My Musings

Let’s talk about Depression.

depresssion

It’s mental health awareness week in the UK and national mental health month in the US. Due to that, I thought I’d write something a bit more personal for once. Forgoing the book reviews and memes in favour of this rambling nonsense! Yes, it’s a book blog and I’m fully aware that this isn’t a book related post, but as I already post poetry on the blog, well, to paraphrase the brat saying ‘I’m an only child, I can do what I want’ I offer you this ‘it’s my blog, I’ll do what I want‘.

Let’s start with an introduction. Hi, I’m The Tattooed Book Geek, but that’s only my blog name. I’m actually called Drew and I’ve suffered from depression, yeah that dreaded ‘D‘ word with the stigma attached to it. While I’ve never attempted it, in the past I have thought about suicide, even going as far as to write a goodbye note, that’s a two for one people, the dreaded ‘D‘ word followed by the dreaded ‘S‘ word, better run for the hills before my unclean taints you.

Sadly there is still a stigma and label surrounding both mental health and depression, it’s not like you can help feeling the way you do, it might mean you’re damaged and broken but it’s not fundamentally ‘wrong‘ and there shouldn’t be a stigma attached to the label. I’m quite happy to say that I’m damaged and broken, it’s true, I call myself it often but tell me I’m ‘wrong‘ and we’ll fall out and trust me, I can hang with the best in debates and arguments. But I digress, there’s labels attached to lots of things, not just mental health and depression, you see someone acting like a jerk and you immediately label them as a jerk when they might be a very nice person just uninformed and ignorant, Nah, chances are a jerk is a jerk and a fuckwit is a fuckwit. Having mental health problems or depression isn’t something to be ashamed of and you shouldn’t be labelled for it. I am me and I’m OK with that, issues and all.

It’s been quite a few years but the ghost is always there taunting, haunting you as you are never quite sure when that sadness and bad mood you’re currently dealing with will morph into something worse, pulling you back into the depths of depression.

Often there’s a reason that starts the depression and at times there isn’t. It’s a hard one, it could just creep up on you as you finally realise that how you are feeling isn’t going to go away and that something is wrong. But do you even realise that something is wrong? You get stuck feeling the same way, in a rut, rinse and repeat each day, not living, just getting by.

I’m also introverted, it’s perhaps hard to see behind the occasionally foul-mouthed and often sarcastic blog posts, but it’s true. In real-life I’m also loud and sarcastic (foul mouthed too if we are being completely honest and keeping score) which are extrovert tendencies. But I’m also shy and quiet, especially with people I don’t know, I find it hard to talk to people and I’m also rather antisocial far preferring to stay in and my own company than to go out, which are all introvert tendencies, I guess you could say I’m a contradiction or perhaps complicated sounds better! πŸ™‚

It’s a hard thing, finding yourself sitting there, all you can see is the darkness and thinking that the world would be a better place without you. It’s unsubstantiated and stupid to feel that way but you don’t realise that and it’s not stupid to you, you question would you be missed? Would anyone even care? And the answer that always comes back to you is no. No, you wouldn’t be missed and no, no-one would care either.

When you wake up in the morning and you have a choice, get dressed, go to work, pretend everything that is fine, it’s just a bad day or leave, just go anywhere, some place far away, away from it all to let the darkness decide what will happen. That decision, to get by is one of the hardest you’ll have, which path do you choose carrying on or letting go?

For me, there were two things that I would consider the worst when I was dealing with depression.

Firstly, the feeling of self-worth, or the lack of to be more precise. I’m not a confident person, never have been, never will but when you lose any sort of self-worth it’s a terrible feeling. Thinking that you are worthless, that nothing you do is good enough, a hopeless case and just plain fucking wrong, unlikeable, ugly and unloveable. That sense of being worthless, it’s hard to describe just how bad it is to feel that way, it’s something that you can’t shake, no matter how many people tell you otherwise, no matter how many times you are told that you’re not worthless, that everyone is worth something, it seeps into you, festering and lingering. Sadly for me, it’s still something that I have to deal with, that damn malignant feeling that I’m not good enough, low self-esteem is part of who I am, I wish it’d just fuck off, truly I do but it won’t, maybe one day!

Secondly, feeling apathetic, nothing, numb to everyone and everything, empty, dead inside. What you once enjoyed, you now don’t, you lose the will and want to do anything, wanting to sleep all day (for others it might be different, for me sleep brought release from the dark thoughts plaguing me), spending your days going through the motions without caring, you become a robot, on autopilot, you walk around in a daze, like a zombie. When you feel nothing you need a release, something that brings you back from the ledge you’ve found yourself standing on. I’d find myself sitting there, empty-eyed and staring at nothing. I could have talked, found someone to help and talk to but that’s not me, I’m not an open person, I struggle to let people in and there are no more personal things to talk about than feelings, so that was out of the question and anyway, some of us don’t like talking, revealing our secrets. So, the only thing that brought me back was cutting myself.

