Who loves it when a writer spends a few hundred words just talking about themselves? All those with their hands in the air, welcome, you are in exactly the right place.
Now today we will be talking about depression and the many reasons why it’s not great.
Due to reasons in the fine year of 2011, my body decided that making endorphins and all the good shit was just far too much effort. Which eventually (totally cutting a long story short, thank me later) led to something pretty similar to that bit in Buffy where Dawn was kidnapped and they were on the run and an army of Lord of the Rings rejects with a poorly described backstory were chasing after the gang and Buffy just sat down and stopped.
To get out of this endless slump I thought I needed to make a new friend. I liked Thomas the Tank Engine when I was little so trains seemed like a good start.
Thankfully a life saving distraction stopped us being BFF’s. I’m really lucky to have someone to look after me and I was quickly shipped off to the doctor.
‘What’s wrong?’ Dr. enquired
‘I feel perpetually sad, as though everything has been removed from my insides, I can’t see the future and feel only grief when I look at the past. I just want to sit, stop and die.’ I said.
‘Citalopram will solve all your problems.’ Dr. lied. (dum dum dummmmm.)
People say how shit depression is and how difficult it is to articulate and they are right, it is shit, but no one, not even doctor man tells you how goddamn awful the medication is. I suppose I should be grateful that a tablet a day along with a few side effects means I am here and not in a box, HOORAY, but the dizziness, shakes, loss of horniness, weight gain, feelings of going through the motions and jaw clenching (to name but a few) Are. Not. Fun. Then when you come off the little bastards you can expect pretty much the same all over again along with the nagging knowledge that if you just take the little pill it all goes away.
But David why not just stay on the pills?
Well, have you seen that advert and the boy isn’t taking no for an answer and starts raping a girl and then we see the boy behind a big window yelling at himself to stop? That is kind of how it feels. Minus the rape. For me I felt one step out of time with the person who was running my body. Conversations with people became very odd as all I could focus on was their mouths and the thought ‘we are all sacks of meat.’ It was incredibly frustrating not being able to connect with people. Everyone around you seems brighter, more active, more there.
Oh my, what did you do?
My brain was waging a rather interesting war against citalopram with my body being the battleground. I was not best pleased with this so decided to try to take charge.
– Decision one was to actually put some effort in at the gym. Cardio joy helps the body release the good stuff that it’s craving, it also leads to a bonus feel good factor when looking in the mirror.
– Decision two was to shave my hair off, I had the floppy blonde locks for a long time, I felt I was using it as a mask or a way to feel like a teenager and not take responsibility. This sort of worked, until I realised that I look super cute with long blonde hair and sobbed over my terrible decision making skills.
– The third was read I Kill Giants. If you’re struggling in life, do yourself a favour and buy this. The story is about a teenager, their mother is dying and to cope with this terrible situation they create a fictional world around them. The story is incredibly moving and empowering. Trust me.
I’ve been off medication for about a year now and that is sort of my journey with depression so far. Looking back I can see certain patterns of behaviour that showed signs that my brain wasn’t working at full capacity. It’s good to know that there are ways that I can put myself on an even keel and that those closest to me have ways to help too. My biggest fear at the moment is that it will be used as an excuse both by me and against me, that I could start saying ‘oh that is tooo hard my achey brakey hippocampus’ or others will be all ‘ just ignore what he’s saying, David is just going into one of those moods again.’
I also worry about not being able to convey the utter brain clogging, hollow desperation I feel when the depression kicks in and that people just think I’m feeling a bit blue. But there are worse things for people to think? Right dudes? This might be true, but if you ever say it to my face I will punch you in the tit.