My depression story has many heads, some that I didn’t know about until I started a counselling programme. There were many straws on my back and a breakup was the finally straw that broke me. I suffered from what my counsellor believed was PTSD and childhood blockages.

Hitting rock bottom, struggling to sleep, struggling to be motivated to do things I enjoy. I turned to Alcohol which spiralled me out of control. Regularly drinking over 10 pints or 3+ bottles of wine.

I was gently directed by some amazing people to start seeing a life coach who started my counselling process. She then encouraged me to speak to the Doctor who was amazing, explained what anti depressants do, quelling that stigma quickly- anti depressants are a drug to rebalance your brains natural chemicals that become unbalanced. After 12 months course of several different medications and 6 months coaching I started to turn the corner.

I added several things into my daily or weekly routines- long hot baths to be alone with myself to process myself and become happy within myself. Music allowing myself to escape negative feelings- I added yoga at classes in Rochdale and meditation via apps on my phone. All these allowing myself to relax and steady my mind.

I then started reading books, Chimp Paradox to understand the mind, autobiographies of people with mental battles Joe Thompson, Danny Scunthorpe, Tyson Fury and Ant Middleton.

A major lesson that I learned from my counsellor was the below:

Hiding emotions only lets the fester the more they fester the more they grow the more they grow the more they damage the more they damage the more they affect you life and so on…

Accepting those emotions, giving them time of days allows healing also always dealing with those emotions making them small bits which are bite size and manageable

Lads please don’t be afraid to discuss anything you may think is small, pointless or meaningless! Don’t let it fester be at peace with yourself and your mind.

Find your true support network, people who are solid as a rock and will support you no matter this situation. I am forever grateful to my Mum and Dad for their unconditional love and support. My non judgmental friends and greater network. You’ll be surprised who stands up and counted when the times are rough but please remember people are there to listen people want to listen and people want to help.

One love and much love

Mike Harling