When you have a fear, it can become too much to face on your own. As a survivor and current sufferer of chronic depression. “I rise” with help of my friends and loved one I continue to fight through the darkness and the fears. Daring to grow and become strong facing the fears that cloud path forward unsure of where to turn. The light of my friends care and love shining through like a beacon of hope they have helped to protect and support. As a sufferer it is hard to let people in and see when someone really cares and the light coming in from the outside, as the path and the world outside is dark and bleak.
With dealing with depression and anxiety issues it is sometimes difficult to get back on with what we call “normal” life and going out and being who you want to be as each moment of the day as a sufferer you are fighting to get through the seconds, minutes, the hours and the day it can become too much to carry on and trying to just survive becomes the primary goal of the day.
The reason why I decided this blog would be different is because I have had to comes to terms with no longer being a victim but a survivor. There is some part of me that are still very raw and the strength to get through events don’t always come from me, but the strength comes from my friends and family. I have recently been to an event that I haven’t been to in 2 years and the last time I went to it I was in a relationship with my ex. Bearscots was when I first really got my first proper taste of the gay world as I grew up in London being the only gay guy out of my group of friends, it was a learning curve. With the events of 2012 where I lost my father and the family war of his side and confidence to try and make the first real steps into the world that I am apart of even if I didn’t know if I was really ready was overwhelming. The first night I was terrified my confidence was quite low as I was still very new to the world and at the event on my own in the big part as I was still getting to know people. Then I met the ex. They say that’s the end of that and it was, I had 2 years with him and came out with quite a few scars which hurt and they still do to a point but they have happened and I have come to terms with the majority of the problems we were had. I will always fight through the feeling of being the forgotten person and being the least important as I have had years of events being let down. With this year’s Bearscots it was meant to be different it been 2 years I have grown I have started to tackle the problems always head on in my own time and this year Bearscots was one I was tackling with friends and family who were there to hold my hand and pull me through the events of the weekend.
I had to dare myself to push myself through and try to enjoy myself facing the fear walking into an ex, pushing out the memories of the previous events in Edinburgh but also pushing through and baring my soul that I can be safe and enjoy myself in a place that holds so many memories and be safe away from my home and in a place on my own at times. Many friend’s hands pulling and supporting me through shining bright to get me through the dark times and the path and brushing away the obstacles that appear on the path.
This year’s Bearscots was the event that I have always put above all other events. This is because it feels a lot like home, where it all begun and I could feel comfortable not only being me, but comfortable with other people around me. This year I had a lot of adrenaline building up and was feeling anxious a lot of the time. I was drinking as well at this event as I haven’t really been drinking alcohol a lot of the time when I go out, just to let me to remain in control but this time I decided to go against that rule and just enjoy myself as much as I could as, I can’t control everything and I shouldn’t need too. This year I did have a panic attack outside one of the venues and was on my own for a bit as I couldn’t push through the fear. It felt like time had stopped and I was frozen in time. Friends saw me outside and came and started to try calm me down and help me through the panic. Looking back at the events of the weekend I doubt and know I wouldn’t have been able to get through the weekend. I actually laughed a lot more then I feared, I danced and drunk as it no one was watching me. Not feeling self-conscious about my weight or my body I enjoyed myself. The pictures show me as I am, smiling being comfortable and being able to say I am me.
A mantra I had to write on the mirror and repeat when I was walking to my friends;
“I am Strong
I am Better
I am Kind
I DESERVE BETTER”
I dare to BEAR and pull through the illness that takes so many people, the statistics are still 1 in 4 adults still face mental health illness. I bare my illness and don’t hide it away but nor do I make it my world or my life, it can feel like it is all I talk about or I am now but I am far from the illness. People come up to me now and talk about how I don’t hide away or how I take the fight to the illness. The reason I bare my soul and the fight is I can see the world differently to what I use to see it as being very differently and being broken view. I am not ashamed of the illness and some days I do wish I wasn’t fighting it and didn’t have the illness but it won’t change anything. I am honest about the battle same as who I have always been, HONEST.
Its ok to have a lapse it is only for a moment not the whole beginning. I have had a few lapses and they are difficult at the time but I learn from each lapse. What is the triggers? What is going on in the bigger world? Am I forgetting what I have learnt in the past to deal with them? The majority of the answers would be yes I have forgotten that I am forgetting the bigger picture and the other coping strategies I have learnt. I didn’t even think about doing my mindfulness this week and it was a sign that I still have really long road to battle through, it is very much a learning curve and I have to think more about me at times especially when I am feeling the world is getting a bit too heavy.
Never feel the battle is too big or feel you have to face it alone. Friends and family and those you might not expect will support you through thick and thin. My best friend who is basically my brother we started this way and now I can’t think of life without having him about. Same as most of my friends they have moved from being just friends but part of my wider family. I will see everyone next year at Bearscots as I owe it to myself to enjoy myself.
To my friends, Family & Supporters Thank you for being there for me and lighting up the path. x
I am ONE