The Weekend Starts Here….

Another week has passed, a mixed week ranging from delight to despair the delight was so good I almost forgot the tiredness, numbness and rigid routine I have become so use to. The delight the sort that you dream about, the sort that instantly makes you smile when you reminsce about it. Those days are few and far between when whacked on tablets and being depressed, but when you have those great days it reminds you that things can be good, their is a chance of happiness and that you can enjoy life. But at the same time those days can also send you crashing to a horrible low, the sort where you crave those greats, where if a day does not match to that great day it automatically makes a day rubbish.

It’s this sort of gap from my moods that really remind me of where I am at in my life that I can’t ‘just take each day as it comes’ – the sort of cliche that really in my mind is not possible as when your depressed , anxious, riddled with dark thoughts you can’t possibly ‘just take each day as it comes’, you do the opposite, you plan, you over think each day. But when you have a great day for that day you manage to forget the horrible thoughts, the doubt, the sadness and you can just enjoy the rare moments where you feel ‘normal’. I love these days sadly they do not come around often but I am greatful I do have these great days. Sometimes nothing exciting happens on these great days it is just the fact for a day I am happy but then I know when I go to sleep I probably won’t feel this way the next day and that is a sad moment and that is when I know I am back to despair.

So now the weekend is here and I do feel a sense of relief, relief I have got through another week without ‘flipping out’ or totally losing the plot or not feeling a great sense of injsutice that I cannot be normal like everyone around me or that I cannot just ‘pick’ myself up. Now I know to a lot of people depression is not a real thing it is a myth and that everyone has bad days and has worse problems then you and so you should just be happy with what you got. But you see for some people that is just not possible, you can’t hear some horrible story on the news and suddenly think wow my life aint that bad, when your depressed it does not work like that. On this blog I constantly probably sound and seem like a moaning git but that is not through choice or because I enjoy it, it is because for whatever reason I just am not a happy person, I don’t appreciate things the same way as others. Does this make me a bad person? Or someone who does not value the good things in life? I somedays think yes and feel guitly that I am this uncontrolled state of mood swings and nervous desposition but at the same time I feel that It is not my fault and I am trying to cope the best with how I am and that hopefully I will not feel like this or even accept who I am and be able to live some sort of life controlled by my daily mood swings.

The majority of my week was manic, manic in the sense that I was flowing between a big ball of excitement and providing moments of wildness that reminded me of my youngers days when I was less scared of the world, less scarred I guess you could say. To then flowing to manic in the depressive way where I felt like I just wanted to go to my room and not be seen or spoken to. Back to room which at times feels like my small sanctuary from the outside, as in my room I feel like I can just be me and whatever me I feel like being. So if that me is an emotional wreck that is fine as no one else has to see that. I am nown sat here in my sanctuary on a Friday night wondering where this weekend will go and what next week will bring but because of that one great day this week I still have hope that maybe next week will perhaps be ok. Now ok may not sound great but compared to nights of no sleep due to the saddest thoughts you can think, where your left wondering what to do…ok to me sounds good in fact it sounds great.

Have a good weekend!

On and on and on…

Been a few weeks since my last post due to a mixture of being so busy but also so tired that I just have not wanted to write or think, just wanted to shut myself away from everyone and everything. That feeling you get where you literally think every detail of everything through no matter how ridiculous it gets that’s what I have been like and boy has it drained me! It has got to the point when I get home from work I have to have a nap as am so tired not just emotionally but mentally. I find straining my emotions even harder at work at the moment especially since I do not feel close to anyone here so have to hold a lot back, which starts a vicious cycle of having pent up emotions. In the past few weeks have find myself struggling to motivate myself to do anything to face things yet I have have so many un-answered questions.

The main thing puzzling me is I had to have a telephone interview to ‘judge’ my mental state as part of the NHS seeing what counselling needs I require. This was not a problem I understand the need for this and despite having to tell my deepest, darkest most horrible thoughts to a stranger over a phone this is not what puzzled me it was the outcome. Having been on the waiting list since Aug 12 for counselling I find it hard to believe it has taken till now just for a phone call assessment but not only that another possible year before I am seen. Now I understand demand is high and it cannot be helped but in a year what state could I be in? But also the counselling is a short term solution after my 6 weeks of sessions I am on my own. I have had counselling before and whilst it was really helpful after the NHS’s 6 weeks that was it I found myself with no one to talk to and on my own which makes me wonder if I am doing this all over again will it actually help and will it help in the long term?

