended as quickly as it started; I was in a very bad, disengaged space, and my wife wrote me a letter(!) saying how worried she was that we'd only been married six months but we seemed to be drifting apart. It was the metaphorical kicks in the nads I needed, as it made me open up to her about how I was feeling, how the source of those feelings were not her fault, that I fucking hated my job (and indeed still do) and it was making me miserable (and still is). I sought professional help, getting meds from my GP, being referred for CBT and having some one-to-one time with one of the therapists (not a euphemism). Whilst I didn't necessarily gain any tangible improvements to my mental health, it did open my mind to the fact that help was available, and that openness and honesty was hugely important.
About two years ago I was at arguably my lowest ebb. I'd been put through three disciplinary hearings by my then-manager, which triggered a bout of PTSD. Christ alive, it was fucking awful. Luckily, a colleague of mine took it upon herself to refer me to Occupational Health, who organised some sessions with a trauma counsellor. This probably had the most profound impact; by the end of my six-week stint with her, I felt great. So much calmer, I felt more able to not fall prey to my thoughts and feelings... although that subsequently subsided when I had another bad experience with another shit manager. Thankfully, I moved teams about six months ago and my current manager is ace; really supportive, allows me the time and space I need, encourages me to do what's right for me and to hell with what other people may or may not think. Just knowing that my immediate superior has my back is a huge weight off my mind.
I can do more things so much better. I meditated daily for a year, but fell off the wagon just under 12 months ago when my gran passed away (that triggered a fairly lengthy period of depression). I know how much better I feel when I do it, but making the time for it is something I've fallen out of the habit of. I should pick it up again. No time like the present, eh? My eating habits could improve dramatically; again, I know I can do it, because from Jan-March this year I stuck to a vegan diet and felt terrific. Again, not a difficult change to make, but equally easy to revert back to convenient eating. I still play football and I've recently started doing yoga twice a week, so my exercise isn't too bad, although could definitely improve.
I'm conscious that this has turned into a ramble so I'll stop there...
Ladies, gentleman, young and old, your mental health is of the utmost importance. If you're ever in need of someone to talk to, please please please just do it. I suspect most of us think "oh but I don't want to burden other people with my problems"... bullshit. Create an environment in which you feel comfortable sharing and being shared with.
I love you all, y'set o' bastards. Peace and love.