Your Mental Health is a very important thing and although you may think you are holding it all together, you just never know when something could sneak up on you that was my story at one time. I personally have passed through stages of depression and anxiety brought on by health issues that just didn’t seem to want to go away. I’ve also seen the second hand results of depression having a family member who suffers.
After sitting in on a chat, a few of us discussed how important this is and that it is still a developing factor in our society that affects so many families. Every day in the news we hear of bullying, abuse and unfortunately Suicide and Murder. Luckily I had never gone that low but have seen the affects it has taken on families close to me. I speak openly with anyone who wants to talk about it as it is important for them to have an outlet.
It is hard to say exactly where my story began, however, I would like to think it was around the year 2000 when I started in the car industry. As much as I loved cars, the thrill of the sale and the people I made relationships with, it just wasn’t meant to be part of the cloth that I was made of. It started fine, but as the business grew, so did the demand of the dealership for sales and where the increased stress came into play. I was a good salesman in my eyes and the customers, always treating them with respect and the honesty that they truly deserved. Unfortunately, coming into my 4th year I developed IBS from the stress which had me either running to the restroom or having to take time off due to the pain it caused, not to mention the migraines. This happened a lot over a period of a few months where my doctor decided to place me on stress leave, where I was off close to a year. Thinking at this point I was cured or at least well enough to return, I went back to work only to be conveniently laid off a short while later as “Not Suitable” for the position. Hmmm…. it had taken over 4 years for them to decide I was unsuitable? This also coming a couple weeks after being in the owner’s office speaking together of how I was working towards a management position. I swallowed my pride and moved on. I decided that being in this type of sales environment just wasn’t going to be for me, so I went on to another dealership and became their operations manager. Wow…. This was going to be my career, or so I thought at the time. The magic number 4th year mark seemed to come in riding my coat tails again. I was a victim of harassment on the job which pushed me into an anxiety and depressive state, I had no choice but to quit under the circumstances, it was either my health or my job.
I did not know where to turn, breaking down in tears for absolutely no reason and didn’t know why, feeling a sense of worthlessness and wanting to give up on everything. The unfortunate side of this is that for people who haven’t a clue of what it’s like to go through this often see it as a sign of weakness or being lazy and not an actual illness. I had bad thoughts of what I would do to myself which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. In the end, I am a very lucky person, I was able to see my life and not want to hurt those around me including my wife and daughter whom are my life. I made the choice to see my doctor and take every avenue I could to help me cope with my illness and speak with people to try and get under control what was lost. It is a very hard path and one that will be full of setbacks, but I am so glad I did and working today for a better tomorrow. One of the things that has helped me cope is finding a likeness to being a blogger and being part of something in which people find your work and attitude an actual asset to them as I’ve always been a hardworking and someone whom gets the job done.
It is very hard to share a story such as this and can assure you that there are some details I have not shared that are even harder to put into words, however, I will get there. It is a proven fact that if you share the issues you do have with someone even if they are unable to help you completely, it will give you a sense of relief in someone else knowing what it is that is troubling you. I now take very little medication, I still have a ways to go before I would consider myself completely healed if there is such a thing. What I do know is that at this point I can work, I know that I have a great amount of skills to offer and I am worth it as I am a stronger individual than what I sometimes let myself believe! Something as small as smiling in the mirror and offering it to others can have such an impact in your day and theirs, so choose to live the best way you can and take the steps needed to get yourself back on track.
For those of you whom are suffering, have suffered or even know of someone who is going through a mental health/illness issue, I invite you to follow Myself @Tullyman77and @CantonCathyas well as the #EndTheSilence hashtag this upcoming Sunday, May 25th at 9Pm EST and join in the chat on these issues, even if it’s for your own understanding.