I just do ot understand any of this, I was a bit wild and nervous as a child but how has that transcended into someone who doubts everything and hates what he has become? Does this come from childhood experiences? Or have I had something inside me all along waiting to come out? If that is the case will it get worse? I just feel my life is a cycle of neverending doubt and repition – go to work – feel bad about myself – go home have a nap – watch tv and feel all sorts of emotions – try and sleep – sleep a little – wake up in a weird almost numb state – go to work. It seems so simple to break the cycle either change job, mix my routine up just anything but despite it seeming so simple it seems so hard and scary to do.

Off back to work I go no doubt followed by a nap and a night of worries…. Can’t wait!!!!

Midweek.. and Exhale

Waking up at 4.30am is not fun, but waking up is a regular occurance nowadays or not sleeping, it is one or the other, oh to have a decent nights sleep is something I long for at the moment, just to switch off for a while and slip into a peaceful slumber, to be un-disturbed by the world, by daily thoughts of anger and emotion, to avoid the daily challenges I face… oh well to dream about dreaming! The week so far has been ok actually had some moments where I have felt my depression getting the better of me, I was very close on Monday morning to just stayin in bed and watching the world go by but then even that is not fun these days. But after seeing Django Unchained last night my spirits were lifted…what a film as mentioned a few times in other blogs I love films and love there ability to change a mood, to change a reality and Django did just that for nearly 3 hours it is a crazy film but so well made and a throwback so was glad I saw it but then waking up at 4.30 this morning quickly took away the enjoyment of the night the typical 1 step forward 2 steps back springs to mind. These lyrics below really some up my mood I would love to claim them as my own as they caputre my thoughts pretty perfectly but they are not they are from a great band – JJ72 :-

Decaying as I am
I need not some promised land
I know that I am failing
Acceptance was the plan

No silence in the sea
Nothing tranquil awaits me
Useless and used up
With too much using to do

I have chosen everything
This is what makes it so bad
No matter what the action
The situation was created by me

My life is different
These grey streets will only get me down
They will never fool me
Integrate me as their clown

I look around at things that pass me by each day and just think when did life become so complicated when did even the simplest of conversations turn into a battle of second guessing? It seems in my mind my crazy mind everything has a hidden meaning things cannot not be what they seem or are there is always an agenda to things and I create complex situations in my mind that just begin to unravel my state until I just become this numb person void of emotion but then within moments I can burst into a fit of emotion from anger to saddness to laughter. I hate my mood swings, I hate that people never fully feel comfortable round me (well in my mind they don’t), that they do not know which person is turning up. That unpredictability was kind of cool and exciting for me at first to have burst of life and then lows to come across to others as unique and mysterious but that soon ran out and I realise it is not cool or exciting to not be able to control yourself to find the smallest details effect you overwhelmingly, to effect you beyond your power. That’s all for now I am just tired today! Thanks

Just me, myself and I

End of the weekend is fast approaching and it has been a strange one as I spent a vast majority of it asleep, I have felt particularly tired this weekend but overall more tired of late. Being on Pro Zac whilst it has it’s uses and does help me also has it’s down sides as it definitely makes you more tired and less able to do things. I had planned to go cinema this weekend and see a couple of films but instead just laid in bed. So being depressed and on tablets that tire you is at times a bad combination as you find days just pass you by without you doing a thing, it tough to feel as like you have lost days and do not have much to show for them.

Also on a Sunday night my mind starts thinking towards the week and what challenges I may face and how I will motivate mself to go to work for 5 days and face people who I have to hide who I really am so they cannot pass judegment on me. I feel at times as if I do not belong where I work and feel like an outsider, this feeling has been a consistent feeling I have had throughout my life, making it hard to feel accepted. It also makes it harder for me to speak out or defend myself as I want people to like me so tend to not like to disagree with colleagues views on things. Something else I have noticed within my attitude on life is I am far more cynical of people and things. Most people will see or hear something and not bat an eyelid not even remember the moment, whereas me I will see something and will dwell on it for hours, will focus on it and make it so much bigger then it really is and in the process stress myself out and make myself unable to relax. This thought process is shown when I see something on a social network site, it ma be a harmless status or comment but to me it is like a waving a red flag to a bull and I will become so agigated by it if I do not agree with it that I found myself getting wound up over such a pointless thing that in the grand scheme of things really does not matter.

