Do you ever wonder if there is a moment in your past that you wish you could change? I’m not talking about a moment when you probably hurt someone, but something about your life that affects how you live your life today. For me there are some moments in my life that I wish I could change that would probably put me in a better position than I live in now.
Dealing with defeatism is a struggle for people with mental health conditions because it can poison their minds to the brink of suicide. I have had a few difficult moments in my life because of the way I have tried to get up a ladder to the freedom of independence and opportunity. This has made me feel undermined and it becomes mentally exhausting every time an obstacle is put in my path. At one point in my life in 2010 I got in such a bad place that I ended up with chronic depression.
It was so bad that I couldn’t feel any sense of joy or willingness to do anything. At the same time I had signed off from the welfare office because I hadn’t got any help from them in getting a job at all. There wasn’t any support from my family because they felt I was a written off retard just because I had been diagnosed as autistic. It’s disgusting to think that your own family would dismiss you like that. The only thing that I feel that I wish that I could change back then is to get out of there. But I couldn’t.
Had the circumstances been different I would probably have called time at the Open University and gone into it full time. At least that way I would have been in a position to leave home and set myself up in halls with my own place. I would have been able to indulge in studying Earth Science in a more comfortable and peaceful environment without the negative trauma surrounding me. I could probably have got my degree by now and be living elsewhere.
I do feel angry at times about having lost out on certain opportunities. But I could never decide to leave home and rely on state dependent housing or social security without any support from my relatives. I believe families should stick together and support one another, not throw their children to the state when they become mentally sick. I would probably have committed suicide in loneliness. There is also something positive about this situation which makes me feel fortunate at the same time as being depressed.
In the time after I came out of that depression I started to do open my eyes up to better things. I found solace in new friends when I left the things closer to home behind. I began sports volunteering going to places far away where I could see the best of giving my time to communities. I became politically educated and active in my interests with politics and joined the Conservative Party. I also started to think about showing people what being an autistic can be in a positive way. I may not have succeeded academically but I have made some things work for me elsewhere.
The way I see it is if you can find a way past those obstacles seek help from those who know a way around it. It may take time for you to get through depression. Be positive and persistent. Learn to be resilient and don’t bother with other people’s judgement of you, you set your own standards. Think about the friends and adventures you had when you didn’t make that decision that affected your circumstances.