An Open Letter to Depression

Dear Depression,

You haven’t taken enough already? Taking my every last ounce of happiness, and every last good memory away from me wasn’t enough? Was giving you every single tear I had, every single piece of my heart, every single smile I had not good enough?

You are a killer. You are a murderer. You are cruel. You leave people to rot inside their own minds. You lead people to believe they mean nothing, when you know full well they mean the world to someone. You break families apart, relationships apart. You break people.

You take the strongest person and reduce them down until they’re nothing but sadness. You ruin the best in people. You make sure even the kindest souls are tainted with your darkness. Oh and you do all of this, and you’ve made sure there’s no cure.

Sure we can make you go away for a while, but that’s not enough for you. You come back. You’re always there, lurking. Waiting for the weak spot to rear its head again. Waiting for an opening. Then BAM you’re back. Ruining lives, and laughing the entire way.

You feed off of misery, and sadness and pain. You love to create loneliness. You dwell in the darkness of people’s minds, and make that grow until that’s all the mind can see. Until it starts to look around, but the light is gone.

You are a f*****g arsehole. You hurt the ones I love. You make them feel like they’re nothing, when to me they are everything. You hurt me. You hurt me every single f*****g day I am alive. You make it a chore to just survive. You make it hard to be alone. You make it impossible for me to think without you there. You make me feel like I’m drowning. Like I’m useless.

But you’re the one that’s going to lose. Depression, here is my oath to you.

For every mind you’ve ever broken, for every heart you’ve taken away and made dark, for every tear someone has shed because of you. You will live to regret it. Because we see you. We see your darkness. And we are sick of you.

It might take months, years, or even centuries. But one day, you’ll be nothing. You will be exactly what you make us feel. Worthless. Nothing more than a bad memory. Nothing. You have hurt people for so long. It’s time you felt it too, I think.

So get ready. Because I will never give up this fight as long as I am still breathing. I will never ever give up. Not for me. Not for my friends. My family. Not for every single person who has felt any pain from you.

I am coming for you depression.

Get ready, because here I come.

It’s not nice feeling scared all the time, is it?

Lots of love, from your tormented pawn,

Meggan x

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The Insufferable Question

What if? A question you probably ask yourself on a daily basis without even knowing. It probably starts off as something simple, what if I got an earlier bus today? What if I’d decided to shower last night instead of rushing around this morning? What if I’d actually gone to bed when I said I would instead of sitting and scrolling through social media all night? We all ask it, and we all have to live with this sometimes intolerable question bearing down on our minds.

Sometimes however, the question can relate to something more serious. It could be an exam, a piece of coursework, an incident at work, or a failed relationship. The thoughts of what could be, or should have been buzz through your mind and can become unbearable. The thought of not knowing what could have happened if you’d changed one slight thing about your day on that day where it all went wrong can be too much to bear.

Take myself as an example. There aren’t a lot of moments I can think of that I would want to change too much, apart from one. As you know from previous blogs, my nan passed away a few years ago and it was one of the hardest times of my life. That is my biggest reason for what if’s. What if she never passed away back then? Would she have been proud of me now? Would we have been just as close, if not closer? Would I still be feeling how I am, and struggling with my mental health as much? What if I’d been by her side? Would it have helped her? There are so many ‘what if’s’ going on in my mind thinking about that moment.

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Lighthouses – A shining light in the battle of mental illness

Wow it’s been a while since I wrote here! Again I’m so sorry but I’ve just not felt particularly inspiring or helpful recently. I’ve not even been helping myself too much, my own fault yes, so I didn’t really feel like writing anything.

That’s until I was listening to a song by Mallory Knox called ‘Lighthouse’. A particular lyric struck a chord in me and inspired this post.

“Find the lighthouse in the dark, and shine a light on every single soul that weeps”

This line really hit me. Now I’ve listened to this song a million times but it wasn’t until now that I interpreted it in my own way.

It talks about finding a lighthouse to shine a light on yourself and those in need. That’s one of the most important lyrics I’ve heard. A lot of people, myself included, see their depression as a black cloud, a darkness or something in relation that it blocks out the light and goodness of life. 

