On Wednesday, I had a very bad day, I forgot to do something very important at work, and the impact of my error was pretty horrific. The details are irrelevant, suffice to say I’m still beating myself up over it three days later. On Thursday, having had another night of broken, uncomfortable sleep, I woke up and sat on the bed, crying, not sobbing uncontrollably, but silently weeping, until I managed to compose myself, and go to get ready. I arrived at work, and sat in the car park, again, the tears came thick and fast, and it took a good twenty minutes to compose myself to go into the building. It was at this point that I realised, I wasn’t in this state because of what happened the day before, rather, the events of the day before were a result of the state that I have got myself in, over a period of months, gradually deepening and darkening until it has come to a snapping point. I have been burying this feeling for months, putting my head in the sand, denying that it was happening, firstly to avoid worrying those closest to me, who have their own issues to deal with, but also, because I didn’t want to admit to myself that the black dog had come back and was winning again.
I’m a walking cliché, by the way, I’m in work, in a caring profession, I’m also a singer, and a wannabe comedian, I’m married, for the second time, I’m in a comedy ukulele band which is phenomenally popular, not only in Sheffield, but increasingly countrywide and even reaching the four corners of the globe. Life, it turns out, is actually really good. So, what have I got to be depressed about? nothing. really simple answer, I have no specific thing to be depressed about, but that’s the kicker with depression, it’s irrational, arbitrary, random and inexplicable in who it affects and why. It hurts people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, it’s colour-blind, sees no religion, gender, or sexual orientation, that’s one thing you can say about depression, it’s had its diversity training and is a fully equal opportunities condition!
So, yesterday I left work early, and went to my G.P. He was calming, listened to me opening up about the last few days, few weeks, few months, he asked me a lot of questions, which prompted me to give some answers which shocked me, answers which had never occurred to me, but explained so much about what’s brought me to this dark place. it was upsetting, I cried, a lot, but afterwards, still a bit shaky, waiting in the pharmacy for my prescription, I felt a sense of relief, like a weight was lifting slightly from my shoulders. I’m signed off work for a couple of weeks, I have a couple of weeks holiday, and I’m back to see the doctor in a month. Apparently the tablets can take about a month to really start working, so I think realistically, being back at work in a month is probably a bit ambitious.
Which brings us up to date, and the reason for this blog. If there’s one thing that has always kept me going, it’s being able to communicate with people, to share ideas and just generally put something of myself out into the world, to leave a legacy I guess. Since I went public on Facebook and Twitter about this current black dog attack, I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the messages of love, support and kindness from friends, family and from followers of the band, the sheer number of messages and weight of support has made me realise that not only do I have good reason to feel very lucky and loved, I also have a duty to try and use my voice to get a message out to the world, specifically to men, that it IS important to talk, that it ISN’T a sign of weakness to cry, to not be ok, to not ‘man up’ (I have begun to hate that phrase with a passion) and that the bravest move to make is to stop, accept the problem, and get some help. So, this is going to be a blog about my journey, and hopefully a place where I can make you laugh, cry, and maybe think.