This is very deep, and although pretty difficult to write I feel it’s necessary. Mental health is an issue, a big one. We live in a world of expectation, comparison and ideals which provides a BREEDING ground for this stuff and makes us very uncomfortable in our own skin.
I will be the first to admit – I know what it’s like to struggle with mental health.
Since I was 19, anxiety crept into my life – I didn’t really know what it was or why I felt the way I did – but it was there.
Long story short – for the past 7 years I’ve been at war with myself, attacking negative emotions and feelings with everything I have, trying to overcome my overwhelming sense of self-doubt and ultimately – lack of self-worth.
I began to operate on a simple system of ‘success’ and ‘failure’. Small wins and successes built me up, reinforced the kind of person I wanted to be and failures HOWEVER tiny (and seemingly insignificant) would literally, destroy me.
This, more times than I can count has reduced me to tears.
This creates so much permanent tension – between the person you want to be and the person you’re most scared of being – and most people just don’t understand, unless you’re living with it.
It creates a limbo, a no-man’s land where you float, forever trying to prove yourself to no-one but yourself, yet still caring deeply about how other people perceive you – it’s kinda crazy, right?
The tension created 24/7 makes you feel like the real, free-flowing, HAPPY you is locked in a cage and can’t get out – no matter what you do, UNTIL you finally get that quick ‘win’ which snaps you out of it (however brief).
It can be very, very destructive – to people around you and especially, yourself.
That’s not even the hardest aspect. The hardest is that you’re totally aware of the vicious cycle – but struggle to step out of it – it makes you feel like you’re losing control which FEEDS the desire to find quick wins to bring you back. If that makes sense?
Believe me when I say this – I’ve read more self-help books than anyone, all of which provide tactics and strategies to keep you going.
The biggest issue is (exactly like I always say about diets) they’re tactics and strategies which, in the short term may help you take back some form of control, but really if anything, it’s FUELING the war you’re having and will never solve the underlying issue.
The catch is, reading self-help and wanting answers WHILST suffering is the same as navigating a dark forest under a time limit without a compass. Your lens is skewed, you’re not seeing properly and judgements are made very, very poorly – essentially swinging blindly and wildly with a machete trying to get out of the abyss by latching onto some positive superficial mind shift.
You know, a lot of people I speak to always mention how well I’m doing, following my passion, setting up my business etc.
The one thing I need people to understand that this is as a PRODUCT of my on-going struggle and wanting to help others improve and SAVE their lives through fitness as a result of my own personal struggle.
It’s not about simply, shifting body fat.
It’s about controlling the controllables and inching forwards each and every day REGARDLESS as to how you feel.
So, for anyone reading this that suffers on the daily with anxiety and/or depression – I totally, totally get it, on many levels and so do many others – please do reach out to me if this resonates with you at all.
The big issue is that people stay quiet about it for the fear of being judged poorly by others.
Funny thing is – those that may judge you poorly are pretty often, MORE lost than you may feel you are and you don’t need em.