Sometimes it’s the little things.
January is a ballache of a month. After the ‘whizz bang how’s yer father of Christmas’ comes a cold, wet month where the sun tries to shine but sits dulled by a grey sheet of cloud which colours one’s mood, one’s outlook, one’s perspective and makes everyone look and feel defeated.
Or maybe it’s just me. I’ve always had issues with January. In January I struggle more than other months, and have to concentrate on my mental health, concentrate on staying well, concentrate on getting through. Today, this week, this month. I’m just getting through. Only just.
Dunno why, but I feel very flat right now, and this, writing it out, seems the best way to deal with it. After all, I’ve had issues with depression since I was in my teens and…
Fuck sake Spencer, say it. Issues with? Bollocks. How dare you be so vague! So inexact! So wrong! SAY IT MAN!
*Takes deep breath*
I’ve suffered from depression since my teens. I’ve seen counsellors in the past and attempted suicide twice. Both times I failed. Obviously. (That’s what passes for a joke in January round these parts. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’m here all week, try the veal.)
Usually I get on okay without medication. I keep my thoughts to myself (mostly), take a big, deep breath, daily, hourly, and rise above everything that tries to pull me down. I look at things and think “Hey Spencer, that’s just life. You can do this. You’re a tiger. ROAR!”
But sometimes the eddies swirl stronger, the get waves get higher, and sometimes I feel like I’m sinking. Every day feels like a battle against myself. A war against me. Introspection, self-criticism, doubts and constant self loathing.
I wouldn’t recommend being me.
When I’ve been asked “what is it that makes you feel this way”, my answer isn’t something massive, something earth-shattering, something monumental. I’ve not experienced abuse or trauma like others. I don’t have life-threatening diseases like others. I just grew up unhappy, an unhappy childhood with an alcoholic mother who taught me that the world is a fucking struggle, every breath is a struggle, everyone around you wants something from you, and you’ve just got to drink yourself to oblivion to deal with it.
Thankfully I don’t do that. Any more.
This depression destroys things this. It destroys relationships. It has destroyed relationships. It destroys days, whole months, and has sought out to destroy me.
Actually I do have a reason to feel flat. This spinal problem I’ve had is horrendous, but I’m managing it with pain killers until I have surgery and it’s been worse, thanks for asking.
In fact, yesterday I went for a run to dispel the doldrums. I pushed myself harder than normal and felt dead afterwards. Pushing myself meant I’d run further than usual and had to walk the last bit home. 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. No wonder Beyonce doesn’t return my calls. Usually I have a feeling of positivity, elation even, after a run but not yesterday. I just ate Toblerone in secret.
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 spend so long and so much effort trying to be well, that sometimes it’s tiny, inconsequential things which hit me. Yesterday a twat diverted their car so they drove through a puddle and splashed me as I walked home. Annoying right? Enough to make you angry? Sure.
So why did I walk home crying?
Sometimes it’s just the little things.
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. Fuck sake, this morning I shouted at pastry.
It’s hilarious when you see it all written down. I shouted. At pastry! What did I expect, an apology? From wheat?
I know that 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. Besides.
I have a wonderful partner and two amazing stepdaughters. I also have two divine children of my own who are brilliant, smart, remarkable and such 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. I know 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.
Thanks for reading.
If you’re struggling then remember, whatever you’re going through, you can call The Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123.