Hope Out Of Depression – A Counselling Testimony from Peter
Hi, my name is Peter. It has taken a great amount of hard work to arrive at this stage in my life. The following are just some examples of the difficulties that I encountered in my life.
In 1985, at the age of 35 I fell into a black and deep depression. As I described it afterwards, there were just two colours of black, matt black and pitched black, such was the depth of isolation, pain and loneliness. Somehow I prevailed, and with the help of a few close friends and some self-help books I gradually overcame the blackness and hopelessness of life. I recall, many times, awakening in the morning with the thought, Jesus, I am still alive. The thought of having to endure another day often prompted the idea of crawling under the bed and hiding for the rest of my life.
In 1987, I lost my job and my income. With a wife and three young children and a mortgage, life seemed intolerable. Going in to the labour exchange in Gardiner Street to claim the dole was intolerable and hopeless. There were many months when we could not pay the mortgage.
I started a business in 1988 and in 1990 the business failed. I had no money. I owed the banks a very small fortune. I had credit card bills and and overdrafts coming out my ears. I had no hope and no future. Again my depression friend thought that if I just hung on long enough I would die and it would be all over, someone else’s problem. But my wife and children! So I got a dead end job with enough money just to keep me alive and miserable for the rest of my days.
In 1993, I lost that job. Now unemployed again in 1993 I had no hope and no future, so I became self-employed, doing contract work and some selling. Each week’s worry was where to find some income for that week. In my first year of self-employment I earned £2,500, yes that is right, no not a month, in the year.
Then, one day I challenged myself. Peter, I said, do you want to be doing what you are doing now in three or five years’ time. No, was my instant reply, I hated the position I was in and the work I was doing. My heart was just not in it. It was drudgery. So what do you want to do? I asked. “I don’t know” was the reply. Then, what are you good at? my self-conversation continued. I replied and the next question was what you would love to be playing with.
Following my two replies the next question was “well what are you going to do about it?” As a consequence I booked into a one year course, with the help of a credit union loan. This started me on a course for the next 17 years of merging what I was good at, with what I loved playing with.
Seventeen years later, my children have received an education and are grown up, and I myself have just finished college and got an honours degree. I still get depressed from time to time, however, I am able to live with it and bear it.
Peters says that there is always something worth living for, the future is far brighter and healthier than you think right now, and no matter what difficulties and problems you are surrounded with, they will pass. And if someone else was able to get out of the mess similar to what you are in right now, then you will be able to get out of it too. It takes real courage to seek help. Talk to someone. Tell them how bad it really is. Don’t be afraid and don’t be ashamed. You are worth living for. Have courage. Take a step. Grab hold of who you really are. Lift the phone. Dial 087-2620952 or call the Samaritans at 1850 60 90 90