A letter to my past

I wrote a post about my struggle with depression a few months ago and it really helped in a couple of ways. Firstly I was able to get things off of my chest that I did not ordinarily talk about and secondly it opened my eyes to the similar struggles that other people have that I would never have known about unless I wrote my post. The support was overwhelming and I spoke to people that I hadn’t been in touch with for years, so I want to thank you to those who read it. Here’s a link to it again:
https://medium.com/@carlm_7/i-will-beat-depression-f9c474d03fa7#.glble85gq 
These posts that I write are simply to get off of my chest the things that I feel that bubble up inside of me in my thoughts. Like I said in my original post it feels as though I can use these posts to connect with my loved ones and write down how I truly feel. These posts are not written with the intention of trying to show the world my problems but if they help someone talk then that’s a big positive.

I want to take this writing opportunity to write a letter to my past and talk about how it has led to where I am today. The truth is my depression has manifested itself further and controls my life on a day to day basis. My anxiety and OCD has hit limits that I have never felt before and I feel like I want to give up. I’ve tried to mask it once again by travelling to Australia and Bali in an attempt to distract my mind from what it really thinks, but I’ve now returned home without a relationship and I feel like my life is a loose end and my body is in a tremendous amount of pain. I had some wonderful experiences whilst I was travelling and I met some great people as well. I never felt like I could enjoy an experience fully because I was succumbed by controlling thoughts.

I worked on a farm for a few months in an attempt to get my second year visa so I could start a new life in Australia. If the job wasn’t hard enough by having all the time in the world to think whilst picking a vegetable, some very nasty individuals did enough to ruin my opportunity with their lies and narrow-minded approach. Me being me, I can’t keep my mouth shut and challenged what happened and I got myself fired. This caused unnecessary stress and all but shattered my chances of living in Melbourne, but it taught me one thing and that’s to cut out negative people from your life regardless of what it is because there isn’t enough time in the day.

Prior to leaving for Australia I had approximately 15 CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) therapy sessions with a very good therapist but as much as I learnt to control my behaviours I wasn’t dealing with the deep rooted issue. Whilst I was away I had a lot of time to think about what these causes were and it was my childhood, previous relationship and the fact that my self confidence is now completely shattered. I have now been recommended another type of therapy which is IPT (Interpersonal therapy) which concentrates on conflict from relationships. Whilst in Australia I threw my depressant medication away because the side effects were significant enough for me to feel like they were doing more harm than good. I’m glad they are gone.

I want to try and describe my feelings and how they have fluctuated over the past 5 months and more recently how they have dipped now I am settled back in the UK. My mind gets excited by change and the chance to run away from my problems, I look for a comfort all be it a temporary one. I found myself rising to incredible highs and then the complete opposite to huge slumps in my mood. I would start to surprise myself by how positive my day had been but I would always hold the apprehension that I would crash at any point. And so I did, I have felt a familiar feeling when I am low and that is that I am uncomfortable with my life, I do not want to be in that place at a single point in time and I have a sadness in me that I can only describe as an ache. I am frightened about what is to come and regret what has happened. I feel alone but when I am around friends and family, all I want to do is be on my own, it’s a vicious circle.

I am terrorised by my nightmares on a daily basis with the most vivid thoughts just before I wake up. These would then sit with me throughout my day dictating how my day would go with an almost impossible chance of shaking them off. The thoughts would then carry on as I start my day and quickly become the the go to thought if I’m not doing anything else. This would make my body lethargic, unresponsive and incapable of completing normal tasks. I feel scared to sleep because of my nightmares and scared to be awake because I can’t deal with my deepening low state.

This has in turn created it’s stresses and strains on my relationship that I had. I have now separated from Opie because I felt as though I could not concentrate on our relationship, my mind was elsewhere, my feelings confused by crippling thoughts and any life sucked out of it by my inability to be myself. So well done Carl, you did it again. I feel as though my relationship problems are more deep rooted, my past relationship which ended in the most painful way possible has left it’s mark and nearly 2 years on, the trauma of the whole situation still rears it’s ugly head on a daily basis. The relationship/separation issues weren’t just born at the end of it either, they were present beforehand. I can then tie that with my childhood and the scenario that I play over and over again, how would I run away from a conflicting situation because I simply could not deal with it. My anxiety tied my lips as I would deal with my thoughts in silence and being unable to explain how I felt to anyone. I blame myself heavily for not being able to communicate and to this day I feel like so many words sit between my lips. I believe I lack closure and understanding, not having the chance to share how I truly felt about how anxiety and depression controlled my life. It almost feels as if I was screaming within myself for a long time but nothing was coming out. I am sitting with guilt I can not shift and that I feel like I have been carrying for a long time. It is a raw feeling that holds me down and reminds me regularly of the past. I am sad that I let my insecurities grow as my relationship formed, I didn’t address the issues that I felt, I let myself believe I wasn’t good enough. We both hurt each other with an exchange of words and actions that left marks as we tried to move forward.

My self confidence and self esteem are non-existent, so much so that I can not look at myself in the mirror, I hate what I look like, how I have let this illness change how I look. I have social anxiety where I tremble, panic, sweat profusely and want to hide, I feel as though people are looking at me and judging who I am. I am a shadow of my former self with no expectation of what I want to be. I have lost my drive to work, socialise, interact with my family and love anyone. I am frightened that I will never get it back and I feel like I’m running out of time, I am scared of how I feel and the thoughts that continue to push themselves through my head on a regular basis. My mind is sprinting but my body is moving as slow as a turtle, I can’t cope with bouncing from negative thought to negative thought with no light at the end of the tunnel.

I am trying to simplify life and concentrate on those things that are most important. I enjoy mixing music and walking the dog, they both give me a simple escape but effective as they take the pain away temporarily. I am trying to prepare for returning to work but I have no confidence in my ability to do the job. Combined with the fact I feel like there is absolutely zero support from them, it gives me little optimism for the future. I guess I won’t know until I return but I really hope it doesn’t do more damage than good. I have been thinking long and hard about my future and I am going to invest my time in learning to code again and refresh my skills. I can’t help but think how different my life would be if I had stuck with my web development career.

These past few weeks since returning to the UK have been some of my worst so far and I am scared about the way I feel right now. I feel as though I want to start my life again and it anger’s me that I can’t. I try and to lift myself out of this place but at best I hide myself behind a blank stare. I lack motivation and focus, I don’t even feel like I want it, I like to hide in my comfort zone of four walls. I have no enjoyment of living my life and I feel numb. I feel as though I am more physically controlled than ever by this crippling illness. I am anxious about my future and I’m anxious about what could have been.

I will keep trying.