I’d ‘cut to feel‘ it’s as simple as that and it’s not something that a lot of people understand. They ask you why but when you tell them they still don’t get it. For me it was easy, it wasn’t a cry for help or about the pain, when you’re feeling numb you don’t really feel pain, it was the blood. Sounds crazy right?! It was seeing the blood flow, even small cuts bleed and the blood showed me that I was alive, it pulled me back (never wrists, I never went that far, too strong to do it, too weak to do it, at the time I didn’t and looking back I still don’t know) and it made me feel. Even though it was only a short release and I’d find that I needed to do it again and again, carving my arm to pieces, bleeding buckets (slightly melodramatic but you get the point) but it got me through. However at the time, it became akin to an addiction ‘feel unhappy, knife cut to take away the pain‘ which wasn’t healthy.

I might be damaged with some minor bodywork scratches but I survived. My scars are faded and tattoos hide most but they’re there, a reminder of the past, of dark times and places, a part of me.

Now I write poetry, it is only in the simple and rhyming style but the words have meaning to me and it helps, as I wrote I’m not good with opening up, so the spoken word is out, that leaves the written word to express myself. I guess back in the day that poetry would have been a better outlet than playing with knives, oh well, we live and we learn!

Looks can be deceiving, a smile is easy to fake, it’s so simple, it’s the eyes that show the pain, anyone can fake a smile to pretend their OK, you need to look deeper, a smile can lie but the eyes. Likewise, being asked if you’re OK? Yeah, I’m fine, yeah, I’m just tired, I’m good, they all roll off the tongue, simple lies, pretending that you are fine while inside you are crying. I lied so many times and do you know what the worst of it is?! I’ll tell you, it’s not lying to the people who have asked, it’s lying to yourself, trying to fool yourself and succeeding into believing that everything is alright when it’s not.

When you are unhappy it could be the smallest inconsequential little thing that tips you over the edge, changing feeling down into an actually depressed state. Lots will scoff and deride, telling you that it’s ‘stupid‘ and that there are ‘people who are far worse off than you out there‘ and yeah, it’s true……..but! To the depressed person that one minor thing that tipped them over the edge is the most important thing to them, it might be silly to you but to them, at that moment in time it’s the one thing that matters, it’s something major. So, even if you think it’s stupid, keep it to yourself as to them it’s important and trust me, when they are feeling better there’ll look back and laugh at it for its stupidity, laugh with them then, not at them before! I know full well what tipped me over the edge and where I lost my way. Looking back, it shouldn’t have done it, that doesn’t devalue the importance or significance, it just means that I can look back and know have a better picture of events.

Mention also needs to go to the worst question you can say to someone that is unhappy ‘what have you got to be unhappy about?‘ I mean, c’mon, there is no worse question to ask someone who is depressed than that. It’s not a ‘woe is me‘ thing to feel, it’s all fucking consuming, when people ask that do they even care? Maybe, maybe not, if they did care though they’d show it and not ask an asinine question you might not know the answer to, or you don’t want to tell people the reason as they might think it’s stupid. That ties into the point above, look at me being coherent, boo ya! Point is, there is no stupid reason to be depressed or unhappy and don’t let anyone tell you that there is, if they do, fuck them, they just don’t understand.

When you’re depressed you don’t want to hear shit like ‘there are people who are far worse off than you‘ while true, it’s irrelevant and the depressed person doesn’t give a shit. It’s not them being selfish, it’s just how it is, when depressed the world’s most caring and empathic person would struggle to care about others. When you have the mindset that the world and everyone in it can burn, you just don’t care what problems others have, it’s not wrong and it’s not selfish. If anything the people who tell you that there are ‘people worse off than you out there’ are the ones being selfish, as they are deeming and belittling you instead of supporting and trying to help you.

It’s years ago now and I got through my depression. I’m one of the lucky ones, for me, the storm passed and while it’s always there lurking in the background, it’s not a constant everyday battle just to get by. For others sadly this isn’t the case, it’s a daily struggle and my heart (yeah, surprisingly I do have one) goes out to you all who suffer from this bane.

Unfortunately, something bad happened in my life and it pulled me out of my cycle of unhappiness. I told you earlier that I’m a contradiction and that sentence proves it. Something bad causes depression and something bad takes it away, yeah Drew, fucking ace way to describe it, but for me it’s true. It didn’t necessarily take it away, that’s the wrong word but readers of this blog already know that I’m lacking in the eloquently worded department. It was the catalyst that made me realise that I had to get myself together, to be there for someone else and it was the shove that I needed. I refuse to say that depression is selfish or that anyone who suffers with it is selfish, but it is personal, while it indirectly affects others (those who care about you) it’s something that you predominantly go through on your own, even with help, you’re not alone but it’s your internal battle and I had to win that war to be there for someone else.

How do you tell someone that you want out of life? It’s not exactly a normal thing to say. Depression isn’t a selfish illness, but that is a damn selfish thing to say, looking into the eyes of the one who gave birth to you and telling them ‘I’m sorry, I’m not happy and I want out‘. It’s the only time I felt selfish as you see the heartbreak it causes and there’s nothing either you or they can do.

