Monday, 7 November 2011

And now for something completely different.

There's a certain aspect about my life that I really haven't put forward on this blog. There are two reasons for this,

1. Because I am unbelievably chicken and completely "male" when it comes to being honest about my emotions.

2. Because I generally try and keep this blog a safe and humorous place where people can come to laugh, including me.

However, after reading the honesty that falls from other blogger's words, bloggers like The Bloggess and Hyperbole and a Half and due to the fact that I feel I owe it to myself to at least embrace on here a large part of my being, I have decided to share with you the side of me that I have been suffering with for a little over 5 years now.

My reasons for this are to help myself by putting my current emotions and state of mind out in the open, writing has always been a very strong and positive form of therapy for me. Also, maybe through my words, there are others that might get something out of it by not feeling so alone in the emotions they too may be feeling.

So here goes, for the past 5 years I have suffered from a rather annoying but very real episode of depression. This is something that comes and goes in spouts of when it feels like it. Three years ago I had a breakdown that will forever be known as the biggest low point of the sodding illness. I say "forever be known" with a great deal of optimism and hope that no matter how bad the future gets I will not have to reach the depths I reached then.

A lot has changed since that point, instead of being ashamed and overwhelmed by the painful chest and grippling emotions that threaten to engulf my chest on a frequent basis, I have learnt to cope with it. I have learnt that no matter how crappy the road that my emotions take me on is, and no matter how much I am not able to pull myself out of the current funk I am in, I will come out the other side at some point.

For those of you who might not be aware of the symptoms that fall under the title "depression" I can only tell you my own experience. So without further ado, I give you

Depression explained:

Most of the time for me my depression will breed out of uncertainty in my life, either through panic that I might not be capable of doing something, or in a massive change in my circumstance and loss of a routine I am used to, or - and this is the one that hits home most of all - an overwhelming (and usually quite unsubstantiated) feeling of guilt.

Guilt has been my master for goodness knows how long. I just simply don't deal well with it. And the bitch of it is guilt will quite often rear it's ugly head when there is actually no need for it. An example of this was when I was recovering a couple of years ago, I went out with some friends at work, did a bit of bowling and went home. The next morning I woke up and was convinced that I had done something the night before that consitituted a need to feel guilty. This, my friends, is ridiculous. I had behaved myself, played and few games and even managed to have a good time but the guilt in my life is a bastard that bugs me for no apparent reason.

Nowadays, since I learnt that it wasn't the worst sin in the world to suffer from depression, I have gained a lot more control over my guilt. It now tends to wait until it might have something to go on, like I forgot to bring something in for someone at work or I said something sarcastic that someone may have taken me seriously on. As such I don't become completely controlled by it on a regular basis but it still can grab me by the rib cage and knock me about sometimes.

Regardless of what it is that is the factor for becoming depressed the end result is still the same. For me it feels like a physical pain in my chest. It hurts constantly. I wake up with this pain and continue for the rest of the day, whether it be a good or a bad one, with it constantly bearing down on me.

I have learnt a lot of ways of how to deal with this pain when I have it and take the opinion that I won't let it control me. As such, even though I cannot control when and where the symptoms are going to strike, when they do I am ready and have my coping mechanisms in place.

Even though this is now the case, it doesn't stop the fact that the whole thing sucks. It causes you to want to cry at really innappropriate times and places. It makes you unmotivated and paranoid. It causes you to behave even more neurotic than you usually feel even though your mind is telling you that the logic causing your body into a full blown panic attack is actually crap to begin with.

Through my illness I have been so grateful to those friends who have endured me and let me panic and freak out and disappear off the chart when I need to and not read anything malicious into it. I'm grateful to my parents for picking me up, loving me unconditionally and dealing with me when I had to move back in with them three years ago and was at my very worst. I'm grateful for Oldest-Friend-Cafrin who seems to know exactly when I need a visit from her and The-Goddaughter because nothing makes me happier than spending time with those two. I'm grateful to One-And-Only-Daniela who graciously talks crap about her life on the phone to me when I'm having a panic attack and I need someone to distract my mind. I'm grateful to Rachael-And-Claire-The-Bullies who have been there almost from the beginning and have always been so understanding of my crappy tendencies to attempt to self destruct and still know that at the end of the day, all I need is people to be sarcastic and funny with in order to take my mind off the whole crapness of it.

I talk about my friends a lot on this thing, they all have centre place because they are all awesome and mean so much to me. As such, my life is as it is because of the friends in it so why wouldn't every post I write have something to say about each one of them? I'm an incredibly sarcastic and emotionally stunted person most of the time, but just occasionally I feel the need to say the thing that I hope my friends see as a given. They mean so much to me and I am unbelievably grateful for their freindship.

And finally, I'm grateful for this world of internet bloggers who are so honest with their emotions and feelings that they give me the strength to be able to express the way I am as well as giving me a smile when I need it the most. I found this hidden world of interneters 10 months ago and I can't tell you how it is has helped me to laugh at what you all have to say and feel the community in the posts and the comments of those around.

So yes I suffer from depression, and yes I probably will continue to on and off for the remainder of my life, but I still find myself blessed. I still am honoured to know you all, and I want to thank you, (if I know you personally or only internetually) for brightening up my life.

Much love


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