However this lyric battles that, it hints that you find a lighthouse to help brighten up that darkness, and that’s something I think we can all do. Now that ‘lighthouse’ doesn’t have to be anything in particular, it can be anything you want. It could be reading, listening to music, a person in your life…anything really. What matters is that your ‘lighthouse’ shines bright enough to you that the dark clouds move. Even for a little bit, but for that moment they’re gone. That for the time your lighthouse is shining so bright nothing can ever dull it.

This concept might sound cheesy but I’ve learnt through my struggle with depression that anyway to help yourself think positively is a way to help clear that darkness away. 

Leading me on to the next part of the lyric, ‘shine a light on every single soul that weeps’ – possibly my favourite line. Never ever feel like you’re alone in this. What you’re feeling I can almost guarantee someone else has felt the same or similar. Reach out to someone if you can – and that goes out to both those dealing with mental health issues and those who aren’t. Reach out to those you think are in need and remind them they’re never alone. Mental illness can be a very lonely place even if you’re surrounded by love, as I’ve learnt from my own experience. Banding together and shining our own ‘lighthouse’ on other people reminds them to stay strong and reminds them they’re not the only ones going through it. There is help and there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hundreds of people who will be more than willing to lend a helping hand. Don’t worry if you need a little guidance along the way.

Lighthouses guide boats to safety and stop them from hitting rocks along the way. Once you realise what your lighthouse is let it do just that for you. Let it guide you away from your demons, and direct you through the darkness. Allow it to steer you away from the rocks that will eventually cause you to sink, you can do this.

What I’m trying to say is that everyone deserves to have a light in their life, no matter what it is. Games, family, friends, books, make up, hopefully if you look hard enough it will be there. Once you find it remind yourself that you won’t be like this forever and let it help you to get away from the darkness. The escape may not last forever but the little steps are always the most important.

I hope this made sense, and I hope that it helps whoever it needs to. Here is me shining a light on those who need it – I’m here and so are you so never forget how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve fought already.

Look out for your lighthouse and blast that darkness away.

Keep fighting,

Meggan

2017 New Years Resolutions

2016 has been a weird year. So many awful things have happened in the world, and so many people that are idolised have lost their lives, it’s been a tragedy. However a lot of good things have happened too, such as the Giant Panda no longer being endangered. The good things have seemingly been overlooked by the bad, which I know is a common thing that most people do. It’s easier to let the dark clouds cover the sky than it is to create a clear sky yourself, and that’s understandable.

However with each passing year, people all across the world decide to make New Year’s Resolutions to change something about themselves in the new year. If you look at my post from last year, I also did a resolution post, and I kind of stuck to it. So this year I want to carry on making achievable goals, because I feel too many people make their goals incredibly hard and then make themselves feel bad about not achieving them.

Here are my resolutions for the year:

  1. A returning resolution this year, I’m going to make sure to try to put myself first. A lot of the time I make sure to put others first, which is a good thing, in moderation. It’s important to make sure to focus on yourself and take some time for yourself too. You’re just as important as they are, and I hope you never forget that.
  2. Focus on my mental health. If you’ve read previous blog posts on this blog then you’ll know that this year has been a tough one since I got diagnosed with depression, if not then you can read about that here. However I figured that one of the main things I want to do next year is focus on that, and focus on how to improve my mental health, even if it’s just something as simple as pushing myself to visit a friend even when I don’t want to. The little steps are the most important, and I hope that next year I can create as many little steps as I can, to help let the light shine through the darkness.
  3. This one sounds obvious but it deserves to be written down. Love the ones who care for you, and make sure they always know they’re loved too. It sounds obvious but there have been so many times I’ve wasted my love and energy on people who either never give it back, or just don’t appreciate it. I know I’m not the only one who does this too. So this year I hope that we can all just focus on those that truly love us. Don’t waste your time on those who don’t care, or only care when it suits them. Focus on those you love, and make sure to always let them know how much you love them. They deserve all the love in the world, just as you do.
  4. Listen to people’s advice and my own advice more. Everyone knows that it’s easy to give out advice, but when it comes to someone else giving it to you, or you listening to your own then it can be hard to accept. However this year I am going to try my best to listen to others, and myself more.
  5. Don’t take the bad things to heart so much, and stop focusing on all the bad in life. I have a habit of focusing constantly on the bad things in life, I’m a true pessimist at heart. It doesn’t do any good though, so this year I’m going to make sure that I focus on all the good that goes on. If something bad happens then I’m going to make sure I remember all the good in my life, and it won’t seem as bad. I think that’s something everyone should do too. Not everything is bad all the time, it just means taking some more time and focusing on the good things.
  6. Another one I had on my list last year, but possibly the most important. Smile. Make sure to smile at every opportunity. The world is getting to be a dark place recently, and there are less and less reasons each year to smile. However that doesn’t mean we should let our smiles disappear too. No matter what happens, stay strong, and keep that beautiful smile on your face. It’s amazing what one simple smile can do, and how much light it can produce in such a time of darkness. Find one good thing everyday and use that to power yourself through the year.

