Saturday, 13 August 2016

Isolation and Wishing for Monday to Come

When, only on the odd occasion thankfully these days, melancholia pays me a visit, I don't even have someone I can call to have a coffee with. I literally know no one on that kind of basis.

I was born and raised in London but don't know a soul. During the worst of my depression, 10 years ago or so, I found that anyone I knew dropped off one by one.

Being a man of my vintage it becomes harder and harder to strike up friendships / relationships. Particularly in London.

So the point of this blog is not to ask for the violins but to try to make folk understand how isolating life can be once you come out of the void of a long term illness.

This year has been extra tough because I've had a health scare I'm still going through and hopefully I'll finally get sorted in September. I've spent much of this year having scans and blood tests - worrying but I have perspective on these things. 

I think I'm a mildly ok sort of person and at times I feel angry that I can't strike up meaningful friendships - as I said - it's very hard in London.

I spend my weekend looking forward to Monday because my only human interaction is at work - I often go the whole weekend without ever talking - unless I talk to myself. 

The upsetting thing for me is I don't know how it came to this - I'm not a bad man - I've no criminal record. Never been in trouble. 

It's upsetting also because I'm missing out - on life - adventures - though I do go away - there's nothing more shit than a holiday on your own.

So, if you know someone who has had depression or someone who still has, then don't let them down - be a mate. Let them know you are there.

One of the reasons I use Twitter is to help my isolation - to help me have a chat with adults - though these days it's not much good for that either. 

My films and books are my company and its why I talk about them on Twitter - to try to engage with folk.

I get by - I work hard - but I bet I'm not alone in wanting Monday to come so that I can rejoin the world. I've tried every way of meeting new potential friends. But when you're a 51 year old man it's difficult - and folk look at you with suspicion when they find out you have no social circle, so on it goes. Your past problems with depression don't leave you. 

Tim - London - 2016 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Not Drowning - Waving - / Twitter Trolls - Really Useful Discrimination.

I am visiting a person weekly at the moment that is helping me with my self esteem – this is separate from the 6 years of therapy I have had with John to deal with my chronic depression. Depression is not something that now runs my life.  It revisits me from time to time and I just have to ride it out.

My twitter persona is not real. I am someone who is withdrawn, socially inept, quite isolated, and afraid of people and life. Social media probably gives all of us an opportunity to be the person we want to be rather than the one we really are.

I have not been able to work since August – not because I don’t want to. The situation I found myself in has meant that folk will not employ me. So it has been really tough. I am not used to not working. I have worked since I was 16 and I am now 51. I am finding this period very very difficult but it won’t kill me so I have just got to ride it out.

I received no support at work for my mental health issues. The whole twitter incident was just an excuse for them to get rid of me even though it was I who walked. The fact that I have always been open and honest on social network about my long term fight with depression has not done me any favours.

I was being watched for a long time in terms of my social network activity by my employers. I still believe that the whole trolling thing was set up – that is not paranoia – I have quite a bit of evidence to make a good case. They presented me with months and months worth of my tweets. Like the secret police investigating a spy.
I went down the road of seeking legal advice for constructive dismissal but my problem was I could not afford the fees to take it on further. 

It was very clear I had been discriminated against in terms of my depression and that nothing was done during the investigation process to help me. 

The equalities act went straight out the window. 

For two weeks I was treated like a common criminal by the Really Useful Theatre Group – I ended up convinced I had committed a dreadful crime. 

The level of corporate bullying by one manager in particular is something you would find hard to believe.

I have to move on from all that now. I am not playing the victim here at all – that is not my style. Plus I would not give that awful company the satisfaction.

Hopefully I will sort out my personal problems very soon and get back to work. It is tough because I find it tough facing people. But work is all I know and I need it to feel normal and accepted.

Just wanted to put the record straight in regards to my situation and how dreadful a large Theatre company treated me.

Tim – London - 2016