Monday, 3 November 2014

Nearly 50.

I've been treated for chronic depression for 20 years now. I've gone almost a year without a serious episode but I can't take that for granted. The black dog tends to bite when you least expect but I'm more confident I can fight it off now that I have the tools.

I've lost some quality years because of it but I'm not at all phased at becoming 50 at Xmas. In fact I see it as an opportunity to kill off two dark decades. I only see John every two months now and I continue to try to embrace mindfulness when I feel the need.

I do have some regrets. The way my depression has dictated my personal relationships. The way I've treated people because of it. It's not something I had any control over at the time but I still regret it or become angry because it has cost me so much in terms of experiences and friendships.

I view life differently now and hopefully I'm a better person to be around. One day I will try and do chronic depression some credit and hopefully be able to help others who suffer. This is difficult because it is such a personal experience.

I have found twitter has helped me. Not in some deluded way. I know the limitations and falseness of social media. It has given me a voice though and many amazing things have come from it. I've always been happy to speak of my depression on twitter despite it being such a public platform. I've experienced mainly positive feedback for being open about it as well as some nasty comments but as in life as on social media.

Once I cared what folk thought of me. Now I don't. I enjoy the banter, good or bad.

Anyway this was just a brief check in to say everything is ok and I continue to fight it and survive it.

I've always appreciated the feedback and I'm always around for anyone out there suffering.

Tim - London - 2014

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Depressive v The Addict..An imbalance in Empathy.

It's been a very interesting week which started with a discussion about men and depression which was recorded and podcast. The reaction to it has been really positive but the problem is the message will soon get lost again. It takes the suicide of a major movie star to get folk talking about an issue that is such a major killer of men in the UK.

Depression is not trendy. It is a dirty word. Addiction is trendy and is not a dirty word. In fact in terms of the celebrity world addiction appears to carry with it much kudos. Obviously addiction is part of a wider issue for the sufferer and the person will almost certainly have an MH problem at the root of their addiction.

Depression just seems so dull and draws a picture of a man or woman with slumped shoulders and a melancholy tune playing constantly in their head. The reaction to someone confessing to depression is normally to tell the person to pull themselves together. The addict will find empathy and folk stating that they have suffered in life and that their addiction is a reaction. The addict finds a queue of people ready to hug them and support them.

The fact is most depressives will have had a life event that set off the depression. Not always. Depression can just be a chemical imbalance. The depressive who has had the perfect life really is the hard done by one. No one deserves depression or asked for it.

There is no pain worse than depression. Physical pain makes sense. Depression doesn't.

People need to get educated. Read up on it. Maybe then the depressive will find the empathy that the addict finds in our rather fucked up society.

Tim 2015 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Not Drowning. Waving.

This month marks 4 years ago since I pitched up in Johns office a rather fucked up person who had been passed through the system and shat out the other side. They got so pissed off with my depression in 1999 that they gave me 12 courses of ECT(electric shocks). But this did get me on the BBC so it's not all bad. I spent most of 1998/99 in The Maudsley Hospital in South London.

Self harm had been a massive issue back then but I didn't think it was a big deal. It was part of my day to day. I've not done anything like self harm for over 7 years now.

So, I eventually ended up with John. I've been lucky in that he has given me 4 years on the NHS. But, in his words, I was, am, a complex case. I should just stick with was because I am a very very different man now to the one who sat in his room in 2010..  I'm still a complex cunt but a more free of    
my demons complex cunt.

I'm happy to go through life as I am. I have a good and loyal friend. I still don't like people very much  and tolerate them and trust no one. But this is not a bad thing. There are many out there you can't trust. So I have that one person I can tell anything to and not face judgement. I didn't have this in 2010.

I've used twitter as an outlet but I'm slowly withdrawing from it. A week of silence last week did me good. I lived inside my head. I couldn't do this in the past.

John and I now see eachother every two weeks and this goes to once a month and so on. The work has been tough. Chronic depression doesn't just go away.  It will never really go away. You have to be taught how to manage it. And I don't quite have it sussed but I'm 80% there and if that's all I end up with then that will do.

Don't be ashamed of depression. Normally the judges are binge drinkers. Drunks. Believe me. They have a bigger problem than us.

If anyone does judge your mental health condition, do as I do. Tell them to fuck off.

Tim 2014