Sunday, 9 October 2016

My big black dog

Marseille, 2015

It's Sundaymorning. It feels like the world is coming down on me, like the raindrops are slowly entering my mind, making me worse as time passes by. I feel like the world is spinning 10 times faster than me and I'm looking at it. I'm looking at it like I'm in a Hitchcock film, but not participating. This dark cloud surrounds me, bruises me, alienates me and makes me struggle to interact with people. My big black dog Pete is always with me. It's a day where my depression takes control.

The picture above might not look like an appropriate picture for this post, but to me it is. My life on the outside isn't too bad at the moment. I have a great family and awesome friends, who support me. I'm dating the best girl ever and I'm genuinely liking her more by the day. I'm doing bits with football and university is going pretty well despite anxiety and OCD. So if you would look from the outside, people would say (and they do): "You don't look depressed, life is great. It's all in your head."

Well people, despite having sunshine on the outside, on the inside it feels like darkness. Like a cloud surrounds me all the time. There's no chance for me to be truly happy, only brief happy moments before the darkness takes over again. It feels really shit. It feels like I'm watching the world through a camera lens and I'm not taking part in it. I'm an outsider, I live in this world that isn't really there, just like I'm not really there.

Let's talk about the days like today, when depression takes over and life seems like mission impossible. Mind you, I'm still in bed. No it's not like I have slept in, no not at all. I've been awake since 5.54 AM and the time 11.07 now, but still I haven't find the motivation to crawl out of my bed and shake the duvet off me. I've been trying to get out, but it's so hard. The fact that I'm blogging now is an amazing achievement. Well for me anyway.

When I have taken a shower, I'm so incredibly tired. Like I have just finished a triathlon. I'm so exhausted and it only makes me more sad.

  • Getting up in the morning is so difficult. You feel so tired and exhausted. I literally am awake at 6 AM, but I can't face the world. The only thing I want to do is hide under my duvet, watch Netflix/Youtube and forget about the world 'out there'. I am in my own world.
  • I feel numb a lot. Not Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. Like the world is spinning at a pace that is 5 times faster than my own. It's going too fast and everyone is participating, but I can't. It makes me so frustrated, angry and sad. I literally feel like I live behind a glass window in a Zoo. Getting more sad and sad, as the days are passing by.
  • I'm sad all the time. I haven't felt happy in more than 10 months now. It makes me cry at night, almost every day. If I smile, I smile. But that doesn't mean I'm happy. There's always that feeling underneath of sad emotions. It's like going to a constant funeral and contemplating on life. It's even more saddening that you know, you once was so happy with life and now you're not.
  • Panic attacks. I have them on an average, once a day. The littlest things or comments or tweet, can set me off and put me in this state, that I know I'm going full on panic attack. 'Calming down' is not an option, because I'll think irrational things and I can't get out of it. It's very intense both emotionally and physically.
  • I feel so lonely. Like really lonely. Nobody fully understands and yet I want them to understand. I could be with family or surrounded with friends, but still feel lonely. Sometimes I want to be alone, but at the same time I'm incredibly lonely and I think nobody likes me.
  • I don't feel normal, I want to be normal. It makes incredibly frustrated, angry and pissed off. Also, If I look normal, that doesn't mean I'm not struggling. I'm in constant war with myself, I'm living in the trenches. 
  • Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die
  • My thoughts are like clouds for positivity. I don't see sun, only shadows. Everyone can tell me of better days to come, but at the moment I feel like shit and only see the fucking darkness.
  • I'm always tired. I used to never take naps, now I have to. My sleep rhythm is non-existent. I go to bad at 9, can't sleep before 2, wake up at 4, sleep till 6 and can't sleep anymore. I'm tired and exhausted when getting out of bed and it takes so much energy, courage and will to start the day.
  • I've absolutely no motivation or inspiration. I'm not inspiring or creative. Productivity is low, very low.  Concentration is gone, concentrating on study, work, projects or else is mission impossible at times. It takes me 10 times as long to make a blogpost as before. The only thing that seems to go smoothly is writing about mental health.
  • It has a physical effect. My hands tingle, my toes feel numb. My muscles are tensed all the time. It causes chest pain. Your heartbeat races during panic attacks. Even paralysis anxiety can happen. You freeze for a moment, or a period, anxiety can make you feel literally numb and to be honest, it's the worst feeling ever. Not been able to move whilst having those terrible thoughts.
  • I'm on edge, stressed, irritated, agitated. ALL THE TIME.
  • The label 'Depression' hasn't comforted me. It has worried me more. No, it's not the same, there has changed something.
  • I'm afraid of speaking of it. Thinking people will regard me as dumb, stupid, emotionally weak, not belonging to this society, psychopath, sociopath, strange, weird, paria. I'm afraid of breaking the stigma. Afraid to be considered different. I don't want people to worry, it's just me.
  • Going out of the house can be a living hell. It's not as easy going out as it was before. When my friends decide to go somewhere, I can't just hop along. I'm afraid of losing my friends over this and they assured me it won't happen, but still.
  • Getting dressed or showered can sometimes be the most difficult task in the world. My PJ's and sporting outfits are more used than ever. I'm not even exercising that much.
  • Yes, I do get offended sometimes when people makes jokes about being depressed, OCD or else. 
  • I do place other people's lives above my own and will do anything to help people. It would be just fine if I'd notice people caring for me for once. Actually asking how I am doing.
  • I struggle with day to day relationships. It's so hard when I'm feeling stuck, let alone maintaining a relationship with family, friends or even romantically. 
  • I cry a lot and I'm a man, That's the reality. The sadness overshadows the things I once considered as my getting out hobby. Football, Music. It's so hard that I can't enjoy them as much as I did, at this moment.
  • I'm really afraid of doing wrong. I want to help people and I'm afraid I don't say the right things or that people don't like me when I say something that I consider is wrong.
  • Sometimes I feel like giving up. Giving up the fighting. Not life, but giving up all the effort and just 'live' my days in bed.

I feel so shit right now and it's truly fucked up. I want to feel normal again, my old self. 

I think I have to point out something. There is a huge difference between feeling depressed and having depression. Clinical depression is a medical disorder and won't just go away like that. But there are a few things I have learnt about having depression these last few months to be honest. The most important thing is that it's okay. It's okay to feel like that, it's okay to have good days and bad days. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel lonely. There's light at the end of the tunnel and if we can't see it, that doesn't mean it's not there.

It's also very important to know that you are not alone. You are not alone in having depression and you are not alone, because there are  so many people out there that want to support you. I'm here for you and there is a fantastic community on twitter.

My big black dog is a reference to Winston Churchill's depression - yes he had depression. - my depression is horrible, but I have accepted the fact that it will be part of me for a very long time indeed. It doesn't define me and won't kill me, but sometimes it will be very hard. I'm positive that I will grow and I think that thanks to my mental illnesses, I will be able to do great things in the future.

"Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him." - Shakespeare

'Ave a good day everyone, love you all

Marc





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