So here we are early February 2015 and it is a year since I was diagnosed with mild depression by my doctor. It has been to say the least a year full of many ups and downs and a year that for that reason I would be glad to forget that it ever happened. What I won’t forget though is the support I had from my family and various friends, both old and new. I will always be grateful for that support which has never wavered and the friends that have stayed around to support and pick me up with words of encouragement and of wisdom as well as a chuckle at my expense (I still blame that London wetherspoons).
Despite everything and although I am not completely there and sometimes fighting a hidden daily battle even now, I do feel that I am in a better position than I was this time last year. This time last year felt pretty bleak to be honest and I wasn’t ever sure I’d be getting to enjoy myself like I used to.
Being round the gang at the gaming table for one has been great, having a good bit of banter in amongst the gaming campaigns, has been brilliant and has certainly helped. The number of times we have laughed and laughed at the table due to some witty comment, double entendre or bit of innuendo.
I am also fortunate to live in a house with some great people and a great little westie. Taking Daisy out for walks when I feel upto it and I get the chance, is really good. It is something I enjoy and it is very true that pets and especially dogs can help you to feel better. Coming home whether from work or from just being out and having Daisy come to say hello is really good. She is very much full of energy although I do sometimes worry when I walk upstairs and she bounds up with me and rises on her back legs so close to the top of the stairs. Whenever I take her out for a long walk, I sometimes just let her lead as its always a good experience. Getting to play various new board games and board games based on computer games like civilization and Xcom has been good. Notably the friends of my house mates have also become friends to me as well, which also makes it good. Im very certain that there will be more fun games and entertaining evenings ahead.
Seeing old friends from previous gigs has been good as well as meeting those who only managing to chat online which happened in November and December.
One thing has surprised me with various friends both in person and online, I have had the support as usual from my good friends but also that of friends that I havent really spoke to much and who have been through their own journeys with mental health. You may remember the blog regarding my journey with depression. I received several messages saying how helpful it was to them in understanding what people close to them were going through. That was really all I wanted to do. There are many people throughout the country, too many in fact, that have or are suffering with various forms of mental health issues. Some people thought it was wrong to share something personal. Yes it was something personal and some people may not have agreed with it, but for me it was about not only helping myself but helping other people. As cliche as it may seem, if you help one person then that is one person that is no longer fighting a battle on their own, if someone was to read and realise through what they were reading, that they too were suffering then to know that they went and sought help is a good thing. It was reading a blog post of a good friend and someone who has had their own battle, that I realised that I was suffering.
There are of course those who I thought were friends but then opted to walk away, but that is their choice and whilst it is a shame, it is also a disappointment because you thought you knew those people well,
I wont name all the people that have helped me through this year, they know who they are and many will just say its what friends do, but it still does mean a lot to me and always will.