So we have a family setting, you could say that depression was pervasive in the family, but we were either unaware (I certainly was) or in denial.
As I grew up it was just life. Outwardly extroverted and hyperactive, inwardly introverted and reflective.
I didn’t fit the family mold, I didn’t want to join the armed forces or play sport, I wanted to read and do art. I’m not sure whether this introversion was a “symptom” of my depression or not, maybe I was just a sensitive child.
Teenage years were a minefield, which is probably the same for most teenagers anyway.
When outside of school I spent the rest of my time in my room, reading, dreaming and planning for my next dungeons and dragons session.
I played a lot of D&D. Nearly 30 years later my D&D playing mates are still some of my best friends.
My family tried often to get me outside the house, but while they succeeded, my safe place was my room, or the D&D sessions.
As much as the D&D was probably avoiding the issue, it probably kept me alive, gave me an outlet to be creative, to mix with people and actually achieve things, like starting the D&D club and my Catholic high school (thanks to Father for defending the club against all the parents calling satanism in a Catholic school, you probably kept me alive).
At 17, high school finished, I went to University, but not a close University, one in the bush, I didn’t really know why, but I had to get away.
I went a little crazy then, but to be fair, that craziness only lasted about 13 years, most of it I don’t honestly remember.
I do know I only stayed as a student at Uni for 1 year, where at least I had the sense to realise that, where my fellow students were going without food to buy teaching aids, I was going without food to buy booze… maybe not the best way to start what I thought would be a teaching career.
There was lots of partying and bands, with lots of alcohol, lots. A standard night out was a large bottle of spirits and a slab of beer (24 cans). I was fortunate (though some may suggest unfortunate) to spend the next 20 years working in Universities. It didn’t particularly matter that I was out 6-7 nights a week. I did my job well (which was primarily interacting with students) and they weren’t fully aware until lunch time most days anyway.
In reality I was out of control.
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