Letting depression in sometimes feels like the right thing to do. Like, maybe it’s a case of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’.
I was in Newcastle city centre yesterday afternoon, taking my time over my morning coffee in Starbucks and then deciding to pick up a few bits before I set off; new insoles, a hairbrush, a small pot of pick n mix from Wilko. Pretty safe to say I wasn’t exactly buzzing to get going. I started to feel a bit aimless, and not really sure why I’d decided to go shopping; and tired. I felt really fucking tired, like I could have just lay down on a bench a fallen asleep right there. A pang of loneliness hit me (which was unexpected, I like being alone), and the ensuing despondency made me start thinking there was no point to anything. Depression knocking; like a friend you’ve fallen out with who turns up at your house in the middle of the night, wet and cold and needing your help. I thought for a minute about running to Sunderland, then got my phone out and booked myself into a private room in the cheapest hostel I could find. I was so close to making the right decision too.
It was only last week that I said to someone how good I’m feeling at the moment; how motivated I am and how lucky I feel to be on this adventure. I said I felt so good that it was actually making me doubt how real my depression is; have I just been chalking up the days I’m just in a bit of a bad mood as mental illness? Obviously not, but depression lies, even on the good days. You know when’s it’s February in this country and it feels like it’s been winter for about 5 years? You forget how warm it gets here in summer. It feels a bit like that. I remember saying to whoever I was talking to about it that being happy sometimes makes me want to reconnect with my depression, if it’s away too long. That’s going to sound ridiculous to some people, but when depressions always kind of there, there’s a part of you that misses it when it’s not around.
“I miss the comfort in feeling sad” – Nirvana, “Frances farmer will have her revenge on Seattle”.
It’s hard to turn your back on something that makes up a big part of who you are. I’ve learnt to appreciate the aspects of my character that are there because I have depression.
Anyway, I’ve let it in now which means I’ll be low for a while. How long is never up to me. But I’ll be fine. Christmas can be a particularly hard time of the year for a lot of people. Life can feel twice as hopeless if you feel like the rest of the world is full of joy around you. If you notice it in someone you know, see if they want to talk, or tag them in this post. A smile doesn’t always tell the whole story. If you’re the one feeling low and you don’t want to get into it with someone you know, here are a few anonymous, confidential alternatives:
Samaritans : 116 124 (UK) 116 123 (ROI)
CALM helpline : 0800 585858
No Panic : 0844 967 4848
Papyrus : 0800 068 4141
SANEline : 0300 304 7000
Remember, Christmas is a time for giving. Be excellent to eachother. Party on dudes 🎄