Posted in Mental Health

Keeping Guard

I must always be on my guard against further bouts of depression

When I move back home in a few weeks, everything is going to change. There is major physical upheaval of returning to my home town ten years after I left. There is also the lack of space and back living in a town when I had become used to a rural existence. There are many things that could bring me down and I must remain ever vigilant against those factors.

I’m under no illusion that I am now immune to the mental health problems that plagued my past; on the contrary I expect to have bad days, awful days even, and times full of despair at a lack of movement in life. But there are also specific problems with this move that could end up causing another bout of depression.

Trials and stresses of being self employed – this is the biggie. I am very concerned about the quantity of work I’m going to get and how much I can realistically expect to get, especially in the beginning when I am just starting out. How much am I going to have to compromise on professional integrity just to be able to pay the bills? Tied into this is a general lack of money and my existing student debt which is still not paid off.

Undoubtedly I will have a lack of space living back with family. I’d become used to having my own space – even with a live-in landlady but the house was big enough that I could shut myself away. Not so here as the bedroom-cum-office I will be working from is quite small and a smaller house sharing with two other people. This won’t be so much of a problem because at least in a town I can get around far easier than I did here.

I’m a little bit restless and I need to get out sometimes. The prospect of being always indoors, tied to my laptop working fills me with some concern, especially if I do have work that is intense enough to spend a lot of time online. Four walls can be incredibly repressive. At least in my present job I am in a large open office and can get out into the fresh air at lunch time and go for a nice walk. Back home, I am in the centre of town on busy roads which is not so pleasant or relaxing. I intend to be dating, hopefully somebody permanent eventually so that will at least give me a break from feeling caged up.

And of course, weight gain. If I don’t get out often, I’m going to have to exercise more and eat less. It will be very easy under these circumstances to pile on the pounds I have worked so hard to shift – especially when I feel I still want to lost another 1.5 stone (21lbs).

I know I’ll need to create a routine whether I have work in a particular week or not it is important for me to have a set routine and stick to it. I work best with structure rather than living on the fly yet the nature of my work will be without structure.

Most people will take this sort of thing for granted and not worry about it but with my issues, my past and my continued recovery I must be ever mindful of the potential pitfuls of the stressful changes I am about to make.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

2 thoughts on “Keeping Guard

    1. Oh yes and I’m going far more easier on myself these days too – that’s arguably the other half of the battle

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