Mood swings. Irrationality. Fear. Anxiety. Insomnia. A dark cloud that sits over you, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for a month. An angry little monster sitting in your belly, making your stomach churn at the mere thought of getting out of bed. If any of this sounds familiar then these words are for you.
It’s not an easy subject to write about. One feels exposed, vulnerable. One’s pride takes a bashing.
But as well as focusing on the positive, I’m hoping that in writing about this that perhaps it will help you, out there in internet land, to know that you are not alone in this battle that rages inside your mind. You are not alone.
Much of the time I am a very happy, positive and creative guy. I’ve played music, painted pictures, designed websites, taken photographs, and now recently I have taken to writing. I enjoy this form of expression. It’s so simple. I can sit anywhere with my ipad in front of me and simply write my thoughts. It requires no fancy equipment, no brushes, paints, charcoal, canvases. Just words. Though writing I can release my thoughts, my ideas, my creativity, my frustration, my anger, my pain, my desires and my energy. It is a release of energy, like a big mental stretch.
However, I have come to realise over many years that with creativity often comes insecurity, sadness, low self esteem. Those high periods where everything is well in your world are often followed by periods where life is a struggle, happiness is a struggle, and just getting through the day requires an enormas effort. One longs for the night, for that day to be over, and for your racing mind to just be still and quiet.
I don’t know if any of this is making sense and I am sure there are those of you who think I am absolutely barking mad! You see, I believe that depression, unlike a broken arm or leg, a describable and obvious illness of some kind, is a very personal thing. If is a combination of one’s personality, experiences in life, situation at that specific time and the fears and character traits that were established in those early years of childhood. Perhaps as a result of bullying, abuse, a specific experience in those tender teenage years that one’s mind always returns to, or the relationship or relationships that gradually chipped away at you, at your very soul, day by day until you were left broken and empty.
Medication can often work well to help stabalize one’s mood, to ease the racing of one’s mind, however often these medications can have side effects such as insomnia, nausea, a decrease in libido, inability to achieve orgasm, none of which help matters! The anti depressants I was perscribed as a teenager made me feel like an alien! On top of everything else I was struggling to deal with I couldn’t sleep, felt exhausted constantly, lost my appetite. At times I felt ecstatic with happiness but it was so extreme that I was unable to achieve any sort of balance in my life. My grades at school fell, my education suffered badly and ultimately I fell so far behind that university became an impossible dream. Of course now I’m quite glad not to have a massive student loan to pay back! But at the time it was frustrating and humiliating and my self esteem and self confidence dropped through the floor.
Over the years I have found ways to deal with depression. I try to stay positive. Give myself things to do each day during those dark periods where my mind seems to be fighting against me. I make simple lists such as…
Shit, shower, shave
Go to the supermarket
Get hair cut
Go for a walk
Have a wank
Ok, so that last one is a given! It helps to release serotonin! 😉
I try not to allow my mind to enter that dreadful, dark spiral into depression. I fight against it. Although at times, late in the evening, I struggle. I say things to loved ones I later regret. I push people away who are trying to help and support me. I feel impotent with fear and frustration.
You see the worst thing about depression is that not only does it affect the person it affects everyone around them. It causes pain and upset. It spreads it’s roots out like some evil weed.
When it leaves, giving one a respite, a period of calm, apologies are sent, one feels embarressment, anger with oneself and regret, hoping that forgiveness will be granted for those actions, but knowing the damage one has done.
Ok. That’s all for today. I just needed to write about that. I hope it helps. You are not alone.
Sending Love and Light from Spain. Aaron x 😉