The journey you will read about here is that of just an ordinary bloke; just a person, trying their best and very often failing or falling short.
Isn’t it true that we are often our own worst critic? I’m not sure I would be so harsh to others in the way I can be to myself; after all, you can only do your best. Surely then, if you’ve had the courage to strive for something, you should congratulate yourself and celebrate any achievements as glimmers of hope.
I wrote these same sentiments in a song many years ago … the irony is that sometimes it’s really difficult, when talking about an emotional journey, to pinpoint when and where it all started. If I look back now, I can remember spells of feeling low from about the age of 12. Between this time and the age of 30, a few people would say things to me like, “You need to relax”, “You are setting yourself up for failure”, “Your expectations are too high”, “You mustn’t think that way” or “You need to get medication … you are depressed!”.
I wasn’t clever enough to really understand what these ‘learned’ people were saying. What I can say is that I felt, and in many ways still do, that the people who were effectively judging me were far from perfect themselves and it’s questionable whether they were qualified in any way, shape or form to make such judgements.
What I have since learnt is that in the deepest, darkest depths of depression, I have made the most awful mistakes. This is not an excuse, as I take full responsibility for my actions; this is just an honest reflection of the influence it has had on my life.
When I was in my mid-to-late thirties, I admitted myself to a very well known private Hospital in the UK and was resident there for about 4 weeks. Since that time I, like many others, have been medicated and undergone therapy of so many kinds that I lose count. Additionally, I’ve studied depression and the ‘chemistry’ related to it, I’ve looked at my past, faced constant physical pain from a spinal injury, struggled tooth and nail to keep a business alive, tried to fight for my rights as a father in UK and international courts and experienced unbelievable ignorance at the hands of people who hold public office.
I am just an ordinary bloke. I don’t have the answers, but over the years I’ve found at different times, different things have helped me to manage the darkness within. My simple desire is to share some of these things with you, in the hope that you too may at different times find different ideas that resonate.
With love, hope and peace,