When I stopped accepting my depression as a setback, I found impactful ways to fix it!

My name’s Bethan Le Vien, and I used to have depression and anxiety!

Last month I finally decided I was ready to move away from the sertraline and find the strength to pick myself back up! 

When I relapsed with my mental health, this time last year, and reluctantly went back onto a low dose of antidepressants. I promised myself, in front of the Doctor, I wouldn’t be on them for long. 

Why? 

  1. I have witnessed what dependending on the medication can do to a person.
  2. I understand antidepressants will never cure your mental illness, and will only act as a fuel, to boost the serotonin in your brain.
  3. I’m aware of the variety of different ways I can access sertraline for my brain. So as long as I’m out, about, and implementing these things- I don’t need an extra boost.

You could look at taking antidepressants, like drinking an energy drink, or a coffee, to get you through a long nights drive.

Admitting, at a time I repetitively questioned the point of my existence, that I needed an extra boost, to start my engine, was a life saving decision.

But there has to come a time that makes you snap back to reality and recognise you’re stronger than your depression, more carefree than your anxiety, and you deserve a much better life than the one you’re living!

How have you done this?! I want to transform myself and feel as good as you do! 

As I will often say, I can not give you advice.

I am not here to give you advice.

Our experiences of the world, and how we see ourselves, based on what we’ve been through are completely different. 

Although we may have experienced similar feelings, or situations, ultimately our experiences of the situation were completely different. Therefore with regards to everything I say, this may not resonate with you. So please don’t decide to come off your medication just because you read my blog and assumed that’s what I was telling you to do… 

I’m not telling you to do anything. 

Who am I to tell you what to do?

I’m just someone who’s just had a lot of life experience.

I am not writing to tell you how you should be living your life.

You’re quite capable of doing that.

Instead, I am helping you to unlock the tools you have within, to feel inspired and ready to create a better life for yourself. Because it’s possible!

I’m already doing it! And what’s even more special is I didn’t have to move away, fall in love with somebody, or get into a financially strong situation to do this!

It’s confirmed, you’re mentally ill… Now what?

What does your diagnosis mean to you?

Understanding how you feel about your diagnosis is importantly. So how did you feel when you first heard your diagnosis? And how do you feel hearing it now? What does it means to you to take those tablets everyday? Or to talk about all of your problems to your therapist?

How does your mental illness make you feel? Does it make you behave differently?

Being diagnosed with depression, and anxiety, gave me foggy clarity on why I felt certain ways. Following this I went and read up about it- I read survivor stories, and stories of how people had gotten through it on their own. Without realising, because I was so put off the idea of speaking to someone, I taught myself how to be a therapist, and a councillor/ And quickly, I was equipped with the right knowledge to go out into the real world and put what I’d learnt into action.

What it also did, however, was give me an excuse for my bad behaviours, and I took comfort in this when things weren’t going the way I hoped.

I should’ve realised quicker that this was a problem, and something that needed to be fixed.

Without failure there are no lessons to be learnt.

Until you start taking imperfect, immediate, action on rebuilding yourself you’ll never recognise how strong you are.

You’re not broken. 

You can be fixed!

What’s likely is you haven’t tried hard enough to glue yourself back together… Or you tried a little, but then you stopped when it got too tricky.

Maybe you didn’t put the right piece into the right place, or maybe you improvised with someone else’s pieces. 

Either way there is a solution, and there is a right piece, you just haven’t found it yet!

“There is no failure, ony feedback”.

When you take action, and don’t get the right result, instead of accepting it as failure, recognise something in your strategy isn’t working. So what could you do differently to get a better result?

Getting the good stuff has never been made easy. Why should our mental state be any different?

When an amateur sportsman makes the decision to become a professional, they commit to doing everything in their power to make that dream happen.- Early morning grinds- strict diets, strict focus and unbelievable amounts of dedication, to push their body to its limits and get their desired outcome.

Similarly, if you’ve got an official diagnosis of your mental illness then you’ve already made the big step, and spoken to a doctor… Maybe you even spoke to someone beforehand who advised you to see a doctor. 

You’ve already overcome the biggest challenge already, so what an achievement!

But that’s not enough! You want to be more than your mental illness…

… You want to be better, and feel better!

So you’ve decided to do everything possible to take control of it.

 

To go from an Amateur, to a professional level, the athlete won’t get there by slacking. Or deciding to miss training because it’s raining outside; they’re just tired, and want a day off.

