Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Battling with your pride

one thing that really got to me as i gradually got worse in the first year or so of my depression was the fact that i couldnt do things myself any more. ive mentioned before (several times) that if you are suffering from depression you arent alone, and that there are plenty of people out there who can help you, however, what i havent mentioned is that when i finally admitted openly that i was really struggling and needed help my pride was torn apart.

ive never really been one to ask for help with things, especially if it was everyday stuff that i used to do all the time. i spent a LOT of time trying to handle my problems on my own. i tried to deal with them without other people knowing i was having problems. realising that i couldnt keep fighting on my own was a huge emotional blow. everything between not being able to go to a shop on my all the way through to and keeping a hold of my emotions became an incredible challenge for me, and it was one i could not do solo. 

the fact that i could no longer do things which i knew i could do and which i knew i was good at (the hiding the emotions and problems) and it hit me hard. not only was i struggling with the existing mental health issues, i then had to deal with that added weight of knowing i wasnt good enough, strong enough or stable enough to handle things on my own any more. 

pride may be good in some aspects of life, but it is more of a hindrance with regards to improving your mental health. it became a vicious circle: feeling crappy, try to do something you usually do to take your mind off of things, cant do it, get stressed and annoyed because you cant do it. someone helps with it, but then you feel crappy again because you cant do something you used to do all the time.  

pride and stubbornness seem to go hand in hand. you dont want people to see you as weak, so you keep trying something. if it doesnt work you get more and more pissed off and upset that you cant do it, but you feel even worse because other people know you cant do it.

its a bastard. a total bastard, and all it does is make you feel useless. 

fortunately for me, my view of that stuff has changed a bit.

its very rare that people learn something entirely on their own. there will ALWAYS be some kind of third party influence; be it a teacher when you were in school, a parent, a friend, something you've seen on tv or on the computer and so on.

at first you needed a bit of help getting to grips with things, and the simple fact is that sometimes, even if we're really good at something it can still be useful and helpful to have someone else along to give us a hand with whatever we're doing. 

i spent 3 years at college studying furniture making, and one of the things i learnt when using large woodworking machines was that sure, you could do the job on your own, but having someone else with you can make it a bit easier and quicker to do. one person puts a length of wood in one end of the machine, one takes it out. 

pride is a total arse biscuit and in my experience it is actually a handicap when it comes to dealing with emotional problems. sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and admit that while you may have been able to handle things on your own, now you need a bit of support along the way.

its not easy to do by any means, but if you can get past your own pride and allow people to help you instead of being a stubborn fool (like i was and still am sometimes) then you've taken a big step to gradually getting better.

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