Health and fitness is my lifestyle

Ever since I can remember depression has been apart of me; it is something that made me different from others, it is I could not stop from consuming my life. Throughoutmy school years I made attempts to open up and talk about how aI felt and what I was going though; I saw the school councillor on a regular basis, I participated in the Rainbow Program, but in all honestly- none of this helped; there was pain inside me that kept on growing. When I was 13 years old, I began to self harm; not in attempt to commit suicide but more so to numb the pain, the pain I could not understand. I'll be honest, it helped, momentarily and this was the reason I did over and over again. At the age of 17, things went from bad to worse- I made an attempt to take my life, this is a memory that will always haunt me. I couldn't handle life; for me there was no point- the pain was so bad and I couldn't understand why. Mum had had enough, she brought me to see a therapist, again, I felt it didn't help. I knew deep down things had to change, but where to start, that I didn't know. And so, the last eleven years have not been easy; fighting depression is a constant battle but you are only given one life and you must not give up.

My name is Erica, I am 28 years old and I am finally on the road to regaining some control in my life. 

Before I figured the best way for me to mange my "illness" life wasn't always great. Like anyone I had good and bad days but when I had bad days they sometimes turned to weeks and even months; and because of this, I couldn't seem to control my life. If something began to go in the right direction bam I would be knocked off my path and it felt like I had to start over again. Last year, this happened a lot- something had to change. 2015 was one of my hardest battles yet; it felt I would never find the light I was searching for. My world was tuned upside down in many ways; there were a times I would think about how I would end my life but instead, I would write these feelings down. October 28th 2015, I eventually found the energy to speak to my doctor; I remember like it was yesterday. My doctor was the only person I felt I could be entirely honest with; I sat in his office and I cried, I was tired of feeling this way, there was no way out. We eventually decided it would be best for me to go back on anti-depressants. Since then I have found that my emotions are a lot more controlled, but not only this, being back on medication has helped me realise something; despite everything I'm not broken- it just so happens I need a little bit of a helping hand.

I remember not too long ago, I was without my medication for about five days. Those days were hell. My mood plummeted, my heart felt broken, I felt dead inside. Yes, I have bad days, weeks and even months from time to time but at that time, I had so many good things going for me; I just couldn't figure it out, I kept asking, why do I feel like this- I had no answer. Long story short, a couple of days later I collected my medication, I felt as good as new. Weird isn't it? But it's not only medication that has helped me over the last couple of months. I decided there were a few things I needed to start doing. I began to confide in my family and friends, without them I'd be lost. When I'm feeling down, I no longer isolate myself instead I reach out and surround myself with loved ones. I also found my passion- powerlifting, this is something I thrive for. I want to push myself more and more every single day, I can't begin to describe how good lifting heavy weights feel. Along with powerlifting, surrounding myself with like minded people follows suit. Lastly, I am thankful every single day; every night before I go to sleep, I say a prayer, I thank the Universe for it's being and all the good in my life. I focus on what I have and not what don't; I work towards turning all that I have into something better knowing the rest will fall into place. I've gone through a lot of hardship over the years, I could probably write a book on it but what matters most is the here and now.

Anyone who knows me or has read my blog knows I am a big advocate fitness and how it can be beneficial for mental health also. Let's briefly rewind to Summer 2014, I unfortunately relapsed (in terms of my battle with depression) and on top of this, I was struggling with my weight; and so, I decided to take control of my life and I joined a gym; which led me to find my love and passion for health and fitness. 

Health and fitness is my life style, it has made me stronger- both physically and mentally. Joining the gym has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in terms ofmy health and wellbeing. If you’re reading this and you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or you’re feeling a little down try and be pro-active. I know, I know- way easier said than done but, what’s the worst that can happen? I can guarantee you, exercise will help your mood and you definitely won’t regret it.

Having depression or any mental illness for that matter, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always doom and gloom; life can be pretty good especially when you find a way to manage your "illness". I can honestly say I am finally coping and I’m doing well, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

Doug LeddinComment