The Daily Battle of my Post-Depression.

As I may have revealed in my previous blog(s), I have dealt with some hard times in the past. Even though I am feeling better and my life circumstances are way more positive than before. But I at times like these, I still feel the depression luring around me with all kinds of negative thoughts and feelings…
At some weeks it is harder to stay strong against these ridiculous thoughts. The last thing I want is that my insecurity an effect has on my daily life, goals and opportunities.


“Knowing how low the ‘down’ parts are,
the more you appreciate the ‘up’ parts!”


When I was younger I would let myself to be a victim of my depression. I would miss all kinds of opportunities and wander through the days without a goal. Days passed by like it didn’t mean anything and I was okay with that… I preferred to be alone than to be with friends (or even make new friends). I can’t recall when my depression had started. Professionals called it a youth depression. I was growing up in an unhealthy environment with my family, physically and emotionally.

My parents were dealing with too many issues at once. Because of this, they had their own coping mechanisms like drinking, gaming and gambling… My older brother is disabled since the age of 5. This had brought a lot of stress to my parents because even the doctors didn’t know at the beginning what they were dealing with. After a few years, they learned to understand that my brother has a disease called dystonia. Dystonia seems to be rare and there hasn’t been a lot of research done of it.
My family was very unstable and growing up with them was very hard for me. They couldn’t give me the support and attention what I needed during my childhood. So at one point, I was forced to be on my own and tried to become as independent as possible.

Throughout the years it felt hard to choose who I wanted to become. I didn’t have a good example of how I should live or how to do this the right way. I went off the road many times and made a crazy amount of mistakes. I befriended the wrong kind of people and I started doing drugs. It began to become my escape from my problems. It was easier to forget my troubles while I was under this stuff and it became an addiction. Before I even knew it, I was using it daily. I slept barely because of this and my mood was getting worse. But still, I felt the excitement while using it with my best friend. She helped me to get the stuff and we used most of it together. She and her friends were my group of people where I could try out any kind of stuff that I wanted. And I have to admit, it was fun to avoid my responsibilities for a while… But within no time, I only hang out with them and I didn’t have any other friends who understood my world. I became isolated with only bad people around me. So for a few years, I stayed in this toxic world full of temptations and avoiding responsibilities. I have hurt and used people around me for the benefit for my own needs. I didn’t trust people nor did I trust myself with temptations. I was a very troubled girl with no clue what to do in life. I was sabotaging myself, body, mind and my own future.


I became that toxic, depressing and damaged friend
that even I don’t want to be friends with…”


I hit rock bottom at the age of 18 and lost everything because of my own doing… I lost my good old friends and I had a really bad relationship with my parents and family. I had money issues my own and my school grades were terrible. I was extremely unhappy and I felt very insecure. My body was weak and I felt tired all the time. I didn’t look healthy and I felt ashamed looking in the mirror. The only thing that I could see in the mirror is that I was ugly and that looked fat. I didn’t feel beautiful nor was I proud of my life, body and actions.

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Again, I don’t have a lot of photos of me from that period.
So, this one represents how I felt at that time. –

And strangely enough I couldn’t fall deeper, so I had a revelation in life. Once you hit the obsolete bottom, the only way you can go is up. I learned that after I tried to improve my situation I noticed it was only partly the situation but it was mostly ME… And the only thing that I could change, was by changing myself.


‘I’ had to become a better person and not the persons like my family around me. 


Of course, writing it like this is easier than it actually was. I went into therapy and started talking with people about it. I stopped hiding who I was and start reflecting on everything that I did and thought. I learned that I had an unhealthy perspective of the world. This frame of references affected my way of seeing almost everything… I misjudged peoples reactions and intentions because I had learned not to trust people. This perspective was standing in the way of making and maintaining friends. I went through a period where I didn’t trust my own instincts and for a few years I was very unstable but developing in the right direction. I started cutting off the toxic people around me, in order not to get tempted by previous temptations. I quit smoking, using drugs and drinking every night. And because I stopped with every bad thing I did, the people where I often hang out with started to see me as ‘boring’ and they tried to convince me to take drugs again. Only then I realised how extremely toxic they were and how messed up their perspectives were. I didn’t fit in anymore, so I left this group.

First I felt quite friendless because I had a lot of bad people around me. Only then I saw how deep and swallowed I was in the weird world with bad people. And only then I realised how badly you can be affected by the people you are with.


“Someone has told me that every person is a mixture of the handful of people around them. So their closest family and friends have an effect on how each person develops, this can be negative but also positive!”  


I began to focus all my energy on singing and I started playing the guitar. I began meditating and tried to be in sync with my emotions. I have let in a lot of emotions, to begin with, and I cried a lot. I cried about the little innocent girl who I was in the past and how badly she wished everything would be fine. I cried about the misbehaving teenager that I was and all the things that I did wrong, all the people that I had hurt along the way. But I was hopeful for the new me that I wanted to become.

Even knowing that the path to recovering was probably harder than the years that already passed. But I knew that this time, I would have help!

13716055_1171235459607849_2279932050332012077_nDuring this period I tried to do my best at school again and graduated from Leisure & Events! And I started a new study called Human Resource Management at the University of Applied Science in Utrecht. This study also helped me a lot developing myself with reading a lot of books about personal and professional development. And I know I am still not done with developing myself, but I know I am in the good direction.

I have been dealing with depression almost all my life. I am just 23 years old and I have many years to come! I won’t say it’s easy, cuz it’s not… I think dealing with depression stays a daily battle, but winning this battle does become easier! There are days I have to fight harder to stay positive and there are days where I simply let the thoughts get in but I try to control them. Because by giving your thoughts an audience once in a while helps you to (re-)consider some (difficult) decisions from different perspectives. But don’t let it affect your daily choices!

For example, it’s because of these (depressing) thoughts that I have decided to start with this blog! Knowing my daily battle, makes me wanted to share this feeling and thoughts. 

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While writing this blog post, I began to wonder if I would post this… I can imagine that people don’t want to read other people’s problems, while they might have to deal with their own. Nowadays it feels like everything should be happy and colourful in our society and that you are not allowed to have negative feelings and thoughts. But we are all human beings and the truth is that we are simply not always happy.

Then I also had the idea that: “what if…” What if I might just reach that one person who is in a similar situation as me? I know that I wished someone would have opened up their story while I was in that dark period. So why can’t I be that person now? 

Well, there is my story, my hard life story… XD Weirdly enough, I wouldn’t change a thing about my past. Because it has made me who I am! Even though I am still battling my demons almost daily, I am stronger and balanced because of this. Knowing how low the ‘down’ parts are, the more you appreciate the ‘up’ parts!

 

 

If you have or know someone with depression? Know that it will become better. But remember that you don’t have to do this all by yourself! Try to open up about it to your friends and family and seek help from a professional to start or speed up your development towards a balanced life.

 

Much loves,

Gwendolyn.

 

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