Depression: The Origin Story (Issue #0)
As part of my commitment and my promise to myself, I am sticking to my weekly blogging. In follow-up to my previous posts, I have found the to-do list is working a treat and I have found this new lease of life without having to think about things – which is great because historically, I have had a habit of over analysing things and conjuring up scenarios which then become barriers for me which stops me from getting shit done.
Scott, a buddy of mine (whom I have never actually met but we have been buds on Facebook for quite some time) has recently started a blog over on Blogspot. Admitting and accepting you are depressed is, I think, the hardest part. But second to that is feeling a part of something and by sharing and opening up, you discover other folks in a similar position that you had never even thought would be ‘like you’ – if we all keep it behind closed doors, too afraid to open up then why would we have any cause to suspect? If we can’t admit it to ourselves we aren’t equipping ourselves with the perception skills to notice it in others.
Reading his first post, it inspired me to delve into my past in a productive and thoughtful way and perhaps identify the source of my darkness or, as Dexter would say, my “Dark Passenger”. By understanding our past, we can take control of our future. This may span multiple posts as self-exploration is not a strong point but with a clearer and more open mind, I want to try it.
During my early years I went through some shit – but everyone does so why should I be different? My therapist (who I have yet to have a full appointment with) said that depression can be broken down to the fact that what we normally do to cope is no longer working for us. And that got to me. I always had a habit of bottling up and focusing on others. I’d rather be the friendly ear or shoulder to cry on than be the one borrowing the ear or wetting the shoulder. I thought by helping others it would make me feel good. Don’t get me wrong, it did and still does. But over the past few years, I sensed a change where I would let people open up to me but I wasn’t paying full attention. A shadowy part of me just didn’t care like it once did. “Shut the fuck up about your shit, I have my own!”
My way of venting, in my early teens, was poetry and that helped. I was rather creative and was always scribbling down ideas and starting novels/novellas (never finished any) but after a while my muse seemed to have forsaken me. Now, after having a good clean look at it, I know that my darkness that kept the creative fire burning had dowsed the flames. At 17, I went to the GP due to my constant tiredness and loss of interest in things I once held a passion for and was prescribed Citalopram (as mentioned in a previous post). After a while, I was convinced they were fucking up my stomach and stopped taking them feeling I wasn’t depressed and just going through typical teenage angst.
Now, 14 years later, I see that I was very much mistaken. I could worry about the fact I should have listened and that I could be much better now. But I won’t as I can’t change the past. What I can do is harness those feelings and use them to ensure I don’t repeat that. But where did the darkness come from?
I’ve mentioned before that a school report from primary school stated that, as my parents were significantly older they felt that it had a bearing on my mental state. All because I used black to colour in. A lot. Family drama and bullying in school no doubt changed my way of thinking and, to be honest, I think it caused me to mature quicker. I physically matured before the rest of my class. By voice broke when I was 10 and I dreaded registration – the pipsqueak voices all calling “Here!” and then my deep voice rolling in like a storm cloud over them. My hairy legs being the centre of attention during mockery in the gym. Where I should have been confident, as I once was, and pointed out that the fact I’ve matured faster than them shouldn’t be something I’m ashamed of but something they should wish would happen to them too, I skulked into the background and became somewhat of a wallflower.
The primary school years are no doubt where I first met my darkness and was taken under its wing. Groomed by my dark half to the point it almost consumed me. If it’s not the root cause it sure as hell paved the way for negativity to seep in and wrack my mind. What I took as normal was anything but. Growing up, I felt that someone like me who has wisdom beyond my years and time has not been kind to in terms of physical appearance and health, it was my duty to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. Being a huge fan of Batman, my mind twisted it to the point it was noble for me to bear that burden upon my shoulders. I always said that I was good at giving advice but poor at taking it. I would say it jokingly but now I realise just how serious that was.