Me and my demons
Adam Coleman, 21 year-old fashion blogger from Limerick gives us his insight to his struggles with his mental health.
Out of nowhere
For me, this came out of nowhere. I had a normal childhood. Although I was very shy and insecure, I was still “normal”.
At 15/16 years-old I had my first introduction to self-harm. Back then, I was unaware of what mental illness was.
I was on holidays with my brother and friends, my first time away without my parents.
One day my brother and the others went off on a day trip, but I begged to stay at the hotel. I don’t know why but I just didn’t want to go out, or be in public.
This wave of sadness came over me, something took hold and I hurt myself.
I didn’t even take notice how serious this was. I disguised it as feeling unwell Looking back now, this was possibly my first introduction to self-harm.
I wish I knew back then what I know now. After that, again, I finished school, went to college. I had a huge passion for music and loved studying it.
Things were going along OK and then early 2014, when I was suddenly hit by my demons.
All of a sudden I was sad. Just like that.
I felt alone, unhappy, hurt. All of a sudden my world was torn apart. I did nothing but hide in my bedroom, crying, hurting, scarring.
Thankfully, I didn’t let this go on for too long. I knew something was wrong.
I approached my mother, who I trusted with my life. I went to my GP, and was diagnosed with a “Major Depressive Disorder” and started on medication and counselling.
Managing my moods
At the time, this was the best step for me. The balance of these helped me a great deal to manage the bad moods on a day-to-day basis.
After a few months of things going OK, I finished college and convinced myself I was “cured”. I was wrong.
I decided to jet off to Portugal and work a summer abroad with my partner and friends.
I had convinced myself I was better. But, bad habits followed me.
Alcohol became my medicine, smoking became my stress release. I was reckless.
I broke friendships, I broke my mind. After three months me and my partner returned home.
I got strict with myself, aimed to get better. I returned to counselling, altered my medication and got a job.
Still something wasn’t right. Job after job, for two years, I felt I could never truly be happy.
Getting back on track
I gained many skills through reading books and attending counselling.
I stopped self-harming, thanks to tattoos.
This sounds strange, but the pain of tattoos helped me get over the urge to hurt myself. It gave me confidence, made my scars beautiful, it was my safe place.
Two years on
I made the decision a few weeks back to leave work. I wasn’t in the mental stability to balance a job as well as taking care of my mental health.
Taking a break has honestly been the best decision I ever made. That’s not to say everyone experiencing a mental health problem should leave work, this is just my journey.
Getting my passion back
I got back into my passions for music and writing.
I spent all my spare time writing and making music and writing.
Eventually, I reached out to Mental Health Ireland, and got my story published.
Since then, I have gotten amazing coverage of my version of events.
People have been reaching out to me for advice.
I am also now a fashion blogger, working comfortably from home and am finally on the road to happiness.
I’m not saying I’m “cured”. I don’t believe in a cure.
I believe in emotional intelligence and coping mechanisms to stay on top of your wellbeing.
The mind is a tricky place, but with the right tools, it can overcome the dark times. Reach out to people, help your loved ones, care for one another.
In every dark night, there is a bright light. Never loose hope.