Before I say another word, I just want to get these few things out there.
Thank you to those who know me best, and understand the strange way my head works at times. And an even bigger thank you to those who go through the same processes and choose to share their thoughts with me. Your company on this journey makes it easier for sure.
Sorry to those who I impose my craziness on at times, who either don't understand what is going on, or would rightfully rather not be a part of it. I try and choose the right people to surround myself with when things start to go tits, up. Sometimes I get it wrong.
And finally sorry to those who don't get it at all. As most people who struggle with their own minds would agree, some things are best left unknown. This is certainly one of them.
Right, enough with the formalities, let's get down and dirty, but more down.... After all, that's what this entry is about.
Over the past week, a week which I have spent off work, some strange things have happened in my head. Totally understandable really, all things considered, but let's take a look all the same.
This week has been the first week I have spent "alone" for about 12-13 years. Not having spent such a long time in almost complete isolation can do strange things to you. Now before anyone jumps down my throat, yes I have kept company with some wonderful people in the past week too, but for the majority of the time, it's been alone.
Before this week though, towards the end of last week in fact, I had a mini meltdown. Following a conversation with a friend, and some subsequent soul searching, I started to realise things were a little bit wrong upstairs, but skipped over it in the hope that it was just a glitch. However this week, slowly but surely the changes have started and the signs have started to appear that all is not well in paradise. The last few days being the most telling, getting up later, losing focus on things, lack of motivation to name but a few. The worst of course being the slow demise of quality sleep due to over thinking. Once that part starts, I pretty much know I'm screwed, in the short term at least.
Some self destructive behaviour is the icing on the cake really, and in this case it is starting to consume foods which are usually avoided, and lack of interest in physical effects of them. Just the consumption of a few trigger foods for my gout alone is the sign that things ain't right. Fingers crossed now that I am realising why I'm doing it, I can do what's needed without a flare up of gout. Gout and depression together REALLY suck !
After being all melodramatic on Facebook earlier, I finally managed to speak to someone who gets me, enough to confirm what I was thinking, and get my head on the straight and narrow. We both agreed, I need to see a doctor, and ASAP!
Now before the eyes start rolling, and the tssk's being sounded, let me just say this. If you have not had depression or anxiety before, and I mean clinically recognised rather than just been a bit on edge, and have no idea what it does to your mind and your life, please politely shut the fuck up.
But he is writing a blog, but he is going out with people, but he made a joke on Twitter.... YES ! Depressed people still live pretty normal lives most of the time, especially when things are just starting to take a downward turn.
Depressed people are humans, and do lots of things that normal people do on a day to day basis. But somewhere under the skin, a part or parts of their life is being shredded by their own mind. There is more than likely nothing wrong with what they are obsessing about, so even from the inside, say for example a work colleague, would not see for a second that something simple and petty is in fact destroying their life right now.
For me, face to face, with people I know and care about, I am me. Same normal (slightly strange) Michael. Do I want to open up to them and get it all off my chest, of course I do! Will I, of course I won't. My respect for the relationship I have with that person prohibits me from burdening them with all my inner worries, which as I have said already, actually amount to nothing. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is stressing about something, and it's ended with you both laughing and saying "don't worry about it"? Well, that is pretty much how most conversations would go with someone with anxiety or depression. On this level anyway. There are of course much worse forms, for which I am grateful I do not suffer with.
I know I blog quite a bit about feeling down, and in fairness it is one of the reasons I started blogging anyway, so if you hadn't worked that much out already, no prize for you. Is it attention seeking, another form of the vague status update on Facebook that we have all grown to hate. Hell there are even Meme's about vague status updates floating about, whining on about "attention seekers" etc. Well how about looking at it this way.
A vague status update is indeed attention seeking. But the question is, why?
You see most people who live with depression won't talk about it. And will have either never have spoken to a professional about it, or will just deny it is an issue, even though it has been identified.
So that vague status update that you are posting Meme's about, or sniping about with other friends on private messages, could well be the subliminal cry for help from someone desperate for someone to speak to, but too afraid or embarrassed to ask.
