Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Take off the Armour.

When I was 10 years old my father walked into the living room and found me crying. I hadn't been to school as circumstances had not permitted me to do so in a while (keep track of 'A Journey of Little Footsteps' for the reason why) and when he asked me what happened and I explained why I was 'unhappy' he told me I had no reason to be unhappy and to stop crying.


That scenario never left my mind and without realising it, I assumed a tough character,which as I have gotten older, I have realised I need to modify.


Events have taught me that at times having a tough character is fine, but there are some things you cannot deal with on your own, simply because you cannot. You need a support system at times to carry you through, and at times though its tough, having an experience that can shake you to your core is an eye opener to those who truly are there for you, love you and support you.


I walked around literally zoned out for a good few days, I felt detached, no love for the world, myself or anyone around me, yes it sounds selfish but one gets to the point where they completely shut down and are unable to function, fleeting moments arose where I would think 'I want to participate, I want to smile' but for the life of me nothing could make my body act out the thoughts. I felt anger towards myself, for not being able to shake out of the 'funk' I was in. Never before had I felt so isolated from the world, backed into a corner, my anger towards myself for not being able to snap out of it the turned to observation of others, for years I had been brought up in a manner to make sure everyone was happy and satisfied, that they would always have a shoulder to cry on once I was around. Looking around me I felt as though I had no one to turn to, and that I had been left to my own devices, essentially in my mind being tough had failed me miserably, I felt alone and I didn't want to be alone, I wanted someone to hold me while I battled silently.


I did have people to turn too, but became so depressed I couldn't see a way out. My parents called, I did not want to talk, my two best friends called, I did not want to talk to them either, because every time the discussion arose, emotions would come flowing from nowhere and the tears would flow, tears of anger and sorrow. I was blessed to have family and 3 key people around me who were able and willing to take the time to let me release when I could, who didn't look at me as though I was insane when I spoke of therapy, and basically were able to re socialize me after what was probably to date a significant traumatising experience that continuously haunts me.


If going through anything like this, from my experience just a few things to take note of:


You can't deal with it alone, surround yourself with people who know you best and are able to fully deal with the situation and you. Be around someone who can sit with you while you cry till there are no more tears, who can sit there and let you express your emotions, even sit next to you and lend a shoulder or hold your hand while you are still fighting to actually break your silence.


Its not your fault, do not blame yourself for the situation, no one can predict what is going to happen.


If you are a person of faith, talk to God because you cannot do it alone, rescinding control is the first step to overcoming any barriers put in your way.


When  you are able to fully comprehend and reflect what you have been through (when all the thoughts stop swimming in your head like a mixture of paint) or even before that, if you are in a state that you can see for yourself you need to talk it out or seek counselling, go for it.


Remove yourself from any situation where you feel uncomfortable and surround yourself with love.


Heal yourself first.


There comes a point in time where as humans we need to realise we cannot do it alone.So if you have the 'tough'  exterior and attitude, drop it, its ok to do so, because mostly 99% of the time on the inside there isn't as much toughness as you would like those around you to think.


Many times we go around on auto-pilot, being strong for everyone around you, but being incapable of being truly strong for yourself. It sounds selfish but STOP! There is only so much one person can handle, you are not Superman or Wonderwoman.


Its not a case of completely removing compassion and becoming self absorbed, but its a case of knowing when enough is enough and you must take care of yourself.


If you are anything like me, taking a spin on it like this may help...There is no way you can really be there for anyone else, lend support, strength and love, unless you love yourself first.


If you are held back by the fact that you may lose friends and partners because you have to sort yourself first, move ahead regardless, because if you lose those around you when you are taking a step back and not extending yourself as much as you normally do and they are aware you are doing it for yourself to grow and heal, then they weren't genuine to begin with.


Plain and Simple.


There is a link attached giving the symptoms of depression, covering both men and women.


http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_women.htm


Its important to remember, you are not alone. When you smile, someone's spirit lifts, even if you do not see it directly.


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