This is therapy. The words once written can be processed. Not just now but also at some other point in the future where things may seem different to how they are now. I don’t know. All I know is that these words need to be let out right now. It’s currently 3:43 am and though tired I know sleep is a while away and so I’ll type until this is done or until sleep takes me. My last blog was the 23rd October 2015 and it’s now the 20th January 2016. But I could have typed this blog out the 24th October 2015 really and on all the days from then to now it would have been the same blog because this is a sickness that just needs to be let out.
I feel many things. It is more than just a lingering sadness. I feel down and out. Almost hopeless some days. I’m totally lost. Motivation is lacking more than ever. Detachment from things I used to enjoy is becoming the norm. I don’t exactly know the cause of me slipping into this depression. Maybe it has multiple causes. Maybe it’s pure biology. Maybe it just happens with people from time to time and has no exact cause. All I know is it is horrible. The lack of hope makes it seem like things can only go from bad to worse. It gets harder to make an effort with people. I become more antisocial as the days go by even though I try to fight against it and make an effort. I have so much time and maybe that is too much time. I’ve always thought too much. Maybe I drove myself into this hole. Some days it seems like such an effort just to get through it. Some days there are distractions and things don’t seem so bad. I can have a few pretty good days and feel much better and then nose dive into this bullshit again for no apparent reason. It’s getting to the point where I have to admit I have a problem so I can try to tackle it. But it can be hard to have fight in you when it feels like the fight is unwinnable. I’m not at all suicidal or anything like that. I just find it hard to enjoy anything at the moment.
I’ve learnt a few things about depression over the last few months. In theory I know how to navigate my way out of this. Keep busy. Don’t think so much. Get a hobby. Be open to new possibilities at all times. Stay positive. Realise that I’m not alone and this is a common problem in the world. It is difficult to admit to being depressed. There really is a stigma attached to it and I know this because I have always felt like being depressed isn’t that big of a deal and people can snap out of it if they apply their minds. I was wrong though. Nobody wants to be depressed and if it were so easy then people would just choose happiness and positivity always. However the problem is with your mind in the first place and so it isn’t an easy thing to reason your way out of. Depressed people wish they could just tidy the flat, go for a run, pick up the phone and meet some friends for lunch and then meditate, take a nap and then go ice skating. But if everything starts to feel joyless then what is the point? And then the days go by and you achieve nothing and so feel worse. Some days you speak to nobody and don’t go out at all and it’s dark early and another day has bitten the dust. You go further along the downward spiral and all the time you’re getting further away from the light and it becomes an even greater challenge to come back from it all. It’s all bullshit. But it’s very real this depression lark and I feel bad for ever doubting people who go through it.
In a way being depressed is really self absorbed. When you’re depressed you’re totally wrapped up in your own misery. You feel like nobody understands, nobody cares and nobody can help. But the truth is there are so many people that go through the exact same thing. Even if you’ve never experienced it that doesn’t mean you’ll be immune to it forever. It’s a bit of a comfort to know that others face this battle and win. They come out of the other side. And I feel for the fellow humans that do go through this. Some feel worse than I do. You read about it sometimes about how somebody took their own life. They felt hopeless. To an outsider they may seem like they have a great life and it seems like such a waste but that is the power of this illness. Utter despair in the worst cases. There are people that have great families and friends around them who love them and still they felt this darkness weighing them down. You just can’t help it I guess. And though it is self absorbed it is almost impossible to see past a total lack of meaning and hope for yourself.
