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FIRST PERSON: Ordinary

If you looked at me in every day life you wouldn’t see much. Just an ordinary guy, going about his business. I wear a suit to work, I drive a new car with all the new features and I love to go out socialising with my friends.

To the outside world I look happy 24/7, the guy that’s always OK and stress free, willing to take on everybody’s problems.

What they don’t see is the pain, the tears, the anger and the hate for myself. The fact that alongside major highs, I have just as big a lows.

I thought this was normal up until recently. Everybody has their ups and downs and struggles in life. I was willing to put up with it. Digging myself into a deeper depression; getting myself into huge debt trying to cover up my problems in my efforts to remain popular. The worst part was the fact I was starting to hurt my friends, not physically, but verbally and mentally.

In a way I am glad I did, because those friends came to my rescue. They saw that it wasn’t the real me, and they wanted to know what was going on. It took a while. First of all I walked away from them. I honestly thought they didn’t care, even though they had confronted me about my behaviour. I felt embarrassed that I might have a problem. It wasn’t me. Not my image.

It took a while for me to accept I might have a problem and I didn’t want to talk about it to anyone. Then I received a message on Facebook. My friend asked if I was OK and why I had decided to walk away from them.  That’s when I opened up – on a Facebook group message feed, no less. I was afraid to do it face to face. But my feelings poured out onto the page as I typed.

I told them how I felt and they told me I wasn’t alone. I even found out that two of them suffered from depression in the past and they would give me all the support I needed.

It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It wasn’t over yet – not by a long shot – but it has made it easier. A lot easier. I still struggle. I still get angry. I still cry. But now I have people around who can help me. People I can talk to and trust.

I am lucky to have these people. But I wouldn’t have realised they were there for me if they hadn’t be upfront with me. It’s not easy to talk about your problems and it’s not easy to confront them. But when you do, it gets easier. Never be afraid to talk.

 

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