Positive, inspiration, happy, content, care free, cheery, these are just some of the terms that have been used by people to describe me recently, to be fair, I’ve probably used them myself. I’m just beginning to accept the inspirational one as I find this a bit overwhelming and it doesn’t sit right with me to describe myself as such but I’ve slowly began to realise that inspiring people is maybe not a bad thing.
I’m not out to change the world, I’m not wanting to be part of a revolution, I don’t even know if inspire is the right term. I simply want more people to pull through the battles that I pulled through and to find this sense of contention, empowerment and positive way of thinking that seems to be flowing through my mind and way of thinking.
This time last year I was in a mess both physically and mentally, my mind was full of so much self doubt, illogical thinking, soul destroying anxieties, fears that made me believe I couldn’t function and live in this world and in a society that appeared to be filled with so much evil, pain and suffering. There was a darkness that engulfed me. Negativity in my outlook and the words I spoke, I was low, defeated, overwhelmed by so much pressure pushing down on me. I don’t know if I ever seriously considered taking my own life, I often thought about how I wouldn’t be suffering anymore and fighting the daily battles I was fighting, I certainly could understand why someone would take their own life. I was desperate for my mind to slow down, for my thoughts to be logical again. To shift the depression that seemed to take the shine out of my life and make me so negative, irritable and argumentative.
I wanted to be me again, in fact I didn’t, I just wanted to be normal, I wanted to be like the cool, self assured folk that I would compare myself to, you know, the ones without worry, the ones who seem to have it all, life seemed so easy for them. Mine? Mine was a disaster, out of control and it was always going to be that way, especially as I was going nuts, turning mental, couldn’t sleep without having a those soul destroying nightmares, I’d randomly have wee flashbacks to when I was attacked, I’d avoid my mates and my girlfriend at the time, they’re better off without me anyway was how I’d justify it to myself.
Now I don’t want to be like those normal people, the cool and self assured people, know why? I don’t believe they exist. Since I opened up about my problems and my battles with PTSD so many people have confided in me about their worries and fears, the feelings that haunts them, the fears they have or how they can relate to aspects of my blogs and you know what? Most of them are the self assured and confident folk that I wanted to be like.
I think what happens is we all worry, we all have fears, we all have anxieties that get in our mind and chew away at us from time to time but some of us just have the skills to cope or know how to hide it or handle it better. I say we all worry or have fears but really that’s inaccurate as I don’t anymore and that’s thanks to my breakdown, the help of some amazing family and friends, a top class psychologist and random strangers who get in touch with words of encouragement or simply to tell me their stories on the back of these blogs.
My positivity and contention comes from the work I done with my psychologist Laura, the CBT she carried out and the way she made me address my fears and control my thinking and my thought process is where things turned around for me. You can see the methods see used in my previous blogs. It’s all about challenging your thoughts, looking realistically at the chances of your worst fears happening and how much of an impact will they have on your life in 5 years time. I’m stress free now as well and that’s been a massive help, the stress thoughts are gone and that allows your mind to work more logically. You think irrationally when you’re stressed, I placed so much emphasis on staying safe and that in turn caused me to avoid doing the stuff I loved with the people I love, that disconnection soon causes a sense of loneliness that plays a part in destroying your self esteem and adding to the depression. Staying connected is a massive part of beating depression and anxiety. Along with giving a bit back, getting active, being open and honest about your struggles and avoiding alcohol, anyway this is all old ground covered in previous blogs.
When I first wrote these blogs it was about, about apologising, getting my thoughts and fears out of my mind and out there so family and friends knew what I had been through and what I was going through daily, now they’re about giving that wee bit of hope to someone out there who is sitting feeling the same way I was this time last year. You know what? Maybe I do want to inspire, I want to get into that persons mind and hit a chord with them, I want them to read all my other blogs, see how desperate and low I was, see how I’d gave up hope and thought I was destroyed, life was going to be a constant battle and be on top of me forever. Well you know what? It isn’t.
I don’t say this arrogantly or in a sense of screw you look at how well I am doing. I say it with a sense of, if I can turn my struggles around and become a so called inspiration then what’s stopping you? Will it be like it is the now forever? Can you give it a go?
I was so weak this time last year, I had a sense of inferiority and you could feel the anxiety off of me. My actions were strange where as now I’m empowered, confident, passionate about spreading the word about the benefits of being open and honest about your mental health. Mental health illnesses are as real and as harmful as physical illness. It’s not been easy to get to where I am. Facing those fears was horrible, pounding the streets at night in the dark, hanging about outside pubs, standing in busy bars all the things I avoided for the fear of being attacked again. You know what causes these fears? The stress voices in your mind. Before I was attacked none of these fears bothered me, the trauma of what happened to me caused my thinking to change, I had to regain control of this and I did. It wasn’t for a minute easy but it can be done. Maybe I’m just lucky, maybe I just had a right good support network who understood and pulled me through, who knows but I hope that if you’re sitting there toiling you might see that it’s worth a shot, can it really be any worse than what you’re going through just now?
Positive thinking is an incredible and powerful tool, since I’ve addressed my fears and anxieties I’ve gained a place a university to study Psychology I’m hoping to qualify as a clinical psychologist and try to use the experiences I have to get others back on track. I do some voluntary work with Victim Support and that’s been a help to me as well. That sense of giving a bit back and also seeing others going through what I went through makes me feel less alone, less illogical. I’m not a victim any more I’m part of an exclusive club where I’ve went through some horrible trauma and times but came out at the other end stronger and prepared to break the stigma that surrounds mental health.
Basically all I want is for someone to read this and think, right let’s give this a go. Get that help you need, I’m no expert and I’ll probably not have the answers you need or are looking for but I can tell you what worked for me. Anyway I think I’ve said what I wanted to say. You aren’t alone and you certainly aren’t the only one who is having those thoughts and it can be beaten or at least controlled.
I want to thank every single person who has helped me over the last year, be it a text, a tweet, a deep chat, words of wisdom, everyone has been incredible and I’ll never forget that or let you all down again. I’ve got faith and belief that this has all happened for a reason and I’ll use this to do some good, I’ll inspire as many people as I can, I’ll use what was once a negative to achieve so many positive outcomes.
Keep on keeping on
Peace and Love
Kevin I sufferes from PTSD and got a bit lost for a while. He's now trying to spread the word regarding mental health and breaking the stigma. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @weaselblogs
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