Posted in Mental Health Struggles

If it was a well, we’d be calling the fire-brigade

Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote
Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote

Well hasn’t this been an up and down sort of week?

After the gut punch of thursday and the feelings I expressed yesterday, I have felt pretty low, but I did the thing that I needed to do, I asked for help.

That’s a harder thing to do than you think, spent my whole life feeling that my problems were my own fault and I just had to do a lot of this myself. My reaction to thursday told me that wasn’t right. Went with my wife (the Always Amazing Rosie) spoke to a different doctor and have been referred. This is a step forward and for the first time since last week, I feel like there’s a forward step to make.

One of the analogies I have used for this is that I felt this was a tunnel or a well I had to get out of. The doctor told me it was more like I had wandered into a maze and got lost, the harder it is to find me way out, the worse I am feeling. The other idea was a ball of string, trying to open it up and it only gets tighter. These feel more hopeful.

I am not better, not really close, but I heard the words from someone who could help me that I suppose I should’ve heard two or three years ago.

“This isn’t that complicated.”

“Lets get you better.”

“This isn’t your fault.”

To anyone suffering, that is the hardest thing to remember, that this is something happening to you, not something you call upon yourself. You didn’t chose this, but you can chose to fight back, fight for your mind, your life and everything else in there of value.

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Things can get better, for example to help my son when he didn’t feel well last night, I explained Squirrel Girl to him. It helped, laughter usually does. Tonight, I read the first three with him before bed.

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Because some days, we all need to kick butts and eat nuts!

 

Posted in Mental Health Struggles

Feeling like I am falling apart

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I’ll be honest, this isn’t one of the good days, have spent the last 3 or so days suffering what feels like an extended panic attack. My head all full of morbid and nihlistic thoughts, stress on my mind, my failings, my inadequacies, it’s all falling on top of me, it feels like the progress I have made in the last two and a half years does no exist and I am struggling not to break down in tears.

Like I said, not one of the good days. Bringing up all the shit that kicked this depression off in the first place was in the short term, not a very clever move to make. That said, I am holding it together, BARELY, but I still am, my son is in school and doing fine, my wife is in work, where she has people around here and I am surviving.

Positives are that I went this weekend to the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, a mini-zoo in the middle of west fucking nowhere Cumbria. It was a Groupon and I saw for the first time Fosse, Cavvy, Swinhope Striped Squirrels, Golden Pheasant, Brown tailed Lemurs and their star attraction, a pair of Snow Leopards.

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http://wildlifeoasis.co.uk/

I was half an inch of perspex from these wonderous creatures, which spell bound me, my wife and my son. I have spent so long in fear and despair, but every now and again, I get some moments of joy. That is why I refuse to give in to despair now, because I have seen joy and I want to see more.

 

This is not a happy, interesting or even coherent post, but I need to get some of this stuff down and maybe out of my head, I started with obsessing about mortality, then obsessing about obsessing about it, then obsessing over how it’s making me feel. I need to get some stuff out, because this is no real way to live. I have asked for help, I am not where I was and I am going to get better. Damn, I wish that it felt like that more.

 

Posted in Mental Health Struggles

Climbing back up

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Went to my new doctors yesterday, to ask for help the issues I struggle with seem at times no easier and so I had to go back through my history with a new doctor (editor’s note, didn’t like him) and although he put a referral through for mental health services, I got a very ‘get over it’ vibe. Thing is, all the stuff I felt and thought at the time came back and I spent the rest of the day feeling like I was still as I was two and a half years ago, gripped with fear and languishing in despair.

Today has been rough and there’s no way of getting around that, the urge to panic or break down into tears is at the edges of my mind. But I keep going, I realised that my depression is like being trapped in a well, you don’t always know how deep you are in, but days like yesterday remind you. My wife (the ever amazing Rosie) said that you wait for the rain and then swim up. I think I’ve been waiting for the rain for a couple of years now, need to start climbing again. I know she’ll throw me a rope when I get closer to the top.

If it ever feels like too much, if the fear and sadness well up, there is always hope. Every day we find a reason to smile, is a victory. We all have our demons, we struggle with them every day, but they haven’t won yet, have they?

