The Face of Depression 

A Personal Blog…

I was utterly horrified when an old photo of me surfaced at work. Taken near the start of my current job,  around 2010/2011 time… I am beyond embarrassed,  so here I am,  sharing the monstrosity on the bloody Internet instead of putting it through the shredder…  Because, my very first thought when I looked upon myself from (not that many) years ago, was ‘OMG… I was so unhappy’…

It was that thought which compelled me to keep the photo and to share the photo.  This is the face of Depression,  this was me at my lowest ebb, this was the self destructive,  self harming, suicidal,  drinking, eating junk, miserable and ill… I was slowly killing myself and I hated myself…

This is my face and I’m wearing my depression in my eyes, it lays heavily on my shoulders along with the weight I was carrying.  This is me, this is who I was and I can’t hate her,  she’s my past,  she’s all the horrible things I’ve been through… But she survived… Because she is me…

This is me now, this is who I am, who she came to be…  I no longer live with depression… It’s been a long path, that journey to self love,  to love life and grasp crazy adventures (like Glass Walking)…

If I had given up,  if I had vanished into the bottom of another empty wine bottle,  I would never had thought I could have achieved all I have done in just a few short years.

I am not perfect, but I don’t need to be perfect. I still have moments where I’m gripped by anxiety and  I am still overweight (Damn You Cake!)…

I never anticipated that I could change my life around so much,  so drastically… Sometimes you need that blast from the past, that smack in the face to help you understand just how far you have come and give you the courage to continue…
Love Anne x

09.03.17

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Destroying Personal Doubts

Ooh… If only it was really that easy…

I’m afraid I don’t have any miracle answers to completely destroying personal doubts, but I have been known to be crazy enough to put myself into bizarre situations which really make me question my abilities, strengths and stupidity.

One such occasion was last Sunday (26.02.17) where I found myself facing toasting my toes having insanely chosen to participate in a Fire Walk at Red Hot Coals in Loughborough Leicestershire. Because I have nothing better to do with my Sunday afternoons…

I had no idea what to expect, I was a ‘little’ anxious … roughly translated as wrapped up in nervous anticipation to the point where I questioned whether I wanted to go or not…

However the ‘experience’ was paid for as a gift, so with an open mind and a few Google searches later I pulled up my big girl pants and ventured forth…

On the plus side I did get to meet a real life stunt man, which was rather splendid. What I did not expect was a series of physical and mental tests that we were invited to participate in prior to our Fire Walk. Activities such as I would expect from a Ninja, not a cuddly Anne!

Alas WordPress wont let me attach videos, however if you wish to bare witness to my amazing feats there are three videos on my Twitter page (where it says pictures & videos). Here you will see me breaking wood with my hand… Not something I’ve ever done before, I’ve seen it done by super Martial Artists, skilled and focused in their art… The closest I’ve ventured into the realms of Martial Arts is simply Tai-Chi, which I practice each day. But to put my hand through a sheet of wood… I doubted my abilities and fully expected to be the one who failed and hurt my hand, but standing there, something in my head just said ‘there is no wood’ and I amused my own little brain with random Matrix musings, putting my hand through the wood with astonishing ease.

Our next challenge was death defying (yes we had to sign a disclaimer that we might die) To break an arrow with my throat! Pointy end at my neck, feathered end against the wall… This I DID NOT want to do… So naturally, in order to conquer my nerves, I went first. Fully expecting to chicken out as soon as it hurt and whimper out of the challenge … But NO! As soon as I saw the shaft start to bend, I knew I could shatter this task. Though the pressure felt unpleasant against my windpipe the arrow did indeed shatter and if you watch the video, I think I look totally shocked and then kinda give a little dance of glee…

However the weather proved to be out bitter enemy this day and high winds made the fire walk impossible, it was unsafe, the winds tossing ash and embers around carelessly, dangerously and our expert stuntman declared that the walk would not take place today… So… Plan B… A glass walk!

Walking On Broken Glass is not something I had in mind when I had woken up that morning, I was all fueled up to walk on fire, but glass is sharp and pointy and ouchie with the sharp pointy ouchie bits and really *really* unnerving crunching sound as it crushed under foot… Watching a professional stuntman perform his art was impressive and caused me to wince once or twice… But to actually get up and stand there…

Ever see that episode of Criminal Minds where the floor is covered in glass? There’s a killer behind you, the exit before you but between you and the exit a floor of broken glass (Image from Season 2 Episode 22 Legacy) OR… That needle scene in Saw…

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All these nightmare visions swarmed through my thoughts… But I made my first step and gingerly made my way, those few uncomfortable steps, focusing on looking ahead, to trusting your feet, allowing your own toes to find a path through the glass.

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I’m pleased to say I achieved all three insane tasks, I have still got the fire walk to do in finer weather and I am left with a resounding thought, that maybe I am capable of far more than I give myself credit for? Maybe?

 

Love, Anne x

02.03.17