2017 is nearly here, and that year will probably fly by just as every year seems to recently. It’s easy to get caught up in the bad, but remember to never give up hope. Hope is what keeps us going, and fuels us for both the good and the bad times ahead. Remember to love yourself, your friends and family, and always keep that smile. You never know, even if you don’t need it, that smile could just make someone else’s year.

Happy New Year, I hope 2017 is filled with happiness and you have the most amazing year.

Stay strong, and keep fighting.

Hope

I’ve been kinda absent on my blog recently and I have no excuse really other than saying, I just didn’t feel like writing.

If you’ve read my other posts then you’ll know I haven’t been in a good place, and I really didn’t want to write on here if I wasn’t in a place where I could help someone with what I write. I pride myself in trying my best to turn my own situations into something positive for others, and I just didn’t feel like I was able to do that recently, so I took a break.

However I’ve just come out of my last counselling session this semester and I have something I’ve not had for a long time. Hope.

Counselling was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, purely because I am awful at talking, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. However after some discussion with friends and family I thought I might as well give it a try, the tablets needed something else to help kick them into action. I’m so glad I did.

To anyone who has been to counselling and found it successful I’m sure you can agree that one of the main things is that you feel relieved after it. A weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and the burden of your mind is no longer your own. You have someone outside of everything to talk to, and who will use everything they can to help you. Now that doesn’t mean that family and friends can’t do that too, you all do amazing and I’m grateful for everything. But sometimes, I don’t want to have to let you go through it all, I want to protect you from it, and I know I’m not alone in that.

It’s been 6 weeks since I started it, and I now finally have hope for the future. The post I wrote in the past on the important steps was one of the most important ones I think I’ve ever written, and now I definitely stand by that. Something so small as talking to someone about how I feel, was one of the best things I’ve done.

I don’t want to get in your head that if you find help in this way it’s a sure fire way to feel better, because there is no such thing. Counselling won’t “cure you”, but if it works for you and helps you let a little bit of those black clouds get pushed away, even if it’s just for a day, it’ll be worth it. In all honesty I’m still struggling, my anxiety has been really bad recently and that’s never really bothered me before so this is new to me. I’m not better. But I have hope.

Hope means more to most people than anything. One of the worst parts of depression for me is that I start to feel hopeless, like nothing could ever possibly make me happy. So having that little bit of hope in my life is something I grip onto. It gives me a little edge in fighting my depression, something the depression never expected me to get. So I grip onto it and use it to climb as far out of the hopeless well as I can. Yes, I’ll slip and probably get back down to the bottom, but I have that hope and those steps already there to help drag me back up again.

What I’m trying to say is never underestimate yourself. When you think you’re finished with everything, take a deep breath, a step back and look around, you never know what little bit of hope you might find. Whether it’s a hug from a friend, a kiss from a lover, or even just managing to get out of bed on a bad day. Hope is what makes us human, and hope is what will help us defeat our demons.

This isn’t a post saying that counselling is the best, this is purely just my aspect on it. I urge you to find hope however and wherever you can, I know counselling doesn’t always work and that’s okay. There are other ways for you, if one thing doesn’t work, something will I promise you.

Keep hope in your heart, and try your best to find one good thing each day. No matter how small, the little things are often the best. Find one good thing in the day and then you will realise not everything is bad. Even on the darkest days there is a little light shining on you, you just have to find it and let it show.

You are braver than you believe and you can do anything and everything if you just try to find it and have hope. A little light can go a long way.

Stay strong and keep fighting.

You Me At Six – 20th October 2016 // O2 Academy Sheffield

Six years after they last came to Sheffield, British rock band You Me At Six are back with an astounding concert at the O2 Academy. Following the announcement of the new album Night People being released early next year, the UK tour announcement was met with much excitement.

