Lessons From the Edge (Part 2)

Matthew Johnstone

Depression. It’s one of life’s many challenging conditions that can stop you from living your soul’s full expression. Live it, and you’ll know it sux. High flying ad exec and best-sellimng author Matthew Johnstone talked us through his run ins with the black dog and how he managed to shake it off. If you’re depressed, get good help and hang in there. Life WILL become more vibrant, more meaningful and more expressive than ever before. Choose life, it’s worth it.

I’m here to talk about my black dog. It’s not just my black dog but it could be your black dog, your neighbor’s black dog, your partner’s black dog, your child’s black dog, whoever it is.

When you have depression as I call the black dog in your life, for a good part of your adult life. It causes for a lot of reflection or anxiety as my wife calls it. Spending a bit of time in the house of mirrors. Why did this affect me? Where did it come from? Why me? All this sort of stuff. Where did it all begin? What happened? Was it something that happened to me as a child that really made me feel like I was falling down as an adult. What what I would put it down to would be my bio-chemistry.

Just to give you a little bit of background, my oldest brother, who is a psychiatrist, has bipolar. My middle brother Hamish, he’s a clinical psychologist, probably the most normal out of all of us. My mother had quite severe depression when I was growing up and she’s not a therapist and my father has a farm who’s also an alcoholic.

What is did It created a sadness in my life that the word sadness doesn’t even justify it. This sadness robbed me of my ability to sleep and when good sleep goes, everything that depends on that good sleep goes with it. It’s your memory, it’s your mind, it’s your concentration, it’s your mood, it’s you ability to get things done.

Suicide is the permanent solution to a temporary problem. We have a terrible suicide rate in this country. It is the highest cause of death in men under the age of 43.

I was very interested in self-medication andI have to to tell you, self-medication works. This is a country built on self-medication. Cocaine gives us confidence. Ecstasy makes us feel more lovey-dovey. Speed gives us energy. Alcohol, I reckon one of the worst from my own dad’s experience, gives us confidence, gives us courage, relaxes us. All those sorts of things.

The lesson for me of 9/11, I didn’t wake up on September the 12th and go hallelujah I’m going to change my life. It was really a period of osmosis. The wake up call for me was that life is short. Life is extremely precious and we’re only here for finite time. How we use our lives and what we do with our lives is so incredibly important.

LeeLessons From the Edge (Part 2)

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