I've spent the past 20 years of my life battling depression to various degrees of success. This is my story of being overwhelmed by the darkness and finding my way to happiness.

Bruises that won't heal

It happened again, and I don't know why. After just a few weeks I find myself back in the abyss. Stranded on a leaky rowing boat in the heart of a storm of emotion fuelled by pain, fear and self loathing.

It was all going so well. Therapy was both interesting and seemingly effective, I had a solid strategy for coping which I was not only sticking to but really enjoying and I even managed to pluck up the courage to get out of the house on a date, with a real life woman. I was on a real buzz as I was riding the train home. But then it all came crashing down for no reason at all, at least none that I can understand. The early foundations I had begun to build have been as effective as an actual fact in a Donald Trump debate and when the darkness returned I had nothing to protect myself with, my defences made of tissue paper and cotton wool.

I've spent the past 2 days in bed, unable to summon the energy or courage to get up, alone and afraid that no one cares. Despite knowing that this is not true, nothing I can do can convince me otherwise. All the mechanisms I was using have fallen away. I haven't mediated, don't have the energy or motivation to leave the house to exercise and my diet has exclusively consisted of bread, peanut butter and crisps.

I know, perhaps hope, that it will pass but right now nothing can convince me that it will. My mind becomes incredibly self-destructive at times like this, manifesting itself in a self-fulfilling prophesy as I push people away, retreat into the darkness of my bedroom and abandon everything I've learned that can help me.

This is not the last time I will have a relapse, I can only hope that they become less frequent, less disabling and my ability to recognise them early and deal with them improves. It's a long, difficult journey that will be filled with all sorts of challenges, pitfalls and difficulties but every time I get knocked down, I will get up, a little bit stronger than before.


A big step

A little bit of therapy