I’VE spoken a few times in this column about how I’ve not been feeling quite myself.

Most of the time I go through the day feeling extremely flat, with no extremes of emotion, good or bad.

Living under a fog of being generally “awrite” but never great nor exactly wallowing in despair. Just an endless stretch of being fine, but not really.

“I’m fine,” is something I’ve said a few times to people over the last few years when they’ve asked me if everything is okay.

“I’m fine,” I’ll say, eating my first meal of the day at four in the afternoon.

“I’m fine,” I’ll say, having bumped into a pal whose texts I’ve not replied to for months.

“I’m fine,” I’ll say, having not done any of the things that used to bring me joy in ages.

“I’m fine,” I’ll say, spending as much time in bed as I can because I see no point in getting up.

“I’m fine,” I’ll say, with my face tripping me.

I’ve looked my girlfriend, my pals and my family dead in the eye when they’ve suggested that maybe I’m depressed and said, “I’m fine.”

I’ve never been great at looking after my mental health, mainly because I’ve managed to convince myself that I don’t need to.

I’m resilient, I can handle anything, I just get on with things.

That’s the kind of thing that went through my head whenever I briefly entertained the notion that I might be depressed before brushing it off.

I used to roll my eyes at any mention online of “mental health”, dismissing it as a thing people used to make other people feel sorry for them or to get likes on social media.

“You just need to get on with it,” I’d mutter under my breath. “Get a grip, man.”

This is, I’ve realised, not good for you at all.

For me, getting on with it and getting a grip was just making me feel worse and worse.

Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away, it just lets them fester and grow. It’s gotten to the point that I’m no longer “fine”, I’m deeply miserable.

It’s time to ask for help.

I’m taking this seriously and going to the doctors to see what the script is.

I feel a bit daft for letting this drag on for so long and feel like I could have nipped it in the bud years ago before it got to this point.

I was sitting the other day and trying to figure out what the trigger was for feeling like this.

Everything’s going well in my life, I’m struggling a bit with work and writing my new book but inspiration comes and goes, I know it’ll be fine.

I’m surrounded by people who care about me deeply.

Maybe it’s just something in my brain isn’t working the way it should, the timing belt of my mind has snapped like in an old motor.

I’ve been feeling intensely guilty for possibly being depressed.

Like it means I’m ungrateful to those around me and not realising how lucky I am.

Like I’ve somehow let people down by being like this. It doesn’t just take one singular event to make you feel depressed.

It can be but, for a lot of people, it creeps in very slowly.

Curling round the edges of your peripheral vision so gradually you don’t even realise it’s happening.

Given the current state of the world and everything that’s going on, it’s understandable.

I was wary of writing about this, worried it would be taken as me looking for sympathy or something.

I don’t want or need that, I just know there’s plenty of people out there in the same boat, feeling the same things as I am.

If this is the case for you reading this and it maybe feels like something’s clicked, then I’m hoping you’ll do the same as me and take it seriously.

You’ve no reason to feel guilty, you’re not a burden on anyone, things can and will get better and there’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

Being self-aware enough to analyse your feelings and trying to understand them is a valuable skill and having these feelings has taught me I need to get better at it.

The new year is as good a time as any to take stock of what’s happening inside your mind and try to sort it out.

A fresh start and all that kind of thing.

It’s a bit of a cliche now, but, if you feel able to, you should try and talk to someone like a pal, a family member, a partner or even a helpline.

If not, try and write down how you’ve been feeling and work towards speaking to someone at your own pace.

Remember, things can and will get better.