The o2 was filled, both the standing area and the balcony, with excited fans of all ages, the atmosphere whilst the supporting act VANT played, was electric. As the lights dimmed, the academy was overcome by screams of sheer joy and chants of ‘Yorkshire’, to which lead singer Josh sauntered on stage in his hooded jacket, and the magic began.

Singing a mixture of songs from all albums, it meant that no matter when you became a fan, there was something for everyone. Starting out with the beautifully moving lyrics of ‘When We Were Younger’, it really brought a calming effect across the crowd. Until best selling hit ‘Bite My Tongue’ however, which got the crowd moving to the fullest. The screams of the lyrics could probably be heard miles away.

The band also belted out hits such as ‘Fresh Start Fever’, ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Stay With Me’, all of which were met with the crowd singing them back, pretty much lyric for lyric, it was a brilliant sight to see and hear. A couple of small mosh pits also opened up, it’s safe to say the crowd were riled up and ready to enjoy the concert however they could.

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Josh brought such a brilliant personality to the stage, whether he was acting out the songs or he was linking little mannerisms to the songs, such as dramatically nodding his head to the beat of each drum as the songs opened. It really added to the night, and showed just how much he loved being on the stage and being a showman.

Another treat of the night was a surprise acoustic rendition of ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’. Normally set to a rock beat, it was a shock to have it broken down to be so heartfelt, and the crowd instantly calmed down to stand and appreciate the beautiful talent that is You Me At Six.

The power on Josh’s voice was especially shown in ‘No One Does it Better’ which combines both powerful notes and also a calm acoustic type verse, by singing this he really showed why he deserved to sell out arenas.

The final song, new single ‘Night People’ was the perfect finish to a perfect night, the angry, heavy opening beat to the song continued to build up the overall atmosphere of the concert, but also included a sudden ending, leaving the audience fulfilled but wanting more.

It’s been a while since YMAS have been in Sheffield, and it’s clear that they’ve been truly missed. Here’s to hopes that they’re back next year, I know that I definitely need more YMAS in our lives, and it seems after the gig I’m not the only one.

Night People is released on 13th January 2017, pre-order now!

First Steps

Everyone will no doubt go through challenges in their life, and these can be hard to overcome. No matter how hard you try, you may feel like nothing will help or that even when you try your best you can’t see any difference. However usually, the most important parts of overcoming challenges are the first steps you make.

The initial steps you make on your journey to achieve your goal are the best parts. They show that you’re doing something about it and they prove just how strong you are at making this change, because normally it’s starting out that can be the hardest.

I figured this out the hard way, as most people do throughout their lives. I felt like after months of being diagnosed with depression, that there was no hope and that there was no way I could overcome this. I felt like nothing had changed and that no matter what I did and how hard I tried, it was no use. That all changed for me yesterday, when I realised that it’s not about the biggest change, it’s sometimes not at all a difference you can see. It’s the small things.

Yesterday I went to my first counselling appointment in hopes that that, teamed with my medication, would help me to improve my mental health, or at least to learn to cope with it. It took me a while to realise, but that in itself was a step forward into making a change. I never would have done that before, because I would have avoided anything I could like that, I’m not the most open person when it comes to people I don’t know.

It made me realise that sometimes you can change, or take a step toward your goal maybe without even realising it. Whether your goal is losing weight, doing better in education, trying to achieve your dream job, or even something like eating better or recovering from an illness. It may seem like you can’t change or that everything you’re doing isn’t working but I can almost guarantee it is.

You can only try so hard, and I promise that your effort won’t be in vain. Take notice of the little things, whether that’s making an appointment for something you never thought you’d make, or even something as simple as reducing the amount of snacks you eat a day, or taking more time in completing homework. It’s the small things that make the difference, and once you’ve completed these, you’ll find the bigger differences fall right into place until you’ve achieved everything you want.

Don’t ignore the small achievements you make, they’re the most important, no matter how much they get overlooked. They’re the hardest to complete and they’re going to be the biggest part in your success in life. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t sell yourself short. You have got this, and I promise you can do anything you want.

There’s hope for everyone, and you can achieve even more than you think. Just don’t underestimate yourself, as A.A. Milne said “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. Always remember that and no matter what you do in life, you will beat it to the best of your ability.

Stay strong.