I believe in a world where the darkness that lives within all of us is not something to be pushed down or hidden, but rather one where it’s embraced and used, in order for growth. Kevin Breel provided the quotation at the top of todays article
I’ve watched a video of Kevin speaking. If you haven’t heard his story I suggest you find it and take the time to watch it. If you’d rather read a transcript of his appearance at TedX you can find it here.. https://singjupost.com/kevin-breel-confessions-of-a-depressed-comic-at-tedxkidsambleside-transcript/
He spoke about his struggle with depression in a light that spoke of honesty, humour, intelligence, and thoughtfulness.
This is not something I see very often.
Depression is a topic that’s so often shrouded by taboo, hidden behind closed doors, and not spoken about. What he spoke of wasn’t just something that affected him but it was an issue that affects us all in different ways. Whether we’re speaking of mental or physical health issues or any form of ‘identity crisis’; there’s something to learn from what he said.
The world I believe in is one where everyone is kind to each other, even if they don’t know the person at all.
The world I believe in is one where we embrace who we are and look out for those around us. In a time where so much of the news speaks of hatred and self-obsession, this message is one that everyone needs to hear.
It’s important to have goals in life and work towards something, but it’s also important to celebrate the good within yourself. We all have bad days where we feel like giving up but I believe Kevin really hit the nail on the head when he said that “We need both sides of the story. We need to know our darkness, we need to sit with it and we need to decide what makes us feel alive and passionate and purposeful”
To me this signifies many things:
1. That no matter how hard you hit rock bottom, there will always be a reason to come back up.
2. That you don’t have to wait for a mental health crisis in order to get help.
3. That it’s okay to ask for help and you should never be ashamed of doing so if you need support from someone outside of your situation.
4. Darkness can be seen as a sign that something needs changing, but that doesn’t mean you need to be upset. It’s a signpost pointing towards growth and development. Seek out the light. It’s there.
5. That it is important to look after yourself, both physically and mentally. This doesn’t just mean eating well or exercising but taking time out of your day for yourself in order to relax the mind and body.
6. Taking care of yourself also includes knowing when you need support and asking for it.
What we do, we do because we love doing it…
The world I believe in is one where the buzz doesn’t wear off and what makes us happy is often what’s good for us.
This can be applied to anything and everything depending on your situation; work, education, hobbies and interests.
I believe in a world where we don’t need to put on our “happy masks” every day but that we should be allowed to take time out if we need it. The people around us should know when something is wrong and there should always be room for discussion about mental health.
I believe the world can be a better place if it encourages the good in everyone, rather than looking for something to talk about when there’s bad. This is not just true of mental health but general conversation as well.
I would love to see the world being brought together by positivity and kindness instead of self-interests and negativity. We’ve all had bad times and we’ve all had great times; it’s our uniqueness that makes us who we are. I believe everyone should be able to embrace their light, but make efforts in understanding their darkness as well.
The message Kevin brought was a very important one and while not new – it is something people need to hear more often. If you’d like to learn more about Kevin and his work following a career in acting, speaking, and writing – you can find him here:
My darkness and how I accepted it.
I’ve had some very dark and depressing times in my life. Several years ago, my life was a mess. I was constantly trying to balance work commitments with an addiction to alcohol. The turmoil within my mind was a huge burden. I was looking for a way out. I was in a state of mind that was very close to me taking my own life.
I knew that I needed to work so that I could placate the roaring, overwhelming need to drink. A lack of confidence in my abilities, coupled with thinking that I was an imposter in my job role was weighing very heavily on my mental health.
I was trying to distract myself from the raging thoughts wreaking havoc inside my head. Why was I so tormented? I didn’t know how to protect my boundaries and I didn’t know how to deal with the irresistible urge to poison my body, mind and soul with booze.
I thought I could handle everything in my own way. My methods of self-care were terrible at best, and downright dangerous at worst.
One morning, I made an appointment to see my family doctor. I received help and some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. My mindset changed. Slightly. I found that my needs could be met if I asked for help. The CBT didn’t stop me drinking and that continued for another ten years.
Burying pride and asking for help
I have buried my pride on several occasions since then. The most important one happened in the summer of 2020. I’d stopped drinking, but I couldn’t figure out how to stay stopped. Every day was a constant mental exercise in trying to convince myself that I was ok. I was in a dangerous place. I was only one short walk away from buying booze again.
I sought help for my addiction to alcohol. I searched for how to stop drinking and found it in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I’m now almost two years sober. Not only do I have the strength to overcome the urges and desires to drink, I also don’t feel weighed down by the mental obsession about where I’m going to find my next drink.
Life still has its ups and downs. They are normal. Everyone has to deal with crises, the car breaking down, bereavements, redundancy.
Thanks to AA and people like Kevin Breel, I no longer have that paralysing fear that I am not capable. I no longer have the overwhelming mindset of doom that existed even when things were going well in relationships and at work. To overcome my darkness, I first had to understand it and embrace it.
If you’re struggling, seek help. Lean on people. If they cannot help, keep searching and asking until you find the answers that you need to be happy.
I did it and so can you.
Thanks for reading, and if you prefer to listen, visit the podcast on spotify.
All the best,
Matt The Happy Human