I contradict myself a lot, I disapprove of others for doing things or behaving a certain way but yet I do the same things but then end up even more annoyed at myself for doing them thus creatng a vicious cycle of anger, frustation and stress. I even get distracted easily and find it hard to focus, just on this blog I have totally gone off in a direction unplanned because I loose my focus really easily which in the work I do makes things very difficult. So being depressed also effects your attention span, well in my case it does I will be doing something and within minutes find my mind thinking negatively about what I am doing then my mind goes off in different directions and I end thinking badly about other things, it’s scary how quickly I can spiral at times into full on despair. This creates problems with my confidence because what I do is never good enough in my eyes I always compare myself to others in everything I do and always feel as if I am not good enough or short of other people, that they are better then me because they are not effected by depression because they can think ‘normally’ about things becauae they can do simple tasks without overthinking them. Everything I do is planned from how much water I will drink in day and at what times to when I will go toilet nothing is left to chance I can’t just live and see what happens everything has to be considered which is crippling at times as on a day out or doing something exciting in the back of my mind I am thinking about every small detail and what will happen next rather then just going with the flow and seeing what happens.

Other thoughts that enter my mind about being on 8 tablets a day and being depressed is will I just wake up one day and be mental. This is unlikely I know and I know I am not actually crazy but I still have this worry one day I will wake up and be just crazy unable to follow reality.See people hear depression and tablets and think ‘yep they are crazy’ which is not the case but when you see that perception everyday it is hard to not think you are crazy or will end up crazy, I guess this is why I do not tell hardly anyone of my sitaution through fear of them thinking I am crazy. That is wrong to think like that but I do and will always struggle to trust people with subject of depression as it is a subject I feel is so misunderstood, it scares people (not just the people themselves depressed) it worries people to hear about it, like it is some dangerous contaminating disease that will kill you, it is something that I don’t think will ever be accepted in society. But again that is my view, perhaps I am wrong and if I was more open about my plight I would be surprised at how understanding people can be about depression. Yet I do not want to take this risk to find out, I am still at the ‘ashamed’ spectrum I think ‘ashamed’ that I have let depression effect my life, let it consume me and change who I am. I am sure over time I will become braver about depression and will not be ahsamed about it but instead proud that even though I suffer from it I still lead a healthy life…but that day is not yet!!

Few late night thoughts

So first blog down and I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders, amazing how just typing out your thoughts or writing them on paper can change how you view/feel about things! Have had a long week and despite seeing the doctor today regarding my meds I still feel as if counselling will be a major part of whether I can get to the bottom of why I feel sad, angry and overall depressed about my life. The other issues I have – IBS and a ruptured cruciate whilst bad are not the worse things in the world and are very manageable but yet one setback with either and a whole week can be wiped out in my mind and viewed as a bad week. Like last week I went to the gym to do some light work on my knee as have got a long road to recovery and on Friday night and my knee had swollen and have been told it will be Dec 2013 before I can play footy. I love footy, I work in it, watch it, play computer games about it and play it but having lost the ability to play and now facing a year out has really affected me. Others have the same injury or worse but just my knee swelling made me feel as if I was never going to play again. I think that is systematic of my thinking if I do not know what is wrong or how it can be fixed It makes me feel as if nothing is possible. This massive fear of what if the worst happens what if I am always depressed in some way throughout my life, what if I need medication forever and in the in case of my knee what if I can’t play football again. Now a ‘normal person’ would think the opposite they would think what can I do to get better, so what if these things happen there are other options. But not me I just think and worry continously about the ‘what if’s’ in my life and they consume my thought process. I can start with a simple what do I wear out just to go shopping that then turns into what if I look ugly or silly which then spirals into I am ugly which then turns into me being anxious about going out in public and seeing people as worry how people view me. This example is just one of many I could give about how the smallest things to others become massive obstacles to me. At night it’s worse as I struggle to sleep and endless thoughts about my life run through my head, about why I am like this? Why am I struggling so much? Why have I turned from a happy, loud outgoing person to a person who doubts themselves and why anyone could like or love them. It is a horrible way to feel and despite to most who see me as the ‘joker’ as the ‘funny’ one but to my girlfriend the only one close to me i am this emotional wreck at times who tries to hide who he really is as I am so scared that if people see the real me they won’t like what they seem they will judge and look down on me. She tells me rightly this is not true and at times I believe it but one negative moment wipes that away and i go back to being the ‘joker’ who says anything to deflect from the fact inside I feel weak and lost. So will be off to bed soon and will try and think positive and happy will try and avoid those dark thoughts… whether I do i am not so sure, some nights before I go to sleep I try and listen to music especially sad stuff to try and get any emotion out of me, to feel like I am not this numb person numbed by endless tablets. Tomorrow will bring new challenges and I aim to see a film as mentioned before I find films as this fantastic way to get lost for a couple hours to feel free and void of any worry , strange that being sat in a cinema surrounded by strangers and watching sometimes sad films I sometimes feel comfortable and relaxed like nothing can effect me, Anyway off to bed hopefully a nice nights sleeps awaits me and a better day will come tomorrow… here is hoping!

