Forgive me for diverting from esports for a short moment.
I found this very difficult to write. Not because I am ashamed, but because I want it to be sincere and honest, while also being very personal. I find talking about personal stuff very difficult, never mind doing it publicly, but I do feel strongly that I should share this with you, in the hope that it helps even just one person, it will be worthwhile.
I have suffered from mental illness for a very long time. Mostly these days it’s ok and I have great family and friends around me that I can trust and confide in when I’m going through a shitty period (mentally speaking).
One of the hardest parts for me to understand is this: My life is pretty amazing overall. I have relatively little to grumble about. Sure I wish I was closer to my family, but I understand and accept the sacrifice in order to do something I absolutely love doing, esports. Imagine all of the things in your life you wish were great and providing little stress and that is my life. I’m comfortable and yet I find myself going through periods of self-doubt, feeling helpless and unfulfilled and that I am not worthy of my position and even though perhaps from the outside I can come across as arrogant, I struggle regularly with confidence.
As I have learned the hard way, it doesn’t matter what your life looks like or how comfortable you are, what a great job you have, what an amazing partner you have alongside you, chemicals in your brain don’t care about these things and so BAM, it hits you, depression. Out of nowhere. Hard to understand, predict and cope with.
One of the other feelings I had in the past was that no one else could possibly be going through this or even begin to understand how I was feeling. I learned over time and the hard way, this is simply not true. Sure it feels like it, but it really isn’t the actual truth.
The worst period of depression I suffered also lead to anxiety and even worse, a feeling that everyone was out to get me. This would manifest itself in ways I had never imagined. A friend doing a good dead? Obviously wants something from me. A family member wants to come over? Must want to spy on me. A friend cracks a joke I’d normally find funny? Must be trying to piss me off. Partner makes me my favourite dish? must want to poison me. The paranoia was out of control.
Today I write this as someone who has accepted that my mental health is important and that I need to treat it just like any other disease or illness. See people in the medical profession that can help when I need to and not be ashamed of it. Take the help offered from friends and family and perhaps hardest of all for me, talk about it openly.
I have friends and family members who are going through terrible mental illness issues right now. I try to be there for them, even if it’s a little message now and then asking if they need anything. I’ve tried to help close friends get the professional help they need too. But you can only do so much without the proper skills. But I think even these little things help.
A simple message of support to the people in your life that you love and care about can do so much for someone struggling. Reach out to your friends and family and just tell them how much you mean to them.
I want to say to those of you who struggle with mental illness in this week of awareness:
- You are NOT alone
- Many people care and love you
- Ask for help
- Lots of people come out of the other side
- It does get better
Please do get help even if, like me, you think you don’t need it. The HELP HELPS.