Fuck’s sake, Spencer, say it. SAY IT, MAN!
I’ve suffered from depression since my teens.
I’ve seen counsellors in the past, and I’ve attempted suicide twice. Both times I failed. Kind of handy really, as it makes writing this a lot easier.
Usually I get on okay without medication. I keep my thoughts to myself (mostly), and every day and hour I rise above everything that tries to pull me down into the whirlpool of negative thought.
But sometimes the eddies swirl stronger, the get waves get higher, and I feel I’m sinking. Each day becomes a battle against myself.
A war against me. Introspection, self-criticism, doubts and constant self-loathing.
I wouldn’t recommend being me when I'm like that.
When I’m asked, “what is it that makes you feel this way”, my answer isn’t something earth-shattering, dramatic or monumental.
I’ve not experienced abuse or trauma, like others have. I don’t have a life-threatening disease. I just grew up unhappy, an unhappy childhood with an alcoholic mother who taught me that the world is a struggle, every breath is a struggle, everyone around you wants something from you, and you’ve just got to drink yourself into oblivion to deal with it.
Thankfully I don’t do that. Not any more.
Depression destroys things. It destroys relationships. It has destroyed my relationships. It destroys days, whole months, and has sought to destroy me.
Yesterday I went for a run to dispel the doldrums. I pushed myself harder than normal and felt half dead afterwards. Usually I have a feeling of positivity, elation even, after a run but not yesterday. I had to walk the last bit home, and ate Toblerone in secret.
So there I was, to the rest of the world, a hideously dressed middle-aged man huffing and puffing along the pavement, trying to hide in a hoodie. Eating triangular chocolate.
It's still a complete mystery to me why Beyoncé doesn’t return my calls!
Suggestions on a postcard please . . .
When I’m depressed I forget stuff. I cry for no reason. I feel aimless.
I start to do something then can’t finish it. I can’t decide what to watch.
What to do. What to read, say or eat.
I get angry. At myself. At the ironing. At the cat.
I know I’m feeling depressed when it’s the little things in life that irk me. How people park. The noise of the cat flap. When you’re making a pie and the pastry breaks.
This morning I shouted at pastry. PASTRY.
What did I expect, an apology? From wheat?
I know this is just a blip. We all have them and I know how to tough it out. I’ve had them before but then I couldn’t handle it, and tried to die. But I’m older now, and I know form is temporary, class is permanent and now I can handle them, so that won’t happen again.
I have a wonderful partner and two amazing stepdaughters. I also have two divine children of my own who are brilliant, smart, remarkable and fun. These people need me to be well. Need me to crush any self doubts and stand strong. Today, tomorrow and forever.
And I know I can, and I will. We have so much time to spend together in the future and I look forward to every moment. My children are only 8 and 6, so they’re still very little, and they need me.
So sometimes it’s the little things . . . that keep you going.