Sometimes all I want to do is hit pause. So I can quieten my mind and put everything back in the correct boxes and then hit play again. But life is unfortunately not as simple as a retro VCR (pencils optional).
You may have noticed that my blogging has been rather… intermittent of late and that’s because in the last 4 weeks or so I have been having an almighty battle with the depression monsters and they are wreaking havoc on my day-to-day.
On the surface everything is pretty sweet, anyone would be happy with my lot; I’ve recently acquired a new job which I start imminently, I have some great friends who are always there, my own (rented) flat complete with needy and adorable ginger cat and of course the family. In terms of life achievements for the most of us this is pretty great.
And I completely agree… however those depression monsters, well they do not. They on the other hand think that most people don’t need a recovery navigator, medication, a therapist, an employment support officer and a mentor, to function with normal things like washing up. No they fill my head with negative thoughts of how I am going to; fail at the new job (I mean really what was I thinking? Digital Editor? Hah!), friends are just there because I contact them and they feel like they have to be, because I’ll fail at my job I won’t be able to afford the rent that I can barely afford as it is and then I’ll lose my home and the cat, and my family will laugh at first and say ‘I told you so’ and then they’ll get annoyed that I can’t seem to keep my shit together for very long.
You see most people when they see depression they see silence, a wall of misery and ungrateful self pity. They see unkempt hair and dirty jeans, laziness gorging on junk food. I mean that’s what the soaps and the news and Hollywood tells us depression looks like. The word depression is thrown around as a label for feeling sad and knocked down, and that with a little bit of exercise and ‘you can do it mantras’ people who have been hidden in their hole for days and weeks on end will come out looking like a regal butterfly.
It’s because of this unrealistic presence of depression and Bipolar in the media that people with it have such a hard time of saying ‘hey guys, I need some help, I’m in pain and I need support’ because the people they are asking for help from, only have this waffle as a reference point. And so people feel like they are failing, people like me feel like failures because they have an illness, that despite popular belief is unseen and the pain isn’t obvious and that because they have what is deemed to be a good life, they feel unmeasurable guilt that they aren’t happy. Like it’s some sort of choice to feel nothing but grey, numbness that defies even great sadness.
Depression is LOUD, it takes away every ounce of positive fibre in your body and replaces it with fear and loathing so you can barely muster the energy to shower, smile or even listen to your favourite music. It chips away at you until the darkness takes over and you can’t find a way out. Some people unfortunately don’t find a way out, other’s will somehow have the persistence to keep fighting because they know that the light, positivity and happiness that is in life, is out there somewhere.
That’s real depression. I don’t think that’s much of a choice, do you?