Owing to quite an extended period of general "wellbeing", and reduced and increasingly distant episodes of utter despair, I have recently decided to attempt looking at a career change. It's something I've known I have to do for a while, but not had the energy or enthusiasm to embrace.
So I found myself at the start of this month, coming back from an information day about a possible new career, and feeling so excited.
And yet over the following weeks, whilst I have been waiting for application forms to be released, I have let my inner chimp (see the Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters for more info – I cannot recommend it enough!) poke and prod away at my self esteem, my confidence, and my faith in myself and my abilities.
"What if I can't do it? What if I become unwell? What if I can't cope? What if they don't understand?" To the point where I questioned if I should even bother applying.
I started to ask close friends whether they thought I could, or should, do it. The answers were unanimous – of course you can; but it's not about if we believe you can, it's about whether you believe it...
A particularly tough talking friend had a stern word with me. "Fiona; you are more than your "depression". You can't let it define you, and you can't let it dictate what you do, or don't do, for the rest of your life. What if you can do it? What if you don't become unwell? What if you do cope? What if they do understand? What if, imagine this, you love it, and go on to have a successful and exciting career there? What if, what if, what if...?! "
She was, as always, right. And it wasn't anything I didn't know; it was perhaps just something my chimp had hidden away in an empty corner of my mind.
I can not possibly predict the future. And I absolutely can not let the fact that I suffer sporadic depressive episodes put my life, and how I live it, on hold. I am definitely much more than my depression.
I am a strong and determined individual.
I am a loving and loyal girlfriend, and friend.
I am a daughter, sister, cousin, and aunt.
I am a Mental Health Advocate, and a trainer in Suicide Prevention.
I am a cat owner.
I am a yoga lover.
I am brilliant at making cards; I am thinking of starting to sell them.
I am an adult who loves colouring in!
I am a blogger for Moodscope.
I am a live music, and festival, fan.
I am annoyingly adept at spotting spelling and grammar mistakes.
And I am definitely so much more than my depression.
A Moodscope member.