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"When I held myself completely accountable for my thoughts and actions, was when I knew that I could change directions to get out of depression"

About Mike Pickles:

I am an athletic trainer with a specialization in off-ice hockey development. For over 20 years, I’ve been helping people with their health and fitness, and for the last 10 years I’ve had the opportunity to impact the lives of young athletes. Inspiring young athletes to believe in their potential, helping them build confidence, and improving their athletic performance has been a very rewarding career. Mike recently started a private Facebook Group called Hero of the Day to support men.

Mike’s Story

WHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?

The major turning point for me, after struggling for 20 years, was when I flat out accepted that most of the low experiences I had were my fault. I stopped blaming the outside world for things that I had control over. When I held myself completely accountable for my thoughts and actions, was when I knew that I could change directions to get out of depression. I could see more clearly that some of the things I was or wasn’t doing weren’t helping. That’s when I decided to make those changes in my life.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?

The strategies I used were.
  1. Calming my mind (mediation)
  2. Changing my daily habits (this was huge)
  3. Building confidence (exercise, stick to daily plan)
  4. Daily affirmations (positive mind set)
  5. Setting goals

The biggest thing that helped was to sit and write down all the things that I needed to stop doing, and make a list of things I should be doing. Setting goals and making a plan was the first place to start. I call them micro-goals, mini goals, like making my bed every morning, really helped to set the day.

Some strategies I used to help build my confidence were to keep the promises I made to myself. Basically doing the things I set out to do. Goal setting was a huge way for me to stay focused. Finding my purpose in life. I designed a daily plan for myself that had clear intentions and allotted specific times for each.
Example:
  • 6am – wake up
  • 6-6:30am – meditate
  • 6:30am – jog
  • 7am – eat
  • 7:30am – journal
  • 8am – work
  • 12pm – read 10 pages
  • 3-7pm work, etc etc
  • 8pm – journal, set goals for next day
  • 9pm – meditate

I used meditation to help calm my mind and get into a state of being grateful for what I had and who I am.  Most of all, I had to work on identifying the fears which were having a negative impact on my self-belief. Fear and worry about what other people thought about me, was the toughest to deal with.

I made a promise not to beat myself up if I fell off track. I allowed myself to make mistakes and be ok with that. As long as I got back on track. One thing at a time, one day at a time.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

The best advice I could give anyone is to never give up and believe that there are answers, and there is help. Most of all, you have to write down things that are influencing your thoughts and behaviours negatively. Then make a list of things you know would help, and what you’d like to see change in your life. Last, have faith and belief that even when you’re down or under a dark cloud, it will pass and when it does you go to work on doing the things necessary to get out of depression.

– Mike Pickles, athletic trained based in Surrey, BC, Canada. facebookinsta

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