• Michael Mclaren

I'll Never Win My Battle With Mental Health - But That's Ok.

Not wanting to be alone..

Not wanting to be with anyone..

Not wanting any noise..

Not wanting to sit in silence..

Desperate to laugh..

Desperate to even cry.


It seems there’s no way to win, but there’s certainly one way to lose.

Wait a second though..

What if it wasn’t about winning?

I made a statement at a workshop I was speaking at late last year..

“And that’s how I feel I managed to beat depression”..


Note to self for future reference;

Do. Not. Poke. The. Bear.

Seriously though, maybe I was getting a little ahead of myself. Or maybe it was never really beaten to begin with.

Truthfully, I’ve always felt slightly uneasy about labelling my experience as depression.

Then again, I don’t really know what depression looks like, or is supposed to feel like.

Do any of us?

I guess all we can ever be sure of, is how we ourselves feel and see the world.

And if those feelings and viewpoints of the world, even for a second convince you that it’s a better place without you in it, we can be sure that something must change, regardless if we want to call it depression or not.

So, no, I don’t want to claim that depression is back. It’s not for me to label.

The truth, is that I don’t care what the label is. I only care about what the reality is.

That reality being for me at this moment, that what I described at the beginning of this post, regardless of what you, me or anyone else would call it, is back.

Was it beaten to begin with?

Was it ever really gone?

Can it ever genuinely be beaten?

You know what I think?

I think it just took full advantage of my own complacency.

And with that, I take full responsibility.

I don’t want to blame anyone or anything for finding myself frequently floating in that gruelling limbo described at the beginning.

I don’t even want to definitively say that this is THE way to view depression or mental illness. It’s not my place to say.

I only feel confident in saying all of this with respects to my experience, in the hope it can resonate or give comfort to ANYONE who right now needs it.

The fact it’s the second time around?

Well, all that serves to achieve is encouraging me to think I’ve taken one giant leap backwards.

Not. This. Again.

What did I do wrong?

I probably shouldn’t have stopped meditating.

I probably shouldn’t have stopped reading.

I probably shouldn’t have stopped regular visits to my counsellor.

Re-started all those things this year..

But there’s one more thing I probab… scratch that. There’s one more thing I should never have done.

Treat this as something that I can confidently lay claim to have beaten.

My only mistake, was forgetting that the very challenge I thought I’d come out on top of all those months ago, simply re-starts every single day.

As if it was this once in a lifetime enormous battle. One that I’d simply beat, draw a line, and move on from.

When in reality, and with the amazing gift of hindsight, I’m starting to see something for myself.

Whilst this CAN be beaten.

Whilst this CAN be overcome and dealt with.

Every single one of us who faces that battle, absolutely can come out of it victorious.

Never feel like you’ve “fallen”, or something been forced to step backwards.

Never feel like you are showing weakness by seeking help, despite the position of strength you felt you were once in.

My only mistake, was forgetting that the very challenge I thought I’d come out on top of all those months ago, simply re-starts every single day.

It is more than likely going to continue to do so.

A challenge that you must win everyday, and where you only need to lose once.

So, whilst I’ll never definitively win overall.

I am damned as hell sure, I’ll never lose.

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