I wish that I could say that it was all ‘just that easy‘ and that was the end of it, but it wasn’t. I’d have gladly traded places and been the one to die, it would have made things easier for all but it wasn’t to be, I had to carry on and I realised that my own darkness was selfish because they needed me, they were more important than my issues, I needed to be strong for them in their last months and for the future for another to rely on (sadly you find in hard times that people you should be able to rely on, family, cough cough, you can’t), I needed to be there for them and I couldn’t do that when I wanted to let go of life.

Over the years I still have lapses every now and then, episodes of feeling sad and down, that might last a couple of hours or a couple of days, it is what it is. Depression is something that never truly goes away, as I wrote earlier it’s a ghost that haunts you and shit happens, it’s called life, it’s full of bullshit and cunts that fuck with you. But you have to take the bad with the good, I fall down, I pick myself back up. I haven’t played with knives seriously in years, a couple of minor occasions here and there, but overall I count that as a resounding win. I even got through the loss of my dog last year without bleeding, hardest trial yet! It would have been unfair to her legacy as my companion for over 13 years, through the good times and the bad but always a constant (best dog ever, not a pet, hope, a friend, someone to rely on when others showed their true colours). It was fucking hard but I did it, I won’t lie and say I didn’t hold a knife in my hand but I got through, it wouldn’t have brought her back, it wouldn’t save or heal my pain and I got by, I endured. I guess beneath the low self-esteem and self-worth even though the depression still calls, I do have some strength.

Nowadays, for the most part, me and my demons live in harmony with each other, two sides of the same coin. Can I say I’m happy, at times, yes I certainly can and honestly, I am. At others, sadly no, I can be a real miserable fucker and I have dark days, but who really can say that they are happy 100% of the time? Hands up? No-one, thought so, show me someone who states that they have never felt sad or unhappy and I will show you a charlatan, a liar! But I am content with things and for me and many others that is good enough. Yes, you can always strive for more but there’s nothing wrong with getting by and being content with what you have.

Remember, you’re not alone and it’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up, survive, fight and make it through, even if it’s a day at a time. Our scars don’t define us, they are a part of who we are and we are alive.

I’m honestly not entirely sure what the actual point of this post is or even why I decided to post it! I thought I’d see about writing something for mental health week/month (yeah, I have weird ideas at times, I’m an expert at nothing with an opinion on everything) and this 2,800-word ramble is what came out. Make of it what you will but it’s real.

If any of you got this far then sincerely, thank you for reading.


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83 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Depression.

  1. Sounds like we’re quite similar with our foul, sarcastic, mouths! I’ve been an introvert for years, but only really realised in the last few years. Otherwise I’ve been wondering what the heck is wrong with me! I developed depression and anxiety when I was 13, and it’s been downhill from there. I’m actually pretty good these days at realising when I’m getting into a depression, and that I should get on with my day. My blog helps, because it means I’m not always thinking about myself, and stuck in my own head. I’m really happy you wrote this, and let me get to know you better. Hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah, a blog definitely helps, mine is predominantly a book blog, along with poetry but having a blog and reading definitely help, losing yourself in a book makes you forget about the pain in real-life.

      I’ve always known I’m an introvert, sadly it’s others that don’t see it, they just think you’re antisocial when, well, yeah, I guess I am but it’s down to being an introvert and uncomfortable with people.

      Foul mouthed and sarcastic are the best, can’t beat either of them and both together are a force to be reckoned with!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I sometimes think extrovert tendencies are a symptom of introvertedness – I can wise crack & joke along with people but inside I’m screaming to go hide in a room on my own. Depression & anxiety are souls sucking demons from one of Dante’s circles of hell, they plague & I won’t let them destroy me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you have a point, I use extrovert tendencies to hide my introvert ones, I don’t scream inside though, I’m a contradiction!πŸ˜‚ I’m certainly not a people person though, I deal with people at work and like being able to have time to myself outside of work, antisocial loner is me!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes. I too know what you are talking about. Pills are my best friend as they are the temp fix that used to be filled with a more dangerous substance. We will call it “Henry.”
    Henry and I had a good long run. I would say about 8 years? You know what, Henry is still too long, so we will call Henry just by his first intial: H.
    H helped me sleep. H helped me not feel. H made everything ok. But when H wasn’t around, I was sick. Violently sick. (It was a very toxic relationship). My other friend “Mary” helped out when H wasn’t around, but (we will call her M), but M made the feelings more intense until H came back.
    Then it was H and M all the time…best of friends. Too tired to see H? M will do. Too wired to see M? Well, that’s what H is for!!
    Medicating with my close friends ruined my life…I lost a loved one…I had nothing but my family. Nine years free of both “friends” and I still need help from Celexa, Xanax, and Suboxone…yes, they have weird names, my new friends. But they take the place of the old…I wake up, I function, I am “normal” on the outside. Nothing to see here, folks!!
    But underneath…no one would ever suspect that I miss ol’ Henry and Mary…I miss the escape from the real world.
    So this post is wonderful and I’m glad you shared. We cannot fight each others’ demons…but when we know their names and can identify they are part of us and also separate from us, we can go on with one foot in front of the other.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Stephy! You missed my poetry the other day Stephy, for shame!😞 joking!πŸ˜€ when are we going to write this misery poem to sadden the world then?πŸ˜€

      Well, your story certainly tops my foray into unhappiness! I’m so sorry that you’ve been through all that! Alas, it’s always underneath and inside, we can hide it well.

