Me, Myself & I
I’ve blogged before about thoughts and feelings and hoped that venting to the world would help. In a way, I think it did. But more in the placebo fashion. Until this past week or so, I refused to accept the fact I am suffering from depression. This has been partly due to the fact I’m a bloke and we don’t want to let the macho guard down – despite me opening up and to a degree, allowing myself to be mocked by trolls on the internet via my podcast, I’ve never gotten down to the core issue. It’s also been partly denial via the means of ignorance or lack of understanding of the condition.
Naiveté had me think depression was a sign of weakness. It has a stigma about it that makes it seem like an excuse for people not doing what the could or should be. That’s why I refused to believe it: I don’t like to feel like I’m making excuses or hiding behind something. It’s not like a physical illness that can be seen plain as day. But, of course, it can become physical. As I have found what with my ongoing abdominal pains that don’t seem to be reacting to painkillers any more.
I’ve read a few bits and pieces on the internet about it and all the symptoms I have been experiencing are symptoms of depression. Part of me wonders why I didn’t realise it sooner but then another part of me knows I did but just tried to prevent me from believing it. It’s that shame element that fellow sufferers want to be rid of. The stigma that’s to be cleansed.
I was diagnosed as borderline depressed when I was 17 but after a while on Citalopram I wrote it off as typical teen behavior. Perhaps if I had believed it then, I wouldn’t be as bad now. But that’s something I need to forget as thinking about the what ifs and the coulda/shoulda scenarios isn’t good. I’ve been to a therapy assessment for me to start one on one counselling and had a few booklets and things to check out. One of the things she said was to focus on now. Not historical events or things that will or may happen. Mindfulness.
I have felt a bit better since then (it was yesterday, so very early days) but I know it’s a long journey and I will have to continue this for the rest of my life but I’m keen to gain a deeper understanding and find myself. The front I put on to my colleagues and friends is the foul-mouthed, crude, filthy individual and that was a persona I created to deal with life. I portray myself to be an idiot with a smutty mind for laughs and become a clown to try and avoid social awkwardness but then set the wrong expectations when people realise there is intelligence behind the clown’s mask.
Some of the thoughts I need to tackle are almost child-like when verbalising them. Such as the lack of motivation to do simple tasks like shave, change the baby’s nappy, wash the kids’ hair, put paperwork away or even go to a website to check something. Everything feels like a chore and I try to shy away from them which then causes issues within the house. So today, I decided to do a to-do list. Nothing fancy. Just jot down things I wanted to do and things I tend to do every day, no matter how simple they are. This seemed to help me as I’ve completed most of my list and feel more productive.
On days like this where Lauren is in work and I’m home with Georgia and doing the school run etc. I find I get bored and end up just idling my time away on Facebook – constantly refreshing for new stuff to see/share/comment on. This then fuels my feeling of uselessness as I have done nothing productive and wasted my day(s) off work. So I’m hoping that a to-do list will help me stay focused and make me feel like I am more productive than usual.
I want to commit to blogging at least once a week. One of my main downfalls has been being too ambitious with projects and doing loads in the early stages then it fizzling out because spinning so many plates and then having to keep them going becomes overwhelming and daunting and so the plates topple and fall. Blogging once a week is achievable – even if I just work on the content over a few days as opposed to publishing on the same day I start. I know that being creative in my venting process isn’t only good for me in the short-term but may even help me in the long-term in relation to me being able to focus on multiple projects and trying different things.
If you have similar issues with anxiety or depression, drop something in the comments about how you cope or things you want to do/try – one thing I have found since opening my mind to the fact I am depressed is so many people I know have started their own journeys and it’s an eye-opener to think of these people who I never thought or would have even guessed suffer from issues with anxiety or depression and there is certainly strength in numbers.
Until next time…