Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Taking a Big Step

I’ve read peoples’ blogs and often they make real sense to me. I can empathise with what people write. Their experiences. Their journeys. They resonate with me. But when it was suggested that I might write one. Well that was a whole new situation. I couldn’t do that. Who’d be interested in what I might have to say?

You see I’ve often been told that I’m too hard on myself. I beat myself up emotionally. Say to myself I’m a failure. I have recurrent depression and anxiety and I know it sounds a bit strange but as it’s happening to me, in my mind, in my body, I feel like I’m to blame for this.

Throughout my life I’ve had to be resilient to an emotionally abusive parent and brothers that are addicts. But I’ve wanted to prove to myself and others that I could cope with this. I must be strong. I won’t be like my family. I could be a success. But I could only do it for so long. It took many years until it all came crashing down on me. I couldn’t play this role any more. I couldn’t be that person.

But whilst I’m hard on myself I am really compassionate to others. My friends tell me I’m a good listener. I am always there for them. And I do it willingly and unconditionally. But when I try and give any compassion to myself, well that’s really hard when I’ve had to build up protective emotional defences for myself.

I’m lucky to have support from professionals and friends. So I’m trying to accept that if they’ve got faith in me then maybe I can too. I’m a worker. I’m determined. And when these impenetrable walls start to build up again as they can do, I’m going to keep trying to take them down again. Brick by brick.

But I just need to take a breath here as all my fighting talk is tiring. And I don’t want to be misleading. Despite my strong determination, what about the many times when I haven’t been able to manage?-When the world is so bleak and un-liveable and my depression is so low. I’m trying to reach out for help but I can’t even utter one word to explain my pain, my desperation. My tears flow in torrents. I can’t get any relief from the shouting in my head. I’m nothing. I’m worthless. I’m giving into this punishment and torture and what does it matter.

So I’m taking a big step here. I’ve found out about New Leaf and I’m going to go on a course. The people I’ve spoken to there are supportive and encouraging. I know I’ll be there to listen and give input and be sensitive to others, and I want to be able to give myself some credit too.

Author: Kate Cramer



New Leaf College are looking for students to write about their personal experiences with their own wellbeing and/or the college, to share it on the college's blog. If you're interested in blogging for us please send an email to