shattering had left me disappointed, confused and a little annoyed
That was my response to a tweet from Prelimar about the recent changes in WoW.
It also sums up the way I feel much of the time when I am depressed. No I’m not depressed right now, but right at this point of time my interest has waned for WoW, I dare say a temporary thing and I think much of how I feel is summed up in Bear’s post.
So back on topic… where to start…
Talking about it
My ex-wife tried to kill herself last Monday.
Things were going really well for her, but that black dog grabbed her and shook her till she gave up.
Luckily her boyfriend was home, he called me in a panic, then got her to hospital and she was released in the wee hours of the morning.
She is much better now, and determined to be around for a long time.
I hope she keeps it together and it was a good sign that she attended the Movember Gala event… what a good place to beat back the black dog, surrounded by people who understand, that are supportive and prepared to have a laugh in the face of depression.
OK, I accept that may have been a bit of an over the top introduction… maybe my wife’s recent state more so than my apathy for WoW, but I guess it was in part to show that some things, no matter how dire, shouldn’t just be covered up. They need to be talked about and we can talk about them without shame.
There is more shame in a black eye… there is a good chance you deserve that.
So how are you feeling?
I’m feeling pretty good, it’s good to come out of the closest with dark personal secrets like this.
Of course, if you have been reading my blog of any period of time, you probably realise this isn’t some dark secret I work overtime to hide.
I know over the last 2.5 years people have made mention of it in comments, either on my blog, or on their own when they too have admitted they are dealing with issues other than the latest boss kill.
I’ve had quite a few comments, some emails, tweets and even ingame whispers since I started writing about my experience.
This is why I am not so quiet about my history of depression, because it draws people out to talk about the big black dog in the middle of the room.
- People will talk directly to me, sometimes in private, other times in public, about their experiences.
- People will talk about me at a later stage in hushed tones, maybe to elicit a response from someone they care about, maybe as a method of divulging their own battle.
- People will talk about it because it should be spoken of.
I am talking about it here, revealing more of myself than I ever have before, to a wide audience, primarily composed of strangers because it is important that we start speaking about depression. November, or Movember, is a good start, but preferably “every day”
So, really, how are you?
You know when someone breaks their arm, it’s obvious, it’s a talking point, people fight to write on the plaster. They want to know how you got it and there is a good chance you want to share the ever enlarging story of how you got it, what you had to do to get the bones pulled back into position, the pain, the medication, the constant, nagging itching under the plaster cast and how you can’t wait for the day, just 6 weeks away, when you can get the plaster cast off and start again.
Or maybe cancer. Cancer is a bitch, a real bitch. It destroys lives, not just of the patient, but their family. There is no escaping it, it’s obvious and we all pull together to talk about it. We talk about the discovery, the treatment, the family. We talk about many things and one that we speak of most often is the hope. The hope that the cancer can be beaten, the hope that life can go one with some semblance on normality.
Depression, we don’t talk about. No one sees it. No one understands what it’s like to live with it. No one but me.
My battle to deal with silently.
My burden to carry, not to share the misery with my friends or family.
There is no hope, so no sense in planning, in hoping.
It’s mine and I will spare you the horrors until my time comes, it gets too hard, and I will give up.
It is obvious.
Others see our pain, feel our pain, and in turn experience a pain of their own, a helplessness of their own.
They don’t know if they can speak of it, they are not even sure what it is…
Is it alcohol addition, drug addiction, work addiction, or even World of Warcraft addiction?
Or are they just methods of easing the pain, symptoms of something deeper, darker, that is slowly eating your will to live.
When others approach, you strike out. They don’t understand, you don’t want to hurt them. If only you can drive them away, somehow, against all the odds convince them to stop loving you so you can just fade away without hurting anyone else.
They don’t understand. They know you are sad, but they don’t know why. Sure things don’t always go your way, but you have so much to be happy for. Loving friends and family, maybe a good education and a job. It doesn’t make sense and they keep asking why you are so sad… you aren’t sad, you just hate everything, your life, your circumstances, your work, your school, your friends, yourself.
If only there was someone you could talk to.
If only there were people you could see that speak about depression, that can give you hope that people do understand and that depression can be beaten, that you can live and love again, that you can learn to love yourself once more.
and there are…
Millions of us, (just look how many people signed up, from around the world for Movember in the last couple of years) in every walk of life, distant as the opposite side of the world, as close as your family and your friends, even closer, lying on the other side of the bed with your each and every night.
Shouting from the rafters
When I first realised that the cause of all my woes was not the outside world, but was inside me, was depression, I was vocal. It explained so much. I spoke about it often, to everyone. It was in a way, both a warped apology and promise to my friends and loved ones. An apology for the sorrow I had inflicted and a promise that I would beat it and once again be a source of joy, someone who they would want to be around (of course it was my warped mind that thought they didn’t want to be around me… but.. well, that’s depression for you).