Maybe it’s a typical first world problem. We have food, water, warmth, shelter and constant communication and endless distractions. There’s no real danger for most of us who are lucky enough to be in good health. And somehow we still find problems and reasons to be unhappy. It’s so stupid and annoying but that doesn’t make it any less real or easier to fight. I am really annoyed at myself for not being able to just snap out of it so I can smell the roses and enjoy life fully. We get one shot and we’re very lucky to be here. I really do understand that and I’m truly grateful to be here most of the time. But then there are times when I selfishly wonder what the hell the Universe created me for. I think about existentialism and absurdism a fair amount. Maybe that is one of the sources of depression for me. I see no meaning to any of it. Going to work and paying bills and most of the other mundane tasks of everyday life just seems absurd to me. Sure there are moments of joy and laughter scattered about. But between those specks of light there’s a darkness that can swallow me up with pure indifference. Most of everything seems pointless. There’s no purpose or reason for any of it. There’s no God and seemingly no higher power at all. No plan. And even if we have a great life and enjoy it then it all ends up being for nothing anyway. These are dark thoughts but it’s how I feel sometimes. I know we have to find our own purpose in life and our own reasons for wanting to get out of bed and attack the day. Sometimes I do feel randomly happy also. And that’s how I know that my brain is just suffering the symptoms of bullshit depression. Because I could smell the roses and instead I’m just poking my eyes out with the thorns to spite myself. Given the choice of being positive about things or feeling misery is a no brainer but the brain has gone wrong somewhere and sometimes only sees the negative side of things whilst totally omitting the full picture. Once you come to this realisation then you need to get ready to battle it I suppose. I feel like battling depression is all about momentum. If it gets on top of you and starts kicking your ass then it just keeps kicking your ass harder and harder. The worse you feel the more you pull away from others and the less you feel like doing in a day until each day just gets more and more empty and meaningless and it just snowballs I guess until eventually you’ve fallen such a long way that there seems like no way back at all. But my theory is that once you take your mind off things for a while you feel a little better and then the depression may jab you back again a bit but you go back to the task that made you feel a little better again and it makes you feel a little better for longer. Fill up more of your time with stuff to do and force yourself to put one foot in front of the other again until it starts to feel natural once more. You feel better for longer periods of time until it snowballs and you’re winning the fight and feeling normal. And feeling normal does include being sad at times too but at a normal level where it’s not so hopeless and you have perspective and realise that these feelings don’t last and happiness is always just around the corner again. The key is momentum. Or antidepressants and counselling. But I really don’t want to go down that road. I cannot imagine ever sitting in the doctors talking about this because however you say it it just sounds lame and attention seeking. And self absorbed. I don’t even go to checkouts as I don’t want to add to their work load and always choose self service so I really can’t be doing with annoying a busy doctor about feeling down. However, this is one of the ways that depression can kick your ass. It keeps you from fighting it by lowering your self esteem so that you think it’s your fault and it’s all stupid and you need to just snap the hell out of it and stop moaning. And while you’re thinking you’re going to snap out of it the depression is on top of you pummeling you down the spiral into the fucking abyss.
Sometimes you hear a great song. Or laugh at a stupid joke. Or are moved by an incredible film. Or are mesmerised by some piece of art. Or feel some human connection in some way. And you’re able to see that even if we’re sailing on Titanic and heading straight for an iceberg we’re all in this boat together with the same highs and lows able to affect us. That humbles me when I really think deeply about it. Overall I am massively happy to be here. I’m grateful that I have a brain capable of pondering this absurd existence in the first place. What a wonder it is to actually exist and to be capable of thoughts. We could have been nothing but somehow we are actually something and even depression is an experience that is actually incredible considering how unlikely it was that we’d ever actually experience anything at all. I know the way back. Depression is very real. But it is still bullshit. The days will get lighter again soon and that is a start. I’m going to read other people’s words on this topic. I’m sure if I type “depression” as a keyword into WordPress then I’ll get loads of results. This is a great place for therapy. Others will know more than I do. The fact that this is a common problem encourages me. Many fight against it and I’m just another.
I’m tired now. Sleep will take me. First blog in three months and it sucks. But now it’s done I look forward to writing the next one and hopefully I’ll be mentally climbing up a peak instead of wallowing in the valley. Thanks for reading. Until next time.