      That’s very true, when we know are demons then we can deal with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I missed your poetry?! Damn it!
        I’m ready to write it whenever you are!!
        No, I don’t think either of ours is sadder or happier…just different. I never ran a blade across my skin. That always freaked me out. Though I was totally okay with doing drugs (I have tried to type this word and it would not put drugs: it gave me shrugs, hugs, and somehow, Dreyfus! Wtf?? Autocorrect really doesn’t like drugs!).
        We handle our demons differently. My way: I plan to wait until my parents die and finally write a book about the crazy shit they put me through while they were high. Just biding my time. But I admire you for no longer reaching for tools to hurt yourself! (I must not have wanted to hurt myself too badly bc I was afraid of physical pain and I didn’t want scars…pretty rational for a depressed person. πŸ™„Makes it extremely hard to have an outlet. I guess mine was more sex, drugs, and rock n roll, minus the rock n roll).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, I love it when people assume that I’m just sad for the sake of being sad. ‘Well what on Earth do you have to be sad about?’ Well, I have a legitimate mental illness that makes me feel hopeless and worthless for no bloody reason, for a fucking start -.-; That I take medication every day that makes me nauseous and drowsy to prevent it from being worse than it is indicates that I’m probably not doing it on purpose.

    Great read, Drew! I can relate. πŸ˜…

    As a slight aside, if you’ve never read the book ‘Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson, I recommend it highly! She writes about mental illness and her experience with it in a hilarious way. The audiobook is in my top 10 of forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’ve never read that book but I’ve seen it around the blogosphere a lot, if it’s the book I’m thinking of it’s got a yellow cover and a smiling animal on the cover.

      I don’t have an issue with people being sad just for the sake of it, not everyone can be happy and smiley, it’s different personalities but yeah, when they rag on you for it though, hell no, it’s not like anyone chooses to feel worthless after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the post Drew – the more recognition that mental awareness receives the better. It’s something that just isn’t given enough regard to – the old ‘pull yourself together, snap out of it’ phase needs to be a thing of the past. And, yes, depression is very personal so telling someone ‘there are people worse off’ is really pointless.
    Hopefully posting this was good for you, it’s good to share after all.
    Lynn πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynn.πŸ˜€ Not sure it was good for me to post or not, I do have weird ideas and think this post might fall into that category! Totally agree the ‘pull yourself together’ bit needs to be a thing of the past, we have to tread so lightly over certain issues (racism, etc) and yet things like depression and MH it still seems to be the case of people can say what they want regardless of how it hurts.

      Like

  6. A lot of people I know personally have dealt with depression and it’s never an easy thing. I’m glad you were able to push through during the hard times it shows true strength. This was a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Posts like these are so important for mental health awareness and even more so when they come from the very people who suffer. Thank you for writing this honest and personal post as it could have been written by a member of my own family x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You’re the second person to say that the post could have been written by a member of their own family.

      Totally agree that posts like this are important, hard to write, but something different and I felt needed writing due to it being awareness week in the UK.

      Like

  8. I loved reading this post. I know what it’s like to fake a smile and pretend that everything is okay when it really isn’t, it really is so easy to do. I also know that it’s not easy to put something so personal on the internet to read, I did it when I wrote a post about the lack of proper ADD/ADHD rep in literature. I’m also introverted, and would rather stay home by myself than go party with a bunch of people, I make the exception if it’s just family though. I really give you a lot of credit for writing and posting this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yeah, it’s definitely not easy to put something like this out there. I didn’t set out to write something this long or even with all the personal content, I intended something about Depression in general and it morphed into this, then I had to figure out if I posted it or not! Obviously I did but it wasn’t an easy choice as now it’s out there, not ashamed of that but it means people get to read something very personal.

      Like

      1. Sometimes it’s good to get personal though, it shows we’re humans with feelings and not just a thing hiding behind a screen. It lets people in just a little bit, allows people to get to know you a little better.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. That’s an incredible post, and it takes a lot of courage to come out and say all those things. We live in such a judgmental society, where things are black and white. If you are normally okay, then you must be okay. If you aren’t, you’re depressed. We are labelled so quickly these days, it’s very frustrating. And people wonder why others don’t open up. I’m glad you are able to talk about it and I’m so glad you are getting through it. It’s harder to do than people think. Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts on such a private matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true about opening up, it often causes more hassle than its worth and when you don’t know what type of reaction you’re going to get, you just think it’s best to remain closed.

