Would you believe me if I told you….
…that i am on Anti-Depressants
**LONG POST ALERT**
It’s safe to say this is something I have kept very secret for a long time for 2 reasons, destroying my reputation and embarrassing my family and close ones.
November 2020 – Probably one of my lowest points.
Depression is something I have battled with for the past 5 years now, on and off. However there is one point in the year where everything changes, it doesn’t matter how optimistic I try to be or how I try to look at life, as soon as the longest day passes my head changes, to me it is ‘winter’ and I mentally count down to spring again. This year I got out there and tried to make the most of the summer solstice, making it something to celebrate rather than resent, I surrounded myself with good people and watching the sun come in.
The reason I have kept this to myself is not only because I am very private person and like to keep myself to myself, I have always been like that. Just kinda the way I am. But ultimately that if people knew that I was suffering with depression then how could help them?
SO many people come to myself and Ocean Fit because they want to improve their mental health and they open up in an initial consultation and I always say ‘Improving your mental health is priority and anything else is a bonus’ I say this because I means it AND subconsciously trying to let them know we are all on the same page.
It was the end of summer last year and I told myself that WHATEVER HAPPENS I WILL NOT LET WINTER WIN however September came and my head just melted, I went to the darkest place I have ever been. I became a very empty person with very dark thoughts. Although I had everything around me, family, a beautiful wife, a thriving business, hardworking clients, a dog that shows nothing but love..I could still not shake off a very dark cloud that followed me, and that is genuinely what it feels like. Ultimate darkness with no way out.
I remember laying in bed December last year, crying feeling very helpless. I would constantly mope about at home, and found very little joy or positivity in anything at all. My Mam sat me down one afternoon and told me enough was enough and I had to look at Anti-depressants. Up until this point I had tried everything to self-medicate and it worked to a certain degree but my mental state had got to a point where I couldn’t even do that anymore.
I absolutely love what I do, I work with insanely passionate people who constantly inspire me. They also give me a reason to get up every day. Beach Camp won’t run itself! I feel like I give nothing but 100% commitment to Ocean Fit and it pays me back in many ways, the most important, how it changes lives.
November/December was possibly the lowest 2 months of my life ever, I was just in another world. I lost a stone in weight, and felt like a little twig. I spent Christmas at my in laws (who I love dearly) and felt like I ruined the whole of Christmas for them.
This was taken at the Ocean Fit Christmas Party 2019 and I felt INCREDIBLY sick and thats all i could say when people offered to buy me drinks, I think I had 2. i couldn’t eat or drink anything.
Turns out it was a side effect of the tablets which I started the day before.
If you remember I went to Thailand in February this year on a solo trip. It was a spontaneous solo trip that my wife helped me book a week before Christmas ash she knew this would be great for me. (for those who don’t know, I LOVE Thailand and it holds the best memories of my life, I also met Alex there and have some of best friends there)
I went out and had the BEST time ever, diving, chilling, boxing, relaxing, refuelling. As the trip ended Covid was starting to get serious in the UK, something I was totally disconnected with. I received many texts, emails and messages basically saying people did not want to work with me when I returned, asked me not to return to the studio and that I should not have gone on this trip. I remember being in my friend’s apartment in Bangkok freaking out thinking I had made such a big mistake in going, suddenly all the self-therapy was washed away thinking how I can still run Ocean Fit and not be there.
Myself and my friend Coke from Koh Tao…Do I look depressed?
Luckily it all panned out and we were forced to close just 10 days after my return, although the majority of our members jumped ship many of them stuck by me and made sure Ocean Fit is still running today. Its these people and I truly thankful for.
This is a bit of a tangent but what I am touching on is…kindness. Nobody knew the effects these messages and emails would have on me mentally and still resonate in my head almost daily when they sent them. I think If I was not on Anti Depressants at the time and this happened in December I might not be typing this now. I was that low.
I see posts on my Facebook a lot about how men should not be afraid about being open about their Mental health and depression and I read them thinking YEAH as I am not one of them. I never think to put myself in their shoes.
I have been one of those people who have put out cries for help on Facebook without even realising and I only recognise this now, I remember my Aunty commenting on one of my posts saying ‘Grow up Aaron’. It was a post about how crap the weather is all the time.
This did 2 things, made sure I did not post anything like this again and make sure I did not show any sign that I was suffering.
Does this guy look depressed? 2019
I get ‘Why don’t you smile’ ‘You are so boring’ ‘Smile it might never happen’ ‘Grow Up’ ‘See a doctor then’ ‘You are miserable’.
Nobody ever asks how you are (apart from my lush Mam who asks regular).
I am a very different person in my private life, I hate large groups, I get pretty bad social anxiety and I can’t bare the thought of small talk with strangers.
It’s safe to say I feel pretty good right now, this isn’t a cry for attention. I feel good and feel a lot stronger then I did a year ago.
I think it is right that I share that I am human as well, encourage both men and women to seek help if they need it and never be ashamed.
I hope this helps some people,
Please be kind to people. Especially me because I write the sessions.
PS. I was going to post this this morning but I did feel pretty low so It wasn’t right. I did my first Race of the year today at Slayley hall and it has totally lifted me. I feel amazing. bright, there is clarity.