Have you ever been told no, or ignored about something trivial? I bet it pissed you off, or at least upset you a bit. Now imagine you are ready to lay it all down, share your innermost worries or fears. You think you know the person you can talk to about it, you build yourself up, and..... nothing! They either give you the "you will be ok" line, ignore you, or ask if you can talk about it another time.
Trust me when I say this, you really only get one shot at opening up about something as deep as this, and a single knockback can send you spiralling into what feels like an eternal pit of doom.
So as corny as it sounds, next time someone, who doesn't post something vague and cryptic every day, posts a bit of a strange status, if you have the time, and actually care at all, please just drop them a one liner asking if they are ok, or wanted to vent to someone. For someone like me, venting goes a long way. Hell you don't even have to read half the stuff I'm saying, just check for question marks, so questions don't go unanswered. If of course their punctuation is abysmal, tough shit I say, no time for poorly educated depressed people! .... That's a joke by the way, even depressed people can make jokes, especially at the cost of other depressed people!
Anyway, for me, I have spent the whole evening going back and forth in my mind, do I need to see a doctor, am I just being stupid, is there another reason etc. But the simple fact is, if I am thinking it, I already know the answer. It is just my over thinking, over complex mind trying to, yup you guessed it, over think the reasons why I would need to. Unfortunately, once that thought process starts, everything gets a little blurry. Bringing in other unrelated issues, trying to see if they play a part in the situation, and before you know it the world is a shitty place, and EVERYTHING is screwed up.
I know I am just feeling like this, because I am! Not because of breaking up, not because work is a pretty shitty place sometimes recently. And not because of anniversaries, Xmas, lack of diving, missing my mum, wanting more money or any of the other crazy considerations that have entered my mind over recent hours and days.
To be honest, as usual, just writing most of this stuff down, and knowing I am about to press publish, and throw all my inner most thoughts out there into cyber space for anyone and everyone to read, is helping. But of course it is far from the end of the matter. Medication is something I do NOT desire right not, avoiding as much as I can these days, inc pain killers, so I really don't want to be starting a new daily regiment of pills. Besides, they are only a quick fix, the real fix happens up in my strange little head, and only when I have a clear enough mind to make things right.
The long and the short of it is, I have been dropping down for over a week now, I have another week off work to come, and somewhere in that time, I am going to be seeing a GP. Sooner rather than later if I can help it.
In the meantime I will be trying to maintain my routine of dog walks, training and other things to keep my mind occupied, and giving me reasons to get out of bed early, leave the house, and take in daylight and fresh air. All key things for me to ensure I do, just to make sure the downward trend at least levels out for now. Fingers crossed as ever, this is me catching myself from falling, and not going to end with me picking myself up from the bottom. It's been about five years since I had any serious issues with depression, and I am hoping that by writing this, I am facing my demons head on, and refusing to bow to their demands.
Depression sucks, but fighting back at it makes me a stronger person each and every time. Here's to beating it once again, and getting back to being the same annoying idiot people have grown to know and despise.
Thanks for reading.
PS, if you suffer from depression, know this. You are not alone, but each of our journeys are different. I cannot swear to understand your thoughts, nor expect you to understand mine. But we share a common ground of confusion, despair, and lack of hope. On his level we are united, and can support one another. Providing someone to hear our cries, give us strength, and show one another that we can overcome these feelings.
Stand tall, do not be ashamed of saying you can't cope or need help.
There will always be those who do not, and cannot understand how mentally crippling depression and anxiety can really be. Their ignorance or lack of knowledge should not be seen as lack of compassion or caring, but instead just an inability to truly empathise with you at this time in your life.
If you have made it this far, but still have no idea what you just read. Thank you, for bothering to carry on reading. I hope that one day, should the need arise, and you experience either the symptoms, or identify someone who is, that this makes sense at last, and helps in some way.
PPS... To those people who have been around me and made things normal over the past few days, thank you once more. I appreciate it more than I can ever express.