Diagnosed with severe depression, I dropped out of University earlier this year, my third and final year.
In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I made. It allowed me to come to terms with, and face my depression; something I have hidden for over seven years of my life.
A quote that has had a significant impact on me is Oscar Wilde’s statement:
“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”.
Not one person was aware of my troubles with my mental health condition. I wore so many different masks in front of all my family and friends, showing only the side they wanted to see.
At first I didn’t recognise the depressive state I was in; however, I later then became ashamed of it. Consequently, rather than seeking the help I needed instead of hiding it, my condition worsened.
My memories started fading, my sleeping pattern worsened, I lost interest in activities I used to love. I felt hopeless. I felt alone. Worst of all I stopped being able to feel anything. I felt empty.
I bottled up all my emotions for so long that it became unbearable.
A mind plagued by suicidal thoughts, my spirit broken, I wanted it all to end. I felt truly in the gutter.
I thought no one would understand. But I’m glad that when I finally gained the courage to open up, my friends and family were there for me. They listened to me. They supported me. I finally sought the help I so desperately needed and I’m en route to my recovery.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from healthy. Every day is difficult. But I see every day as an opportunity to step forward one step at a time, holding my head up high looking at the stars – focusing on the positive and working towards making something magical of this life.
I’m currently an Associate at Bethnal Green Ventures alongside which I’m happy to say that the very thing I once considered a pain is becoming my passion: Mental Health.
Nobody deserves to go through what I’ve endured.
As the Co-Founder of Alternative Education (Alt Ed UK), a mental health movement focused on altering the way we think about mental health, I am determined.
I will do everything within my power to remove the social stigma surrounding mental health within many communities until everyone can talk about their mental health openly and honestly.
To all those suffering from mental health conditions, feeling alone, know this: Rodney Gold D, myself and the Alt Ed community are here for you.
You have everything inside, to conquer the adversity, persevere and win.
We are all in the gutter, but hold your head up high and always ensure you are looking at the stars.
Peace & Love,