Let the Chaos begin…

So this is my first ever blog and not sure where to start, guess like most people writing their first posts. So bit about me I am 28 years old , love music, love films, work in football, have a fantastic girlfriend and am very lucky. Unfortnuately despite having many positives in my life I also suffer from depression and anxiety, now not sure why I do or why it started but it is something that I find hard to live with at times, it’s not just the effect it has on you but the effect it has on those closest in your life. I guess I am writing this blog as a way to channel what I am thinking or feeling but also perhaps to give an honest and frank insight into someone who suffers from depression. Not writing this to preach or anything like that just hoping to find I am not the only one who has these feelings or thoughts.

My battle with depression if you want to call it that began in 2009, I had for years been someone who was very easily effect by their emotions and had suffered with ‘low’ points but just always thought I was perhaps more sensitive then others. But it came to a head in 2009, I was having panic attacks in the middle of the night, becoming more moody, becoming distant and not wanting to live a life really. The panic attacks is what at first affected me the most, going to sleep feeling ok and waking up at like 2 o’clock in the morning feeling like you could not breath and covered in sweat was so frightening. It was also the knock-on effect of the panic attacks that really started to upset me as I would struggle for sleep or not want to go to sleep in fear of not waking up. That may sound dramatic to some or over the top but I honestly felt like that at times as I could not explain why they happened. At first I shrugged it off and tried to ignore it but it got to the point where I was not sleeping and that was beginning to effect my day to day life to the point where I would struggle to get on a train. I would not tell anyone about my problems through fear of looking weak or being laughed at which upon reflection probably made it worse as it made it harder to accept this was happening to me. I eventually went to a doctor as the panic attacks were becoming more frequent and despite trying a different diet , sleep routine etc they still happened and I just could not figure out how someone could go to sleep peacefully then wake up in a state of panic! Once at the doctor I explained how I was suffering from the panic attacks, along with mood swings and becoming more withdrawn from people. The doctor was very helpful and explained reasons why I could have been feeling like but thought it was an anxiety issue mixed with depression so put me on citalopram to try and help combat the problems I was having but she also referred me to a counsellor as she felt tablets were not going to solve this problem in the long run.

To say I was shocked by this was an understatement, it hit me for 6 I had heard of people being on anti-depressants but just thought it was either an easy excuse people used to avoid facing tough situations or they were out and out mental, so this decision to put me on tablets made me question my sanity but also if I was weak and pathetic for needing them. Before even taking the tablets I was at the lowest I had ever been , kind of ironic considering they were designed to help me relax and calm me down. The 1st week on the tablets was a personal hell, I was trying to hide taking them from my family and friends, took a whole week off work in case they had an adverse effect on me and just generally sat in my room on my own just hoping they would in a week magically cure me. Of course this did not happen so I told my parents , sister, brother etc of my sitaution and that I was on medication and was being referred to a counsellor, whilst they did not mock or shun or were not at all mean and were very accepting the response did not surprise me, the ‘why?’ ‘what’s wrong with you questions?’ ‘but your happy?’ ‘is it us?’  all were asked the ‘don’t tell your nan’ ‘who know’s?’ ‘since when?’ ‘tablets are dangerous’ were also said. I am not complaining or mocking my family they are fantastic and always have been, it would be far to easy to blame them or have a go about how they reacted, but to be honest I think their reaction is like most peoples to depression – it’s hard to understand how someone with a seemingly good life can be so sad, how can someone who has a lot going for them when compared to someone who is homeless etc be depressed, how is this possible? I have asked myself this quesiton so  many times and still do, I feel guilty that I feel like this, that I am a let down, that I am ungrateful for how good my life is. That is one issue with depression…it is hard to understand why someone is depressed when they seem to have nothing to be upset about. Now if I had an accident or lost a loved one maybe that would be a suitable excuse to some to feel like this, but as I have found out that is not how depression works, people do not choose or catch it, it is a mental illness that effects and consumes a persons life. People who mock depression do not understand the full extent the condition has on people and how in some case it leads to suicide. Just like any illness course their are perhaps people who exaggerate their symptoms but just because depression is an illness of the mind does not mean it is not any less devasting then other physical conditions that show physical conditions.

