A story by Michael, Across the UK
What challenge does this story focus on?
I’m normally a fairly upbeat and hopeful person, not having previously struggled with feeling low for long periods of time. After returning back to the country, moving house, having a baby and a big change of family circumstances, I had a bit of a slump in my general mood, feeling quite depressed. I thought these feelings would pass, but a few months on, realised I was still feeling really down. I felt trapped in my thoughts, overwhelmed and miserable about myself. I really didn’t like myself.
How has this challenge affected you?
I began to realise all the changes that had taken place, whether good or bad, needed to be processed in a positive way. I felt stuck and frustrated in my own head. Even though my friends and family were supportive and encouraging, I still couldn’t seem to believe good things about myself. I realised my thoughts about myself weren’t kind and I had begun to get into a pattern of self-hate and negativity. I wanted to feel like myself again and have energy, I was scared this wouldn’t happen again!
What has or is helping you to move forward with this challenge?
I realised I needed to take time to process my emotions and heal from events that I had pushed down from the past. I met with an amazing counsellor who helped me to talk through my emotions, cry a lot and start to talk and think about myself and my circumstances more positively. Through this I felt a huge release, and I am continuing to try and choose everyday to believe the truth about myself – that I am loved! For me, my faith is a huge support and helps me remember that truth.
What have you learnt as a result of this challenge?
So many of us struggle or go through a period of struggling with feeling low about ourselves. The more I have shared my struggle with friends, the more I have realised that the mind can be such a battlefield, but we aren’t alone, even if we feel it sometimes! I truly believe that every human being is special and we each have so many precious and amazing things within us. I have to believe that for myself too! It’s always worth taking time to heal and process things we have been through in our lives and that can look different for every individual and take some time.
How do you use this learning in your life now?
I’m really grateful for the hope I have in my life, that no matter what I do or how I feel, I am loved and accepted, that I am worthy of that love and acceptance. When I believe that for myself, I begin to feel an even deeper sense of love and acceptance for others around me. It helps me to see the good in people and situations I face. It gives me energy and strength to journey through this adventure and challenge of life! It makes me feel more connected in my faith and also to others around me which fills me with joy.
What positive message would you like the reader to go away with?
You are absolutely amazing! What you have within you is unique and special. Even if you feel rubbish about yourself or your situation, you are gorgeous and there is beauty within you. There is hope for your life and your life absolutely matters. For me, sharing my experiences and feelings was helpful, maybe it could be helpful for you too!