      Yeah, definitely labelled so quickly these days, sad really that it still happens, can’t be OK all the time and just because you’re unhappy it doesn’t mean you’re depressed, then if you are depressed all people do is moan and tell you to get over it, it’s a no win situation really.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. That’s how I feel anyways. It’s a shame. But it’s people like you who open up and have the courage to talk about it that makes it a little easier to realize it’s okay to be happy somedays and sad others; that you shouldn’t feel ashamed. Your post is more powerful than you probably realize.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This was a wonderful post, personal and very real. I’ve suffered depression since I was really young and people’s, often well meaning, messages of ‘it’s not that bad’ and ‘other people have it worse than you’ just don’t help in that situation. Depression can rob you of so much time and self worth but I’d like to think that those of us who suffer or suffered it and live through that are somehow better for the experience. Better is the wrong word but what I mean is that we can think deeper about things and empathise with others in a way that those who haven’t been through it can’t..I guess its my way of feeling better about suffering it or else my mind would take me back down that path…
    Blogging is certainly a good outlet, it seems to be good for you and writing poetry is a wonderful way to get that release of those dark thoughts. Blogging does help me, I still suffer from depression, going through some very difficult times, but the blog, or the idea that I should keep writing on the blog keeps me going, as well as sometimes writing the poetry.
    Well done for writing this post. It can’t be easy to talk about it but your post will certainly help others, as well as those who don’t feel comfortable talking openly about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Other people have it worse than you is one of my most hated of sayings, can’t stand it, I don’t really care if people have it worse than me, it’s irrelevant, especially when you’re unhappy, it’s a saying that offers no help or support, hate it.lol

      Poetry is good for me, I did write a few pieces back then but not many, it’s putting feelings into words though and somehow it makes them easier to deal with, you feel unhappy, you write a poem, it turns from a feeling into something that you can read and it makes it better.

      Not sure about blogging, it’s a love/hate relationship, I like it some days and others I don’t, I also question my blog a hell of a lot too.

      Yeah, I get what you mean about ‘better’ someone who’s been unhappy knows what it’s like and isn’t going to come out with crap like ‘there’s people worse of than you’ etc, as you understand and know it’s not that easy or even how it works.

      Nah, it’s not easy to talk about, I’m a private person and then I go and write something like this, as I said in the post, I’m a contradiction.πŸ˜‚ just wanted to write something general as it’s mental health awareness week and I thought it’d be a different type of post and it somehow turned into this personal babbling.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Personal babbling’s good πŸ˜€ lol. There is one poem I wrote once when I was younger, I can’t remember the title or what I wrote but everytime I read it I almost scare myself with how dark and twisted it reads. I wrote it when I was so depressed I was wishing for dealth and it the weirdest thing is although I know I wrote it, the words feel like they belong to someone else! I couldn’t believe I wrote that poem and it’s still too dark for me to want to share it, but let’s just say it’s not rhyming and talks about bones In a grave! 😦 – not sure why I shared that it just came to me lol :p

        Liked by 1 person

  11. One day we could maybe trade some poems, I am stilll getting used to and setting up my own blog. I believe world wide its mental awareness month, so it made a lot of sence doing it now. The great big D is quite an ugly one, but you are and will never be alone in feeling it. The fact that you just wrote a beautifull piece about it tells people you are quite strong and its good to let it out ratjer than have it bottled up

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am currently battling some depression and serious anxiety related to my illness. I find that I feel inadequate and uncomfortable with my new limitations. It is a constant battle. A few years ago I lost a cousin to depression. It was hard to see how easy others were to label him and pass judgment after he passed. It is an illness that is isolating and terrifying.

    So I am thankful you felt able to post this here and I thank you for doing so. I am also grateful you have your poetry as it is a healthy outlet. I hope some day that you can see yourself more so through the eyes of those of us who see you as so much more. Thank you for this πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry that you’re going through that, especially with your illness, it really sucks as you have enough to deal with already than adding extra on top too.😞

      Not sure I felt able to post it, I chose to but when I started out writing it it was just going to be a general piece on depression, not the personal piece I ended up writing, then I had to decide whether to post it or not which wasn’t easy, in the end I chose to, still not sure if that choice was right or wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you made a great decision. When I chose to start writing my piece that I posted about my illness, I sat on it for 3 months before finally sharing. It is a hard step. But many of us will feel more connected for it I think. Hope you are having a good weekend Drew!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Weekend is going well, nice, peaceful and quiet.πŸ˜€

        Damn, you sat on that for a long time, in the end I just thought I’d post it as I’d wrote it, what was the worst that could happen but it’s a couple of days later now and I’m actually glad I did post it.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you so much for your honesty in talking about your depression. Having depression myself, it’s so refreshing to see someone talk about it so open and unashamedly. You’re right, sometimes there’s a reason for it and sometimes there isn’t. For me, there were numerous reasons that all combined and formed my depression, but for my housemate at university, she genuinely believed it was a chemical imbalance in her brain. How the mind works is something we might never truly understand and some people – often those closest to us sadly – focus all too often on the ‘Why?’ instead of the ‘How can I help?’

