Sunday, 4 May 2014

It's okay not to have it all together

Photo from Live Life Happy
Like many people, I have tried to stay strong in situations which were hard. Maybe it was because I was scared of having another breakdown. Or maybe it was because I wanted to preserve an image of a good person, a person who is spiritually strong, who posts some positive messages on Facebook, who reads lots of books and is aware, who is opening his heart and doing a lot of healing work ..

The reality is, difficulties can come to (supposedly) the best of us, to the ones who we think might have it all together. And part of the danger with positive thinking and indeed the spiritual/New Age movement is that we can make the assumption that depression, anxiety and struggles should not be happening, that because we may know techniques to 'overcome' problems, or we think we should be 'living in the present' .. that we may see struggles as a sign of weakness and failure.

Okay, I am very, very fortunate and feel blessed that I have been able to access some priceless information when it comes to living life and dealing with challenges. Possibly the most important thing I've learnt is to feel and allow whatever comes up rather than fight against it.

But sometimes, no matter how well we've done, we might have to hold our hands up and admit that we're not doing so well. It's not easy doing that. As much as people might say 'don't be dictated by life's circumstances', the reality is that some circumstances can be bloody difficult. I am now coming to realise that my last two jobs possibly/probably affected my mental health more than I realised. I ended up doing something a bit different for a month, in the hope that perhaps new opportunities might arise, then something came up which I thought might be a real opportunity but ended up being a massive mistake which could have lasting implications.

There's no point trying to pretend you have it all together when you've just been through one of the worst days of your life. Even after I had the breakdown in 2006, I went back to work soon after I recovered, and moved north a few months later which was the best thing I ever did - but I never had any professional help - I just pretended that I was okay - which to an extent I was - but there's no way anyone can go through a breakdown and pretend it will never have an affect on them again.

I've made some bad choices in terms of career, which have kind of caught up with me now. Work is such a major part of life, that if you are doing something you hate, it will have an effect on you. I am sure that a lot of visits to the doctor are in some way related to work. I had days in my last job where I was so stressed and went home in a right state. I lasted eight months there, and goodness knows how I stayed there that long. It was so wrong an environment for me and I feel quite angry now about what I went through there. Perhaps I should have seen a doctor about it, but, like many men (and women too) I tried to soldier on in the midst of stress, sometimes I dreaded going to work, but money dictated my life.

I have come back to the UK with little. Part of me feels really annoyed that I didn't think things through a bit more - I guess I was trying to escape from life in the UK, and at least I tried something different - but I was devastated when I got back into Leeds airport. The worst of it has now passed, but now I'm starting to face that I haven't got my life all that together right now. And that's okay.

Just accepting how I feel is very important right now. I think I am learning more and more, what it really is to be present and to take one day at a time. I am trying to live life the best I can and to face my issues and to become more open minded and open hearted. But it's all a process. Sometimes, possibly the best thing to do is to admit that you're struggling and don't know what to do. We need other people to help us along the journey - life is not meant to be lived in too much isolation.

But anyway, maybe I've rambled a bit here. But what I want to put across, is the message that you are okay, even if at times you do not feel okay, are worried or depressed.

Sending love

1 comment:

  1. I think you are very brave Andy, sharing your journey. Most people have not got it together appearances are so often deceptive. I have started to look beyond appearances and when I listen to my gut most people who are happy happy joy joy all the time are not really at all. True happiness is more a peaceful contentment, excitement can be an addiction so know you are growing so much.

    Perhaps embrace breakdown and do it consciously? I don't mean you have to lose yourself but know you are breaking down right now so may be the fear can be less if you acknowledge and appreciate the gifts that consciously breaking down can give to you. You are breaking down who you thought you were, you are breaking down what you think you ought to be doing... you are breaking down the illusions of you, and this is a grand a beautiful thing, no matter how challenging or painful the feelings can be.

    BIG HUGS ANDY, I know you on a journey home, to you.


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