So once I had explained to my family and was a few weeks into taking my ‘meds’ I began to feel a bit better in myself a bit more in control and capable of doing things without being scared. But that would not last long as would have a panic attack to remind me of where I was at. Now to fast forward a bit and 8 months down the line I finally began seeing a counsellor, this helped but knowing it was only a 6 week thing provided by the NHS made it hard at times to fully embrace knowing it was a short term measure so whilst it did help me it also left a lot of questions un-answered. I was given loads of paperwork when I finished to read through and help me now ‘I was kind of on my own again’. Problem with that was when you are depressed and low you tend to be low on energy and motivation so I found it extremely challenging to sit and read through loads of paperwork and not have anyone to question me or do practical exercises with. But also paperwork does not tell you how to cope with just wnating to sit in bed and not see the world, paperwork does not provide answers, does not ‘cure’ you. But after nearly 2 years on the tablets I decided I wanted to come off them as I thought I was ready but also I did not want to spend my life reliant on tablets so i came off them….

Initially I felt ok had no withdrawal issues and thought I was coping but then within a month I was crying randomly and not wanting to get out of bed so went straight back to the doctors but this time as I had moved due to a new job and so had a doctor who did not know my past but just had my ‘notes’ on my tablets so with that in mind he told me to give it a couple months and I may start to feel better as it may just be a side effect of coming off tablets. Then in Oct this year after a really tough year involving a lot of ups and downs that had a big impact on me I went back to the doctors as things were really bad. Me and my girlfriend were struggling, she had been so strong and so supportive of me but I could not just expect her to keep me together, I felt as if I was ruining her life as well as my own. Whilst she knew I had troubles and a history with depression I fel guitly as if she should not have to suffer because I am like this because I am not ‘normal’. The doctor (this time a new one) put me on pro zac which felt like a step back but I knew it was coming I knew I had not done enough to to overcome my past so again I was depressed but this time away from home with no friends or family to tell and in a job that whilst was great in potential was proving to be a nightmare due to staff literally trying to stop me from doing my job. I made a decision not to tell my family that I was back on tablets as felt like a let down but also did not want them worrying with me living away from them. Whether this decision is right or wrong even to this day I cannot say, but it is one I am sticking with. My girlfriend has found it hard to cope with the adjustment of me being on tablets again but has been fantastic. I just hope she does not regret this in the future , regrets sacrificing her own life to look after me as on some days I am a mess.

This chapter of my life is the most scariest for me. It perhaps should be the most exciting, new job, new location, and at 28 perhaps thinking of starting a family and settling down and leading a happy life. Instead I am scared, scared that what if this is it – I am on tablets for life am depressed and will never see the positive side to life just the neagtives? But also what really scares me is if I have children will my mental state pass off onto the? Will a child of mine suffer similiar problems like me? Or will I able to cope with a child? If am struggling to look after myself how can I begin to look after another life especially a life as so impressionable as a child? This thought keeps me up a lot of nights. So at 28 I am on 8 talets a day not just for depression but IBS and other issues , am awaiting to see a counsellor and have no idea of when or if I will ever feel better.

I do have some happy moments it must be said and I want stress I am grateful for so much in my life, I have a beautiful girlfriend who loves me including my mental demons as I call them and a great family and if I …want a good career that many would kill for. I do try and regularly remind myself of these slices of postive things in my life but it is hard when you know have personal issues, issues not everyone knows about and you constantly fight these everyday. I even worry about going on holiday because in case I have breakdown or something abroad I have a fear of nearly everything because this disease, illness or whatever you want to call it is debilitating it has such a hold on me that at times I do not know how to even cope.

But one thing that helps me feel still alive and in some way filled with emotion is watching films. It may be a way to escape my own life but I see films as way to dream as way to experience things we may not in our own life or to see a film that mirrors our own situation to make me feel I am not alone in how I feel. So as I come to the end of my first and what seems like neverending blog (apologies) I guess what I can say is I will use this as a way to write about my experiences good and bad, my fears and my dreams but also about films a huge part of my life so hence my tagline. I am just a bloke who just wants a normal life, people may say what is normal, who wants normal? But to that I say who wants to doubt everything they do, to have to take tablets each day to make life easier? Then I guess normal seems perfect.

Thanks

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