    Eugh, that dreaded question: ‘What have you got to be unhappy about?’ That was, word for word, one my step grandmother asked me when I was first officially diagnosed. She even laughed at me when she said it and it was attitudes like that (also, my step dad proudly told me that “Depression is a luxury of the west and if you worked in the rice paddies in Vietnam, you wouldn’t have time to feel depressed”) that led to me cutting. For me, cutting was a release. I had all these pent up, negative feelings and the only way in which I felt I could release them was by cutting. I don’t know if it was the symbolism of something being released, or if it was the pain distracting me from my mind, but I did it for years and ended up in hospital in my second year of university after one of my friends found me. That’s an incident I’ve never told my family about because a lot of them just see it as “attention seeking”.

    I’m pleased to hear that, for the most part, things have improved for you. Like you rightfully say, it never goes away. Your analogy of being like a ghost haunting you is perfect; sometimes, when you’re going about day-to-day life it fades into the background, but then it comes back with a vengeance, usually in the dead of night.

    You should definitely count not cutting habitually as a resounding win. Relapsing, though it can make you feel like shit and feel guilty, is normal. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to progress and find strength day by day.

    Thank you again for your honesty and for that important reminder: “It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up, survive, fight and make it through, even if it’s a day at a time.” Think that’s gonna become my new mantra!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah, definitely honest and open! Perhaps a bit too much! I’d like to think that along with the sarcasm and banter that I am honest but yeah, this post was honest and open to the extreme! Didn’t start out that way, only intended to write a general piece on Depression and it somehow morphed into my own story, which then I had to decide whether to post or not!

      I definitely wouldn’t say that cutting is attention seeking though I’d guess that some people do do it for that reason, the ones who don’t truly know what it’s like to be unhappy or why we cut. As you say it’s a release, definitely agree with that word and yeah, can see symbolism in it too, for me it made me feel.

      That sucks about your step grandmother and step dad, especially the grandmother saying that, my father was the same which was why I included that bit in the post, what’s wrong with you? Why are you unhappy? Blah blah blah, wrong attitude to have and shows what some people unfortunately are like then again my father for the most part was an ass who had issues with drinking and smoking and had his own weird views on lots of different things. But it’s definitely a most hated sentence in the history of depression, as soon as you here it or a varient it immediately pisses you off!

      Ah, that’s a good mantra, one of the, well, only eloquent part of the post.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nah, I don’t think there’s such as thing as too honest and open with subjects such as mental illness. Some people say that things like depression and anxiety are on the rise, but a lot of it (I think anyway) is people are more willing to talk about it. There’s still a massive stigma attached to mental illness, but people are beginning to be more open about it and by being more open and honest about it, others will see there’s no shame in admitting that they’re struggling. I think the honesty of posts such as yours can help a lot of people πŸ™‚
        Yeah, I completely second it being the most hated sentence in the history of depression. Whenever I hear someone say something along those lines, I have to wonder how shallow their existence must be if they take everything they see at face value :S

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, you have a point about the honesty in posts helping, it did do well for comments and people relating. Perhaps slightly to open and honest for a book blog though, now if I had a general blog then, yeah, cool but it’s a book blog and I bet some people thought WTF when they saw that post come up!πŸ˜‚

        I think I’d actually agree with you, it’s probably on the rise to, or the doctors just diagnose it a lot easier now and move on to the next. But yeah, people are more willing to talk about it and while it’s still taboo with a stigma it’s no where near how it used to be back in the day – a favourite saying of the old!πŸ˜‚ and more people are open and talk about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I can relate to every single word of this. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was little and an eating disorder since I was in high school. I’ve been “in recovery” for something like 13 years now. I went through therapy a few times and take medication and pulled myself out of the grave I was digging for myself. That being said, I still use the term “recovery” lightly. I will never go so far as to say I am recovered. Like you, I have days where I am happy and everything feels right. Then I have days where I’m depressed, lonely, anxious, ready to crawl out of my skin, and wanting to tear everyone to shreds. I eat and am healthy now, but there are still things that trigger me and make me want to go back to my old habits as a way to cope. My self-esteem and body image are crap, not helped by the fact that I am also introverted and like to seclude myself with my thoughts. It can all be so much…but I’ve come to accept that, for the most part, this is just how it’s going to be for the rest of my life.

    Thank you for sharing. Fuck the stigma attached to mental illness. People like us need to be reminded that we aren’t alone and that we aren’t any less for what we go through. It takes a shitload of strength to get up and face your own demons day after day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, introverted and secluded with your own thoughts can be very bad especially when those thoughts turn to bad things. Definitely true about ‘recovery’ I’m not sure if anyone really truly recovers, even if they say they have, once you’ve suffered there’s always a chance it’ll come back again and be how it’s going to be. That’s something people who haven’t suffered with it can’t understand, unless you’ve wanted to give your life away you can’t understand what that person has been or is going through. It sucks but it is what it is and here’s to getting by!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This feels like one very hard to write post . I’d be honest I never thought you were introvert with the witty blog posts you write , i myself have been introverted all my life and Have faced bullies and even have had trouble with my family finding it hard to understand or communicate with me and I often spend time closed , I however haven’t had troubles with Depression . I find it very brave on your part to share this post . It’s sad that there’s stigma attached but I hope you have more better and happy days ahead of you and It’s so good to see this post has helped so many on the comments section πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah, that’s why I’m a contradiction, introverted yet witty, loud and sarcastic too. I’m fine with people I know but it’s strangers and new people that I struggle with and I guess with blog posts I can just be me as I’m writing and not having to talk to people.