In those first few weeks when I was quite volatile, having deep lows while I confronted the demon and great highs when I realised there was hope and meaning to my life, a very dear friend of mine came to me and shared his own burden. It was the 6 year anniversary of his death last Saturday, and I miss him dearly. What is important about him is he died from natural causes, not self-inflicted harm or neglect. He fought the black dog too and knew he wasn’t alone, knew someone else shared his pain, understood his pain.
YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!
Yeah right you pathetic animated demon. I’ve beaten my inner demons… you are nothing!
Saving one life at a time
I mentioned earlier that I have received a whole pile of correspondence about these Movember posts. Every one thanking me for sharing, many thanking me for helping them to understand what it was that was driving their life, out of control and unwanted. Some have said they think my sharing may have saved their lives.
I can’t hope for anything less, I can hope for more, that others that have read these posts open up about their feelings, or stop and spend some time with someone they are concerned about, to be brave enough to broach the topic, to go for help, or send for help.
Help is only a mouse click or phone call away
I have consistently posted links to Movember and beyondblue, organisations that may not exist outside of Australia, but there are other organisations, there are plenty of Lifelines out there for people to grasp for, such as Depression Alliance in the UK and Back from the Brink in the USA and it doesn’t need to just be the sufferer, because we all suffer for depression in some way, whether as a sufferer, or as one who loves a sufferer.
Donations vs. Awareness
Just for the record, as of today, officially the last day of Movember, I have only collected $150 for the cause… but you know what. It was never for the money. A friend, just last night said:
Sorry I haven’t given Gnome, but I already gave to a pizza.
I was a little confused… until I reread his message and realise he hadn’t bought a pizza, but had given to another participant whose name looks nothing like pizza… I really must clean my glasses occasionally.
He then went on to say how he has been modifying his behaviour to ensure that his family has a long and happy life.
To me, that is worth 100 pizzas!
If you do want to give, if you have thought about it, but held back, then now is the time. Of course, tomorrow is also the time and Movember isn’t the only group that would gratefully accept your financial assistance.
And if in times that resemble the Great Depression in more ways that one, you can’t afford to splash the cash, then maybe shoot your damn fool mouth off and let people know about depression. Guide them to the depression assistance sites, send them here, do whatever it takes to save a life, because that life may well go on to save more… might even create more… which brings me to my final bit about my battle with depression.
I’m a lucky bastard, lucky to be alive
10 years ago my life was worth nothing (to me at least), but I got lucky, I became aware of depression and I took action. I changed… I learned to love myself and then found it possible to love others.
6 years ago I met my beautiful, if now, ex-wife. I was ready and capable for love.
4 years ago, the value of saving my life was repaid when my ex-wife brought a new life into existence… Odin
1 year ago, my ex-wife and I made a decision to part ways to protect the mental health of my son and allow ourselves to find happier lives.
1 weekend ago, I took my little boy camping for the 1st time. Words can not express the joy Odin experienced when he received his 1st sleeping bag, discovered he was sleeping in a tent, all night, for 3 nights and then discovered he had my permission to use his torch until the batteries ran out. Talk about a kid on the 1st night of school camp! (and no, I am not talking about BigBearButt‘s kind of torture-camping… but I figure if there are mosquitoes, rain for 2 days and 2 nights and wet sleeping bags, that is still a camping trip – even if it was in a friends back yard).
Words can’t express Odin’s joy…
… but then neither can they express my joy at being alive to see my little boy growing up and shining has he did… or him continuing to tell all and sundry about his camping trip with his Daddy.
Don’t give up hope…
Never give up hope…
You just need to take the 1st step and talk about it to someone… any one.
Gnomer and Out!
You can give via Visa, Mastercard, Amex or Paypal.
Paypal, perfect for those abstained coffee donations
Go on.. wouldn’t you buy a coffee to keep someone alive?
Edit: A really late edit, but I would really encourage all of you with blogs, or access to other social media (I don’t know, like Twitter), to make a mention of Movember, or these posts of mine as a few people have already done. It will cost you nothing, but may just save a few lives of those that read and love you. There are buttons just below this post to make it even easier.
Other Posts of mine on Movember:
- Shave and a Haircut: Movember
- Just in case you thought I wasn’t serious
- Depression in the family: Movember
- Youth gone wild: Movember
- Married with child and depressed: Movember
- Depression in the workplace: Movember
- Talking about it saves lives: Movember
- Better Off without me
- Aware People are Supportive People: Movember
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.