Jag blev tillfrågad av TAVIE att skriva en krönika på deras hemsida om mina erfarenheter vad gäller depression men också andra livs erfarenheter som jag haft och hur det har påverkat mig, det blev en ganska personlig krönika och ni kan läsa den svenska versionen HÄR.
// I was asked by TAVIE to write a piece for there website about my experiences when it comes to depression and mental health issues so here is the English version of what I wrote. (Tavie is a Swedish website to get inspiration and support when you go through a hard time or are stuck in life or suffer from depression.)
Something that people talk way to little about and is so important to bring light to, is depression and mental health.
This is a subject that are very dear to my heart because it is something that has effected my family a lot during my upbringing and I feel like if I can somehow help other by talking about it and bringing awareness to it and how important it is to be open about it and that its actually help to get out there, then Im totally down to share some of my knowledge. I know that I have a platform to actually make somewhat of a difference or at least help someone out there for the positive and thats something I want to work towards because I believe everyone deserves to be happy!
I have mentioned it before but for those who doesn’t know, my brother has suffered from depression for the majority of his life and this have effected his life extremely but also us in his family. When it comes to the brain and feelings its something thats hard to understand and grasp because its so individual. Its not just to go to the doctor and get some medicine and you are better because its so different from person to person and everyone have different things that triggers it. And its very hard to understand your own thoughts and feelings sometimes.
I have had periods of my life when I haven’t been feeling happy at all and to be completely honest, I might not have been sitting here today if I didn’t have people in my life that helped to remind me at that time that life is actually worth living during those moments ( this was during my teenage years). Life isn’t all roses and sunshine, but thats what life is about, it has its ups and downs and its when you have those downs that you have to remind yourself extra hard that its only temporary and it will get better and when you are on a high again you will appreciate It so much more because you have been there at the bottom and don’t want to go back.
During your teenage years this is extra important because hormones play a big role during this time period of life and effects your emotions and you are extra sensitive and also extra aware of what others might think and say, especially in this media world we live in today. Also being a girl you feel a lot of pressure and this constant comparison with others, its definitely something I’ve noticed by working with and in media due to my occupation. Thats why its so important to be extra aware during this time in life about yourself and your worth! And try to remember that you are you and just try to be the best and happiest you possible and stop comparing yourself to others.
I have trained myself to take everything ”bad” or ”hard” that I’ve been through in life and turn it into something positive, its very hard in the beginning and might take years before you are fully there, but when you reach that point where your brain thinks that way, everything and every situation will become so much easier to handle. Instead of seeing all the hard life experiences as something that destroys you in some way, try to see it as something that builds you up, you learn something new about yourself and the people around you for every experience you have. All experiences in life makes you more aware of everything around you just if you let yourself be open for it. And for every experience you will also become stronger if you CHOSE to make it into something positive. For every negative experience you have try to come up with something positive even if its just a ” now I know I will never do that again” or ” this experience made me realize this”.
One very important thing that I’ve learned during my life and my experiences is that its very easy to judge, people judge each other all day long , but if you stop and take a closer look then you know that EVERYONE has their own battles that they go through inside of them and behind closed doors. Just because they choose not to show it to the world doesn’t mean someone doesn’t feel good or are automatically happy. You always have to try to be open minded and put yourself in their shoes and situations, because there is always a explanation to why someone is the way they are, often its an experience or many that they have gone through that has shaped them and its your choice as an individual to choose If your experiences will affect you positively or negatively. How hard an experience might have been for you, you still have that choice.
I have a friend that I thought was very arrogant and self absorbed when I first met him, that was my first impression, because I did judge, BUT then when I started to get to know him and he opened up about his childhood and his life experiences, the picture I had of him completely changed and I also got a explanation to why he was the way he where. He told me that he had been beaten and sexually abused regularly during his childhood, he went to jail when he was 13 and he also had been taking drugs for years just to ”manage” to deal with how he was feeling for a very long time.
But since I met him, he have done a continuous choice to make his experiences into something positive. He doesn’t take any drugs anymore and he now helps others with working out and health! Hes even a completely different person since the time I got to know him. Hes actually an inspiration to me and I tell him everyntime I see him how proud he should be over himself!
I actually felt honored that he felt comfortable telling me all of that, because I know that took courage, its exactly this I mean, theres always a reason to peoples behavior. He went through things no child should ever have to deal with, but even tho it took a long time he still chose to make something positive about it in the end. Even if he still has a long way to go, as I also told him that you can never learn enough about yourself and even if you might think that you are where you wanna be in life, its still important to talk about it so that you are aware what it is that triggers those bad emotions, that makes you think bad or wanna hurt yourself or take drugs or what it may be. Its first then when you realize that, that you can start to cope with it in different ways and its at that time you can start accepting it and when you have accepted it you can start letting go of it and not letting it affect you anymore.
This is something we all should try to bring with us. If you know someone that might treat you bad or makes you feel bad in someway, its obviously not ok for someone to make you feel bad but often in theses cases its those who try to put you down usually have had the hardest experiences in life and that you have to be aware that they choose to let those experiences affect them in a negative way. So make sure to never take anything real personal because everyone act and react from how they let their experiences affect them.
