@MattOlesh


585 days later & 5 takeaways

585 days later & 5 takeaways

It's been 585 days since I checked myself into an inpatient psychiatric care facility.  I was severely depressed to the point that I was a risk to myself.  I felt broken.  I felt worthless.  I felt like I was always 'screwing things up'.  I couldn't accept my own positive attributes and accomplishments. I didn't believe any of it was true. I felt un-loveable.  I wanted everything to stop feeling so difficult and overwhelming.  I wanted to disappear.  

On top of that, I was mad at myself for feeling these things.  "Why the hell couldn't I just be normal?",  "I'm so difficult, whiny, moody.... bleh", "I'm more of a burden on everyone than anything else...".  So much negative self-talk.

There's still a chunk missing from our wood coffee table where I was repeatedly stabbing it while daydreaming about turning the blade on myself.

I didn't understand depression or mental health in general. I thought people with mental health issues were just imagining things. I didn't think it was real and I didn't know I could feel better.  I stumbled through my 20's without developing much in the emotional intelligence realm.  I'd do my best to put on a pleasant happy face when I needed to. I didn't understand my emotions and wasn't able to manage them in a healthy way. I'd lose my temper or express my disdain for a situation in moody, immature ways.

Hope doesn't come naturally to a depressed person.  Neither does accepting help, initiative, goal setting, etc...  I tried to isolate myself from the world - deactivating social media accounts, removing myself from group texts, not answering the phone... When a loved one suggested I go to the hospital and get help, I first felt the my defensive ego-driven response creep up.  Then I realized, I was already at bottom.  Maybe this could help. My go-to response hasn't served me well.  Maybe it's time to accept that I need help.

September 15th 2016.  The day I accepted that I'd hit bottom, the day my eyes and my heart were open, the day I started on this journey, the first day of the rest of my life.

 

The last 585 days haven’t always been easy, but there’s absolutely no question, I’m a better person now than I was before.  Layers of ego continue to be stripped away.  I continue to become a more loving person.  

 

What are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned?

1.    Love is ALWAYS the right answer.

2.    People aren’t annoying – I just get annoyed.

3.    It’s okay to not feel okay – the storm will pass.

4.    Other people struggle too – we’re all just trying to get by.

5.    The mind is plastic – it can be trained.

To start, here's my take on meditation

Acceptance is key

Acceptance is key

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