Acting as if you’ll achieve your goal whilst understanding there will be barriers, and things tempting you off the scent, but being prepared for it, just incase.

Ultimately, is the difference between success, and failure.

 

Remember: You’re about to take positive, impactful action to your life. Even if that means deciding to go into battle with your old one.

You’re preparing to put away the people, and things, that are no longer serving you any good. And equipping yourself with the armour to push forward with, positive, impactful meaning.

 

My 3 top tips:

 

  1. Having a plan of attack is beneficial; being prepared with a plan B is genius!

  2. Accept collateral damage, don’t give up, and have the passionate to fight and the hunger to stay focused!

  3. There might be obstacles along the way, but you are capable of tackling them!

Admitting I had a mental illness aloud- talking about my feelings, and sharing my stories with people was a dark time. And the results weren’t the most gratifying to begin with!

I lost a lot of friends, and even experienced a psychotic episode completely outside of my mind and body!

But these are things I can only be grateful for now.

Without having these experiences I wouldn’t have become more sparing with my energy, more selective with who I trust, or learnt the difference between toxic, and healthy relationships.

Stepping outside of what you know, and what’s comfortable to you is hard. But everyday you make the decision to take one more step forwards, for yourself. And because of this, unconsciously you grow and develop a little bit more.

Take a few minutes to look back on your journey, and how far you’ve come already…

You’re strong; truly amazing, and you should feel empowered by what you’ve accomplished!

Don’t let anybody take this feeling away from you.

You earned it. And you deserve to keep on pushing forwards!

“It’s ok not to feel ok” 

As I was sitting, suffocating on my words and letting out a lifetime’s worth of tears to the Doctor…A complete stranger….

Begging to be better…..

She handed me a box of tissues, professionally comforted me. Before reassuring me it wasn’t my fault.

None of it ever had been!

I wasn’t abnormal. My body had been carrying such a heavy load it was just begging for help.

“It’s ok not to feel ok”.

She prescribed me with medication, advised me on counselling and sent me on my way. 

Although ashamed at the beginning- I suddenly found a comfort in the label. It was almost a valid justification as to why I was able to waste so much time, and energy in bed. And when I do, “it’s ok.”

This sentence alone gave me such clarity, and a sense of relief for a while. 

It became normal, and acceptable to mould into a lazy sponge of trying, and failing, and trying, and feeling hopeless. But accepting this hopelessness because at least I was trying… Every now and then…. When I felt like it! 

I recently listened to a podcast that changed my whole perspective of this statement.

“It’s ok not to feel ok.”


The final piece to my puzzle.

My answer, why I was stagmently stuck, in and out, feeling sad, frustration, and hopelessness, finally answered!

Altering my perspective on this statement ultimately situated me perfectly on my path of alignment. 

So now I want to share this with you. 

How many times have you heard internal dialogue, and the way you speak to yourself, can impact both your mood and motivation?

Probably thousands! But if you’ve never heard it before, then you have now…

… And guess what?

It works!

The way you speak to yourself, subconsciously, implements your thoughts and behaviours!!!

“It’s ok not to be ok…” I’d say to myself

Well is it? For how long? A day? A month? A year?

“Until I feel better….”

Well how long is that going to take? What about your dreams? Ambitions and aspirations?

“I don’t know at the moment. I’m just…

You’re just letting life happen to you?

“So what if I am? What’s wrong with that?”

Well if you wake up sad then you’ve immediately accepted it- and because you can justify it with ‘I have a mental health condition’ your actions result in you lying in bed all day- and because you have no goals- no dreams- and no aspirations you don’t see this as a problem…

“But I have depression… It’s ok…”

It’s ok that bad things have happened, and they’ve made you feel shit.
Yes.
But what’s not ok is to live in this shit! Or even accept you have to live, in and out of it, because of this title.

…. If you want to develop, change, and live the life you know you deserve then you’ve got to change your perspective- you’ve got to get out of these unhelpful states, and stop accepting sadness!

Until you take control, you will always be controlled!

Your dianosis is not the issue!

 

…It’s a great indication for why you respond, and act, in certain situations.

Festering in this comfort of depression, a life of misery and hopelessness, will continue to be your reality, until you take charge, and make the decision to change it.

So ask yourself, ‘is life happening to me.. Or for me?’  

Are you letting your mental state control you, or are you going to find a way to control it? And take charge of your life?

 

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