      Yeah, the post definitely got some comments and people sharing their own stories too.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Bless you for writing this, Drew. I struggle with depression and anxiety, so I understand much of what you’ve written about here all too well. In the early days of my blog, I wrote about my depression and anxiety, only to transfer the posts to a new blog, which I later deleted. It was difficult for me to have that out there at the time, I suppose, but I’ve regretted trashing those posts ever since I did it.

    Reading your heartfelt post inspires me… makes me want to risk putting my story back out there again. Talking about it is the only thing that will help break the stigma of mental illness… and I hope to be brave enough to do my part in that, soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally understand how it was difficult for you to have the post out there, I struggled like hell with posting this as what was supposed to be a general piece turned into this personal ramble about Depression. Glad I did though, I wasn’t but after a couple of days now I am and it’s been well received, perhaps that’s not the right way to describe it, but a lot of people have shared personal thoughts themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Can I say that this was remarkably upbeat and matter of fact? Cos this was remarkably upbeat and matter of fact- so kudos for that. I too have struggled with this. It’s very true that small things can push someone over the edge in that state of mind- unfortunately according to psychologists it can be literally anything (it can also be good things or bad things- because in an odd way good things can also trigger negative emotions- also, since I mentioned it, no point applying trigger warnings, it can literally be anything- life itself can trigger depression/self harm). Hehe I don’t think many people want to hear β€œthere are people far worse off than you” no matter what!! Because, shocking as this may be to busy bodies, other people having problems don’t actually cheer anyone up (unless you’ve got a bad bout of schadenfreude πŸ˜‰ ) It’s like β€œfuck I’m depressed, but thanks so much for telling me people are starving in Africa, I feel sooo much better now”. I think people that are unwilling to understand other people having depression are what you call a fuckwit. Actually funnily enough something bad can pull you out- kinda propels you into action- it’s happened that way for one of my β€œmoods” (I like to use euphemisms). Anyway, I don’t want to be a gloomfest, so better mention PUPPIES! RAINBOWS! UNICORNS! This was a really powerful post- and it was good to hear your story- thank you for sharing- I really related to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it was definitely matter of fact or blunt, as most things I write are!πŸ˜‚ Didn’t realise it was upbeat, you’re the first to say that but I guess in a way it is.

      Yeah, have to agree that any and everything can set of depression and unhappiness.

      Oh, damn it, unicorns, sigh, puppies and rainbows fine but unicorns, every time I see unicorn I want to comment on the unicorn horn because, ya know, I’m such a mature adult!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Ha, fuckwit was one of my polite terms but yeah, I or anyone else don’t want to hear how the starving African kids have to walk 10 miles to the water and 10 miles back, nope, it’s not necessarily that we don’t care, it’s just not something that makes you feel better, oh, they have it worse, sure, they didn’t be asked to be born into starvation and poverty but I/we didn’t ask to be depressed either. And, very hard to care at times when a film star is telling you that you only need to send Β£5 a month to help, sure, let’s get the poor UK citizens to send the money they need whole the film star gets Β£2 million for a movie and gives them none, nope, how many Β£5’s go into Β£1 million, sigh, tangent, sorry but those adverts annoy me.πŸ˜ πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for sharing an open and honest piece about yourself.

    I think you’ve opened up a needed dialogue in the comments where everyone can share their own personal stories.. and you know the best part about it? It’s awareness and it just shows that we’re all humans and we all fight our demons… but we’re all also here and doing something amazing- like book blogging- and talking to each other!

    When someone tells me they’re depressed, I believe them. After all, they know themselves best and who am I to argue with them? I think I have this natural fault, which also works well in those situations, whereby I am socially inept at expressing the ‘right words’ in some situations, so I usually just end up listening to people when they come to me with their troubles. I would listen to them anyway, but because I don’t know what the right thins is to say, I always just keep my mouth shut….
    If you asked me, whether I was depressed? No, I don’t think so. I am however constantly in anger, disappointed and so fucking fed up with this world, but Ill be damned if I ever gave up. Stubborn bitch, me. I do have an issue with bottling things up though… I suck at sharing the most personal troubles, sometimes even with my husband… odd… but I just don’t want to spread my negativity to him…

    I wish you, Drew and everyone else peace and happiness and hope! take care! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re not the only one who is socially inept Liz I assure you of that! I am too, as are many others in situations and at times whatever you say is wrong so it’s best to just keep quiet and listen, I think often as well, people don’t want to ‘chat’ or ‘talk’ and just want someone to listen.

      Bottling things up sucks big time, lots of us do it and I get about sharing with your husband and spreading the negativity, it’s often those closest (family, husband/wife, etc) that it’s the hardest to talk and open up to.

      Oh, and…..feeling fed up with the world is completely natural, the world is screwed, it’s a shit hole!

