I'm pretty sure I’m announcing nothing new when I say that many of us men are often foolish enough to want to tough out, ignore or play down pain, whether it’s physical or mental.
Now I’ve been blessed with a certain amount of intelligence, but clearly not enough to recognise the degree to which I was falling out of sync with ‘normal’ life and stop the downward spiral of depression that’s gripped me in recent years.
I’ve done everything I can to avoid anti-depressants for no other reason than I saw it as failing.
In place of taking a little pill I did a lot of things to try and make me feel better – therapy, mindfulness (good) drink, smoke, gamble (not good).
It really hit me in early January, kayaking in the breathtaking Waikato river, with the woman I loved and had not seen for over a year. The beauty, passion, humour and excitement of being together was ebbing away. What was obvious to others suddenly became crystal clear to me, I was desperately unhappy.
I was barely recognisable from the person I vaguely remembered as me. In not wanting others to worry, I’d stopped caring for myself. And in not caring for myself, I’d made others worry.
All because I was too stubborn to ask for help.
It’s now March and what a difference. The misery, self-pity and introspection is fast receding. I am on a low dose of anti-depressant and with the good habits and Moodscope, of course, slowly but surely I’m returning to me.
From sleep-walking through life it’s as if someone has opened all the windows and let in the sights, sounds and smells of spring. My humour is returning as is a calm confidence. Relationships all round are on the up. I see more and more of me in me. And I like it.
So if you’re reading this, and recognise the part of you that doesn’t want to rely on others for help please do yourself a huge favour, swallow that pride and let them. There’s no better time of year.
A Moodscope member.