Depression: It's your choice to choose to be depressed
From an early age I often had feelings that I couldn’t explain. I just didn’t feel right. I referred to it as being low, in fact I can remember people commenting on my mood and I imagine my feelings were reflected in my physiology. As a very out going young boy who played sport, was in school plays and who loved to show off, there were days when these thoughts and feelings were debilitating. I now know what it was. Depression.
My love to perform continued and I graduated from drama school in 1997. I was lucky enough to land a leading role in ITV’s London Burning, from then on I continuously worked for 7 years, earning good money and having a great time. When I think back to these times, it is hard to remember the bad days and I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing it, but I do remember days when I had time off and I didn’t do anything constructive. I just stayed in bed. Probably with a hangover!
A few years later I suffered some career setbacks, and what seemed like a career that was on it’s way up, had suddenly become stagnant. I experienced some bad luck and also made some decisions that were poor. I have subsequently learnt from those decisions.
I lost all belief in myself, I had no drive, no confidence to answer phone calls or even speak to friends or family, I didn’t want to open post. Auditions were pointless. I had no fire in me, I used to be able to produce confidence and have plenty of energy when casting, but it had gone. I was in a rut and I couldn’t get out. In fact the day I realised that I needed help when I was walking around the centre of London thinking about getting on tubes and buses on that horrendous day, 7th July 2005. I am so glad that I decided to take action and made the choice to change how I communicated with myself.
I spoke to a friend who had seen an NLP practitioner for similar reasons and asked for his number, I made the call and arranged 3 sessions. On reflection, I think that was the starting point of my decision to choose happiness, not depression.
He took me through processes and coaching conversations that I now know to be quite routine. I understood what I wanted with clarity, I was able to be specific and without my knowing it, I had set a compelling outcome.
I was back, the belief and confidence had been re-gained. So much so that the next 4 auditions I went for, I got. Luckily enough, they were for lucrative jobs, and I ended up earning a considerable amount of money. It was then that I decided to invest that money into becoming the best coach I could be.
I am very proud of the choices that I made, but what I want to be known is that although I had help to change the way I communicated with myself back in 2005. I still now sometimes experience the low coming on. However I never allow it transform into depression. I make a choice, to change the way I think and feel about myself, my circumstances and my state of mind. I have learnt many tools and techniques to do this, and I can help anyone do the same.
One of the most important ways to do this is to become aware of what depression is. How you represent it to yourself, and how it shows up. Obviously not every one experiences depression, but research has shown it effects 1 in 4 people, so having the ability and awareness to control it, will be the difference that makes the difference.
There is no off the shelf, one size fits all solution, because everyone works differently. There is however a way to help anyone communicate with themselves properly, and choose to go for what they really want, rather than choosing to be depressed.
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