Breaking Point

I write this post as my Mental Health is at one of its lowest points I can remember. I share this with you all for two main reasons, so you don’t fall into the same pitfalls, and to keep me accountable. For some of the readers this will come as a shock, for others an inevitability. Let it be known, I may not be OK today, but I will persevere.

As I Wrote last weekI feel drained, I feel apathetic, lethargic, I feel that everything is an effort and one more often not worth beginning. I am struggling. Those feelings aren’t getting better. They are, in fact, worsening. I am finding it more difficult to maintain a brave face, smile when in company, I am physically and emotionally drained by things that I used to be recharged by. I am experiencing both crippling lows and almost euphoric highs. Extreme anger and extreme compassion, often in the same day, and sometimes within the same hour. I feel more unstable in my own thoughts, I feel disjointed, disorganised, and for the first time in a long while, without real purpose. My wife has been an amazing support through all of this, as have my friends and family. And for that I am thankful.

I am, however, seeking help. I am going to speak to my GP and come up with a strategy, both short term and long term. I am inherently a driven person, and I will not allow what I am experiencing to negatively impact my family, so to that end, I will not be changing my plans for employment and study. I will simply be looking for assistance to help with the aforementioned feelings. Thats the accountability part.

Last week I proposed a New Year Just Me concept, in which I will be winding back from lot of extracurricular things, and saying NO a lot more often. My advice to everyone, do only what you are capable of doing, not what you think you are capable of doing. There are countless studies that talk about the dangers of multi-tasking and the benefits of simply focussing on one task. There is merit though, to being busy, but not to the point where you sacrifice your family, friends and your own health.

Take care out there readers of Maintain the Rage. Stay safe, and don’t forget to check up on each other once in a while. It’s OK to ask if someone is struggling, and its OK to be honest. Just do everyone a favour, if you ask the question, listen to the response, you may be the only one to hear it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

9 thoughts on “Breaking Point

  1. Hi Luke, I thought you were a machine, but low and behold you are human. Good on you for being aware of your mental health and realising that you need support, and seeking help. Speaking openly about your symptoms and feelings is a braves gesture. Sometimes people think that what they are feeling is unique, and no one would understand. The more we can share how we are feeling and what we are feeling, the easier it is to talk about. I am sure that you will find a way to deal with your situation. I appreciate all that you do for me and other nursing students, and am here if you need anything. Now it is time to look after you. Stay strong Luke and maintain the rage. X


    • Hey Carmen,

      Thank you so much for your support. I am truly appreciative to know that there are people there. I sometimes wonder who supports the supportive. But, I am beginning to realise that quite often we build our own support network by investing in others.

      Maintain the Rage

      Luke Sondergeld


  2. Luke,

    All of this is my own opinion, but perhaps it may help.

    It would seem you have made a new friend who likes to hang out with you…
    He’ll show up uninvited, generally at the most inappropriate times to follow you around and say things that make you feel bad. Bad about yourself, bad because you’re not ‘good enough’, bad because you’re ‘sick’, the list goes on…

    Problem is, you can’t ask this guest to leave. It goes when it is ready. Generally this is after they have spent the day following you around the house, drinking your milk from the carton, spilling wine on the couch and pissing on the toilet seat.At this point in time it’s overwhelmed you and you’re shaking in a corner waiting for them to go away. They always know where you are and where you’re feeling most vulnerable and will prey on that.

    But this friend is a second cousin to Harvey the White Rabbit. Only you can see them, only you can hear them. People who come to know you and love you will know they are there, but nothing more.

    Although I look forward to the day we meet, I won’t profess to knowing you particularly well. That being said, I have a ‘friend’ just like you. He looks like me, he sounds like me and will occasionally bring another friend in the form of someone from my past to help torment me. He looks like me and sounds like me because it is a part of ME. Such as it is a part of you, but you are not DEFINED by your mental health.

    You’ve won the heart of your lovely Wife, who I know does not suffer fools. Now you’re not only a Husband, but a Father. Whatever demons behind behind your eyes, your Family see you, Heart and Soul, warts and all. Yet, beyond the darkness that threatens to swallow you, you continue to shine for them.

    So we tell ourselves we’re ‘O.K’. We tell others we’re O.K. We stay strong, for we are Husbands and Fathers (well, I was…) and we will protect our family no matter the cost. What do we really do? We hold it in, without even realising it. It gets worst when your mind cannot deal with a situation, so it puts it aside to continue with the task at hand. But we still face the monsters.

    “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    I’ve been fighting my monsters for years, too long…far too long. Now a part of the Abyss will always be in me. Because I fought them, treated them like they were evil…bad…unhealthy. The fact of the matter is the things you think and feel (no matter how bad they are) are as much a part of you as anything else. Don’t let the monsters drag you into the muck, it is in my experience a one-way trip.

    Give the monster in your skin the reaction it needs, give it a hug. Feel what you feel, don’t be afraid or ashamed of it. Do so in an environment you feel is safe. Weep manly tears in front of another, it is one of the greatest show of strengths. Be angry, rage, scream, cry, exercise, if you need to let it out then do so. I will happily whomp any who fault you for it.

    You’re not alone, which you realise. You now have me on your team too, and the monsters are starting to take pause with me, they are starting to learn what they’ve created. Wifey can give you my number, you call anytime. You are also realising your limits, you’d be amazed how many people cannot.

    I will leave you with a lesson that a good friend taught me. Kitsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver or platinum dust. The repair is not hidden but instead distinguished, you can see that the finished product although was broken is made into something different and all the more beautiful for it. Maybe you have broken a bit, it happens. Take something broken and make it beautiful.

    At your service,



    • Beautiful words Thorvald. We do, as fathers, husbands and even friends and family, put on the brace face. That is what we have been conditioned to do. I have lost too many friends to suicide and I will allow my inaction to let another slip through my hands. If by voicing my struggle, sharing my journey and showing that there is help out there for Jose who raise there hand and say “Me, I need help!” Then I will. And all will not be for naught.

      Thank you Thorvald for your kind words.


      • “I have lost too many friends to suicide and I will allow my inaction to let another slip through my hands.”

        You are not responsible for such things, remember that. If someone wants to go, they go. I suppose I view suicide a bit differently from others. I hope that those who take their lives find the peace and mercy that they were deprived of in life. Their reality, their world, has become so tormented a place that they would do anything to alleviate the pain. By the time a person is driven to that point, they can be very hard to stop.

        I spent many years trying to take on burdens that were not mine to bear, yet I tried anyway and paid a price that I will always consider to be far too high. Now I’m no longer a (step)father and the Woman I thought was going to be my Wife is…well…that’s a monster I’m not quite ready to face yet.

        Your world and your family are your concern. You possess something I do not that will help in this regard: Faith. God has given you a family to care for. You are not going to save the world. The last guy who got sent for that job we nailed to a cross in appreciation. But if enough people change their own world to be a better place, then maybe suicide will be forgotten…

        Voicing your struggle and sharing your journey will serve as a beacon of hope for others who may face dark times. But always remember yourself, for if you forget yourself then it truly will be for naught.

        Liked by 1 person

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