When it comes to myself and my own life experiences, I know for a fact that my brothers depression has affected me in a lot of ways. I love my family and I’ve always been a strong girl and I guess I’ve always been the one my family members have turned to with their problems because they know I can ”handle” it and I am the kind of person who always wants to fix everyone and find a solution. I always try to find a solution for everyones problems, maybe even sometimes for those who doesn’t really want my help I try to have an answer and I know this behavior comes from that Ive always, since I was 9 years old and my brother told me he didn’t want to live anymore, I’ve always tried to ”fix” him and find a solution for him, but with him there has not been a concrete answer, so In my way I’ve tried to fix him by fixing others in a sense, but I have realized with time that some things are just out of your hands and you just have to accept the fact that you can’t fix everything, even tho it took a long time for me to realize just that, you can’t do much more then try to be there for them, listen and try to spread positive energy to someone that is deep in depression.
To be the one who’s there for my family when they need me is something I will always be and I think I’ve always put myself in that roll because I try to always push away others problems so they don’t turn into my own and at the same time try to help and I think thats how I have managed to handle that part. But I’ve also talked to therapists and friends and through that learned and realized how much and why some of my experiences in life have affected me to act and react the way I do. Thats why its so important to talk to someone, to get to know yourself because in the end its just you that can make the choice to be happy and feel good.
Everything comes down to that you need to act when you feel like your not in a happy place, if its in your relationship, at your job or in another situation, MAKE A CHANGE!
Release yourself from the relationship, how hard it might be in the beginning everything will be ok if you know that its in the relationship your not happy, you have a choice. Quit your job and start a new one if you feel like its your job that pulls you down or gives you anxiety. Life is too short to just live for everyone else. Its ok to live your life for you and to try to find happiness. Life have so much to give if you are just open to it and have the courage to take that step. You can handle it, just don’t give up, because hard times is only for a period of time, its not forever.
My brother is now in a completely different place in his life then he used to be, hes managed to bring himself out of that deepest hole, even if its been 20 years of fighting a battle of ups and downs hes come to a happy place and gotten out of that black hole that we didn’t think he could escape for a very long time. This shows that ANYONE can come back from that place, it might be a hard road to get there but its possible and so worth it! There is so many things you don’t want to miss in life! And there is so many people that care and how alone you might feel there are SO many people that goes through the same thing!
This last year has been one of the hardest years I have had to deal with because of different reasons. But I am so glad that I’ve always have followed my heart and what my intuition have told me.
During this last year I’ve been going through a divorce, a divorce is hard itself but when you are a public person and people have opinions left and right and when you also have kids its even harder. It doesn’t make it easier either when you live in another country where you might not have your support system like you do at home. Its of course hard BUT you also have to realize that its your own life its about and if you chose to make a positive change for yourself then in the end it will also be a positive change for the people around you as well. I know that I’ve never developed or learned so much about myself as I have during this time and I feel like I know myself better then I’ve ever done before. Also what it is that I value and want in life. And for that I am grateful!
The last 3 years have been an emotional roller coster for me. For a very long time I haven’t really felt happy or in a happy place and this is something I’ve been very aware of but at the same time tried to ignore for a long time because I was afraid to realize what actually made me feel that way.
Its always about yourself when your not in a good place, this is something you have to realize, sometimes its just about that your not the same person you once where and you might not want the same things you once thought you did, feelings change and it doesn’t matter how much you try to convince yourself that you are feeling something that you don’t anymore just because thats how it was before, you will reach a point in life where you have to make a choice. And this is what happened for me. The head wanted one thing and the heart felt something different and as the fixer I am I tried to come up with different solutions to make the situation better but there is not much you can do when you already know the answer. Because if you are in a situation where you feel like your not really living your life for you, thats when you are at risk to start a depression. Its not selfish to make a continuous choice to feel better and happier because if your not in a happy place then the people closest to you wont be either, its really that simple.
From all the experience I have had with depression and mental health, I felt like I didn’t want to risk going down that black hole because I felt like I was starting to. So I chose to make a change, because I had come to a place where I had excepted what was the trigger to my emotions. And in this case in my relationship we both know that it was for the best, even tho its been hard to accept especially when you have built a life with someone for a very long time and then all of a sudden it wont be that way anymore, but then you just have to see it in a way that you get to build something new and bring your experiences with you to build it even better then before.
Everyone is fighting in different ways and no way is really right or wrong, the important thing is that you are fighting to be in a happy place. But if you know the answer to feel better in a situation then its ok to take the step, how hard it might be in the moment for a brighter future. Everything is a process and its all about your attitude duriung this process, if you are sure about your choice and have a positive attitude about it during the hard process then everything will turn out ok, I promise!
With the hand on my heart I can really say that I am now at peace with my life even tho I have bad days like everyone else which is completely normal, but thats life, everyday is not sunshine, sometimes it rains but we need rain to grow and appreciate those sunny days. At this point I feel like I can handle anything life throws at me, because I know its just temporary and everything will turn out fine in the end.
I wish so badly that everyone who’s in a situation where they don’t feel happy or don’t feel good about themselves, Take action over your life, you are the only one who can fix yourself! Make a change, get yourself to the doctor, talk to someone and get help because there is help to get!
In the end its only you who will look back at your life and feel like you lived it for you or not, because it is your life and your responsibility to live it for you! LOVE, Elina