Who’s on first?

This blog is a personal account of what it’s like to battle depression.  You see, I’m a sufferer and have done so for around 12 years.

It’s not the type of depression where I have suicidal thoughts and I don’t have voices in my head, only mine.  But when I’m going through a period of depression, I find it hard to be motivated, I find it hard to get off the lounge, I find it hard to put dark thoughts aside and be positive.   I feel worthless, stupid and on the most part useless.

Along with the dark thoughts come obsessive compulsive behaviors – going over and over past situations, thoughts or conversations. This compulsion goes something like Abbot and Costello’s Who’s on First?  routine made famous in later years by Raymond Babbitt in the movie “Rain Main”.  It drives me crazy but I can’t stop.

The physical aspects are stomach cramps, headaches, lack of concentration, memory blocks, light headiness, leg cramps, neck stiffness and the list goes not depending on the severity of the depression.

I know the triggers – stress, confrontation, frustration, uncontrollable situations, disappointment, sadness, anger and anxiety.  When I’m exposed to one of more of these feelings, depression comes knocking at the door soon after and there’s no shutting it out.

I’ve tried anti-depressants but the side affects are worse than the depression itself.

I feel it’s arrival and I feel it living inside me. It’s in the pit of my stomach and inside my head.  You won’t see it, you won’t know it’s with me.  I’ll still be quick witted, funny and up-beat and even I will be fooled to think it’s passed. Then I’ll walk away, and the dark descends and I’ll be back in that place – “who’s on first?”

Having depression is bad enough but the biggest problem people with depression have, are the people around them who don’t understand, who don’t want to understand and on the most part just think you’re whining.  I always get the “just don’t worry about it” and “don’t think about it” or “don’t waste your time worrying about it” or “get over it”.

Oh really, thanks for that – I’ll just stop worrying. How could I be so stupid. Thanks for your advice!  All happy now! It was that easy!

Happy New Year’s resolution

As another year passes it’s time to reflect on the year that was – 2011.  A significant year in my life because nine days into it, I turned 50.

O.M.G 50!  Surely I’m not that old?

Anyway, my 50th year on this earth started with a 60s theme party with family and friends.  I was fit and healthy and I looked pretty good for an old bird.  I was having an extended break from work and I was looking forward to the year ahead – 2011.

As it turned out 2011 wasn’t my finest year. Looking back it may have been a negative response to turning 50 not helped by a couple of health issues brought to my attention only days after my birthday, nothing bad I should add and nothing to do with getting old.

I’ve always prided myself on being fit and healthy so I wasn’t expecting health issues to pop up for quite a long time so when a blood test highlighted a possible hyperparathyroid problem my reaction was over-the-top and one year on after numerous tests for all manner of possible ailments my health paranoias have been laid to rest.  The end result is there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with me – physically that is.  However, I can’t speak for my mental state but I now look forward to getting on with my life and living every moment doing what makes me relatively happy,  as one can be.

Bring on 2012!

So now it’s time to make some serious changes to my life.  Firstly, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s about time I make my first new year’s resolution after many years of avoiding them.  Maybe I’ll make several new year resolutions.  In fact I should make several lifetime resolutions, but let’s not get ahead of one self.

Maybe I’ll just start with a few new year resolutions.

Generally I don’t make them because by midday of the next day I’ve either forgotten I’ve made any or I think of excuses not to follow through,  so deciding on some resolutions I’ve got  the slightest chance to stick to will be the first hurdle to get over.  After that,  the second hurdle will be sticking to them past midday.

I realise I’m a little late with my resolutions so I’ve decided to start them from Monday 9th January 2012 – my 51st birthday.

O.M.G. I still can’t get over the fact I’m turning 51!

Anyway, I’ve been off work for a couple of weeks and in that time I’ve had very little interaction with the outside world. I’ve spent my time with the most important people in my life – my family and my very best friend – Me!

Spending time with Me has given Me the opportunity to reflect on the past year which has helped me come up with my 2012 resolutions.  I can’t contemplate making the stock standard resolutions such as losing weight, being nicer or helping others etc. My priority is to make resolutions that I feel comfortable with, to ensure I’m living every minute on my terms and the only people I’m accountable to are my family.

Here they are:

  • I’m not going to try and please everyone because on the most part, it doesn’t please Me.
  • I’m not young any more, so I’m not going to try and pretend I am. It wasn’t all that when I was.
  • It’s exhausting being funny and likeable – I’m tired!
  • Family comes first, everyone else a poor second because they won’t wipe my arse when I need it later on.
  • Other’s can bring you down, only Me can bring me up.
  • No one can change my life, it’s up to Me!
  • Silence is golden – so I’ll shut up!

So there you have them, my new year resolutions.  To sum up:  I guess I’m going to spend more time on my own or with my family. I’ll do what pleases me. I’ll live with no fanfare or funny antidotes to impart. I am the master of my destiny and I’ll do it in my time by myself.

On the other hand, I might forget them by lunch time on the 9th January or find excuses not to follow through – time will tell!

Happy New year!

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