My depression, and the view from down here.

18 Apr

I should be fast asleep as I write this. It is hideously late (or early in the morning) and I am utterly wired. No, I haven’t been at the caffeine or the sweet jar. I have recently ceased drinking coffee after 6pm, and whilst I may occasionally sneak in a cup of tea after said deadline, it rarely happens. Cutting out this pointless but strangely vital stimulant from my evening routine has made me rather grumpy, but I’m aware of it and can manage those feelings no problem. I simply smoke more cigarettes and drink more water, and it seems to work.

No, the problem I have is something which has been the bane of my teens and all eleven years of my adult life so far. It has taken me to places so dark I never thought I’d escape, and perhaps on a couple of handful of occasions, I considered staying there permanently, where no one would ever see me again. Making all the pain go away by submitting. Giving myself over to it. Millions of others are afflicted with this and it is, quite frankly – from a personal point of view – a curse.

I am referring to my “depression”, a word thrown around with such wild abandon today that it has almost become meaningless. Now, I can almost hear thoughts of “No wonder you’re unhappy. Get some sleep!” but unfortunately it is not as simple as just resting your head on a pillow and hoping you drift off into a lazy and beautiful slumber. I am one of those individuals who when feeling low, simply cannot shut down. My mind races like a runaway freight train, transporting my negative thoughts to places I cannot see coming until it is too late. I sometimes envisage acting out horribly twisted scenarios either on myself or on others as a form of catharthis; and then, when my mind comes back to reality, I begin to panic and wonder if I’m actually far more unwell than I initially think I am. It has happened for so many years now that when what I have just described began occuring on a reasonably regular basis (say… 3-4 times a week, but I should add this was when I was younger), what would follow was me breaking down and sobbing. I was weak, mad, a failure. Not worth knowing. My way of dealing with this back then, and very rarely nowadays, was not to eat.

This is one facet of my depression that I and many men, women and young children struggle with – low self-esteem – and mine manifests itself in what I described above. At the age of 29, I am now far more able to manage these thoughts than when I was 19. Now don’t worry I have no intention of pinning it on media, women, my parents, my siblings, bad relationships, being bullied in school or any other example you may hazard a guess at. I wouldn’t express my triggers on such a public forum anyway. It would be very self-serving, but more importantly, doing so would only hurt those that know me. It is also not the reason I am writing this.

2013 is a landmark year for me because it has been roughly a decade since one of the darkest chapters in my life unfolded. Overcoming it (or most of it) mainly serves to remind me as to just how strong I can be. Whilst some may say that’s a great thing, the reality is that when you live with depression, it can act as a reminder of how weak one has been. This last part is what many people don’t seem to relate to and as negative as it reads, I mention it with good reason. It is hard to articulate precisely what I mean, but I hope there are people reading this who know what I’m trying to express. My history is a huge part of how I perceive not only myself but the way others see me, too. We are forever judged by our actions, to put it simply. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I need to know how weak I can be. As clichéd as this may sound, my “weaknesses” – so to speak – now give me great inner strength with regard to certain aspects of my daily living. I know where the road will lead me if I don’t take stock of them. But, as with all things related to our mental health, it never goes away, and can strike back with a vengeance. It can leave me in bed all day with the curtains drawn, and I lay there crying when I should be working. My mind never rests, and it is an eternal annoyance. It is an itch I simply cannot scratch.

Dwelling on negativity is pretty inherent in those living with depressive/self-esteem/body dysmorphic etc, related issues. I have discovered, however, over the last 18 months I have spent attempting to rebuild myself from the ground up, that my outlook on not just myself, but life too, ascends on a more positive incline. I have addressed matters I spent nine years hiding from, rebuilt bridges I once thought long demolished and abandoned, and it has served to make me, on most days, a far happier man than I was two years ago. But when others choose not to reciprocate, it really hurts. It reminds me of who I was, those aforementioned actions I carried out, and who I could still be. It’s a puzzle that’s for sure.

If anything I suppose I’m now getting to the crux (if there even is one) of what I’m attempting to challenge here. I am a more positive person all round, but only because I’ve taken stock of the things about myself that I loathe. It is the reprehensible behaviours I have acted out whilst ill, particularly towards loved ones (especially family), that resonate strongest. I cannot for the life of me remember who said it, but (and I am paraphrasing greatly here) I feel like we don’t go through life discovering our inner nature, but we uncover it, because it’s already there. Maybe I’ve actually recently uncovered my inner nature (or as much as I can do) and I really don’t like it. Maybe this is the part of me that is finally growing up and coming to terms with who I am. I don’t know. It’s all a bit of a muddle if I’m honest.

What all of the above pertains to is a mystery that I need to unravel. It reminds me that if anything, I need to not be so hot-headed, emphatic with my views (particularly on subjects such as this when discussing it with those not as familiar) and to just relax, and smile a bit more.

What is clear is that this has become rather self-absorbed and introspective when I said it wouldn’t (but then what blog isn’t?), so I should really bring this stream of consciousness to its conclusion.

As you might have deduced, I am low as I write this. It is my awful mood I currently find myself in that is what precipitated it. I need to write in order to try and help understand myself a bit better. It is through expelling these thoughts that I can inform myself of what is really afoot, and make plans to deal with whatever “it” is. If I have informed just one person of what depression can be and how it sometimes chooses to represent itself in those affected by it, then great, but that was not my intention. I actually just needed to clear my head.

Maybe my weaknesses are just strengths waiting to happen. That would be nice.

Till next time.

Contact me

Twitter: @_Heisenbird_

E-mail: heisenbird@hotmail.com

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One Response to “My depression, and the view from down here.”

  1. healthiestbeauty April 18, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

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