Posted in Miscellaneous

Stuff arising from today

It’s been a week where I have tried to put my best foot forward and do better and for the most part it’s working. I don’t want to say that an achievement is not shouting at my 5 year old son, but to be honest, I have been dealing with him in a more measured sense and it’s working. Trying to rebuild the family dynamic isn’t easy, but nowt of value is ever easy.

Dragon Knight by Poisondlo
Dragon Knight by Poisondlo

As part of sparking his imagination, our trip to school takes an imaginary short cut through what he calls ‘Dinosaur World’, but today we were in a Dragons & Knights world, that had Dinosaurs who had escaped their world’s destruction. The knights helped the dragons protect people from bad dragons and meat eating dinosaurs. Ok, that is all from him. I was impressed with the idea (and the leap in imagination) and took it a step further. How about a world for abandoned times and places, some dinosaurs, some dragons (or dragon like creatures) medieval knights and other lost bits of worlds. Like Battleworld from Secret Wars, but without the superheroes and villains (or Jim Shooter, but that’s beside the point) cluttering the place up. What would that world look like, what would life be like there. What would happen if a house from our world was planted there, what would the person living there do? Pipes, but no water in them, wires, but no electric current. What would his/her needs be, would there be other people there, could he communicate with them. Am thinking of maybe a series of short stories with this premise and would appreciate thoughts criticisms (beyond that it’s not an entirely original idea, this I am aware of) and the like.

 

Only a quick one, but I wanted to get at least something down today.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles

Blue Monday

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It is one of those common knowledge things, that today is the most depressing day of the year. Cold weather, post christmas feelings and so on go on to support this idea.

My problem is, most mondays are blue. I have suffered with depression nearing 3 years. It’s not been easy, some days are harder than others and from conversations I’ve had and thoughts that I’ve been having, I’m not sure that the good days are good enough. When I set up this blog, my main intention was to just talk geeky stuff, but I have struggled putting stuff on here, since without the formats I have used in the past, have found the posts hard to write. ┬áSo why not just write how I’m feeling and more of the stuff that happens to me. This would seem to do the greatest good for me and to be honest, no one is reading this blog anyway.

How this feels is there is a voice in my head that is constantly berating me and calling into question my worth and the pointlessness of life. It’s hard sometimes to get out of bed, to care about my appearance, or even wonder why it’s worth even trying to sort myself out. I have been crushed under anxiety, low self esteem and melancholy for so long, I just assumed this was me, that this was the guy I am. I was then reminded by my wife, that my view of self, isn’t entirely accurate, like most egos, it is a construct, created by me that is as false as any image pushed on me. It’s sobering to realise that 40 is coming up and you have no idea who you really are.

Depression and anxiety are like a tunnel, the problem is, anxiety makes you afraid to move forward, while depression wants you to stay still, because there’s no way out of this tunnel and even when it looks like there is, it’s not where you think it is. Some days you feel better and you think you’re out, other days, you feel that you will never get out, that this is just who you are now, but it isn’t. Sometimes the only way to know the end of the tunnel is there, is if someone who believes in you, tells you it’s there. I have such a person, but I know that right now, I don’t deserve her.

Time to get myself into gear and sort some stuff out, I realise that writing, just writing anything means more to me than I had first realised, so this’ll continue. It’s a hard thing to realise how trapped you are in your own head and how much this effects those around you. I can be toxic to the people in my life without ever realising, so now I realise it’s time to start putting the effort in and working at all this. I am worth fixing, I am worth being made better and above all, the people who love me, who know me, they deserve a better version of me in their lives. For them, for me, I have to do more, do better. I will always suffer from depression, this will always be a part of me, but it no longer has to own me as it looks like it has for the last two years.

If anyone reads these ramblings, look after the people in your life, mental illness affects so many more of us than we think and it’s a battle that we are always waging alone. Sometimes a kind word and someone taking an interest is more than it seems. Living alone with all this in your head is hard, because it’s like a broken bone, but no one sees the cast, no one knows the crutches are there and few take it seriously. I was always afraid of losing my mind, but the reality is much more frightening.

But to end this on a positive, I have it on good authority, that I’m the best daddy. I have more than one person who believes in me, just the other one’s a little on the small side.