      Yeah, I totally agree with you, we are all humans, we all have demons and issues even if we choise to deny it, most of the time they are there, it’s human nature. And, yeah, you’re right about the awareness and opening up a dialogue, quiet surprising really! I don’t mean you being right is surprising but the amount of sharing that went on in the comments section with people writing personal stories was surprising but it’s good in a way that people felt comfortable enough to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I hear you 1 million percent drew. Thank you for writing this. I’ve also recently started blogging and I wrote a post about how I feel most days. I too suffer with chronic depression and anxiety. Then I have a son who has depression too. He is 8 so its super hard. I mean how do i help him when i cant even help me.
    Check it out if you want to? If not, ok too. https://strawberrycat.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/ill-be-there-oh-wait-no-i-wont/

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Drew, yeah like I said Im new to this, but it felt great to just let it out. When I read it back to myself afterwards I thought wow, do I really feel this way? And then i thought yes, thats how I feel, do I want everyone to know. So I clicked publish without thinking, and its been the best thing. Ive connected with some awesome people going through the same daily struggles with the dark cloud. I call it the dark cloud over my head.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s always other people who feel that way, it’s just hard to realise that when your feeling like it. All the comments in the post show that there’s lots out there who have felt the same, surprised they shared but lots seemed to use the post to write about themselves and their story.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. I know the feelings all tooooooo well…
    “it’s a ghost that haunts you and shit happens, it’s called life” …but thankfully we have been given the strength to get through it ~ those moments, our Spirit is so much stronger than the “ghost” …for a reason my dear… thanks for sharing ( you have no idea what your experiences & your words can do ~ don’t hold back ~ share as guided)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hard to remain an introvert in a society that praises extroversion too. This was a such a personal post and I could only thank you and praise you for taking the time to share all this with us. Depression sucks, with a big S. Stay strong mate, and keep on being yourself. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, yeah, it was very personal, one of those posts I’ve questioned whether I should have posted or not but lots of people shared personal things about themselves in the comments so I think it was a good post as it showed that people aren’t alone.

      Not sure I’ll be writing anything so personal again for a long time though!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I can’t believe I missed this last week! I am a lot like you in the way I can be quite loud, cheeky, foul-mouthed buy at the same time am naturally introverted and pull away from many situations especially when they involve big groups of people I don’t know. I found this post a really open and honest reflection of what it feels like to battle depression, I have to fight several bouts a year which is a pleasant side affect of bipolar. I’m better at it now than I used to be but it’s far from fun and depression is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody at anytime in their life. I always think the people who are quite dismissive of depression haven’t had to go through it and they are probably the really lucky people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eurgh, large groups of people I don’t know hell no, that’s not my thing at all and I really struggle with it!

      I just tend to get on with some people and not with others, it’s hard to open up and talk to strangers and it perhaps makes me come off as standoffish and rude as I’m chatty and friendly with people I know and revert to quiet introvertedness with strangers, though they could of course try harder with me instead of making out its the introvert who’s weird!

      Thank you, it was meant to be open and honest, perhaps far more open and honest than I had intended as I just wanted to write a general post and it turned out being very personal.

      Seems to have been well received though with lots of people sharing their own experiences in the comments section.

      Yeah, that’s very true, people who haven’t been through it are definitely dismissive of it, perhaps can’t blame them for not understanding as how can someone who hadn’t wanted to end it understand how that feels but it’s no reason for them to be dismissive especially in the modern era we live in.

      Thanks also for the reblog.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not surprised it’s been well received it’s a great blog post!
        The only group situation I’m ever comfortable in is at gigs, I think that’s because I feel like I’m among “my people” even though I don’t know them we are all there for the same reason and there’s no judgement which helps!
        I totally agree about how other people could try harder sometimes. I think they see us as standoffish and it’s easier to ignore. Sometimes I over compensate and act over confident even though I’m not it’s ridiculous!

        Like

  23. Thank you for sharing this. As someone who is dealing with this, I identify with what you have said here. One step at a time, one day at a time. Love the people who are truly there for you, with their actions and let go of everyone else.. with peace.. this is what I am trying to follow. I do fall off the wagon..but I know it will be easier with every passing day.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thanks for letting me read such personal thing…Thats my first article here…I was so many times told that I think and analyse way too much myself when I tried to talk about how I feel or find ways how to cope…but mostly was shout down…every time someone talks honestly about mental illness as you do gives me hope that we’re not becoming robots who just try hide all inner demons to pretend being some imaginary perfect being…because we are only complete with all this demons and most difficult part is accepting them and Acknowledging them…people like you are huge inspiration for every single one who has ever been told to put himself together, think positive, see there is someone worse then you etc. Stigma around mental illnesses is insane although everyone in some part of his life experience himself or in inner circle some of the mental illness in harder or softer influence..

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you for allowing me into your space. Only a truly personal blog such as yours can bring understanding. I’m told that my recent memoir is too personalβ€”It features my immigrant parents, especially the successful Scandinavian father I never learned about until I was 70 + β€” but this is just the way it came out. Lies and secrets bring depression too.

    Liked by 1 person

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