[WARNING: This is a self-indulgent series of posts in lieu of getting actual help. It’ll probably just be irritating to anyone else]
Hi, I’m Gareth, and I’m depressed.
Just to be clear, this is in no way advice on how to cure your depression. I am firmly in the death-grip of mine, and doubt I’ll ever be free of it. I certainly can’t see any hope of it in the future, no matter how certain parts of my mind try to trick me into daydreaming otherwise.
I’ll still be depressed by the end of this series of posts, so don’t go into it expecting any uplifting stories. In fact, I should probably warn everyone away from going any further anyway. Depression is probably contagious, even just as a meme.
I will offer no hints on how to manage your depression. I’m barely managing mine, so we’re all on our own in that regard.
Yes, there are mental health professionals I should probably urge you to reach out to if you feel the same. I doubt I could do so myself. Mainly because I’ve already run through the scenarios of how such things would probably go. My depression is as much philosophical as based on my personality issues, and pumping me full of medication to stop me thinking is just burying the problem.
I’m functional, and no current danger to others, so don’t see why engaging in a lie would be in any way helpful.
But your circumstances may be different, and if you’re capable of reaching out to others, you probably should.
I live in a rural area, with my mother. (Yes, I’m probably a stereotype, and there’ll be plenty more for you to mock later) I did live away for six years, while working halfway up the country, but moved back after getting thoroughly discouraged with that job, and to help look after the place as my father’s health deteriorated. (I was living in an urban area, so it’s me rather than the rural location that’s responsible for my isolation – although growing up here may have had an influence.)
There’s a reasonable-sized garden, and a chicken run (rough ground) about twice the size. There are currently only six chickens, each functionally having a space as large as the area of the house in which to roam.
Maintaining it is a Sisyphean nightmare, doing my already wrecked body in to keep it under control for little reason beyond being able to reach the fence to repair it should a fox get in.
And that’s without mentioning the bloody snakes. A growing population of adders and grass snakes in recent years, and I don’t usually linger long enough to identify which. They get into the chicken run, and the garden, and it’s only a matter of time until there’s one in the house. It’s a constant source of anxiety during hot weather, and even in winter I dread it getting warm again.
The closest I’ve come to one was opening the compost bin. One had taken up residence in a full bin, and was actually ensconced in the rim around the lid. So when I lift it off, the snake slips down. Fortunately I still had it held over the bin, so it didn’t fall on my feet. I now knock a couple of times on the lid and wait a few moments before opening.
The work is mainly in the dryer and warmer weather, but I doubt I’d be able to hold down a job and help maintain the place. Not without abandoning writing, and totally crushing what little remains of my soul.
Writing is probably the only thing that’s held off a psychotic break so far, and if I didn’t have that I’d be in far worse shape by now. Or possibly just dead.
It’s not as though I have any actual social life to distract me from being stuck inside my head.
I’ve never been good communicating with people. My main problem is initiating communications, probably an inferiority complex over why would anyone be remotely interested in anything I have to say. I’m also not that good at responding. By now I’m so out of practice that I’ll answer honestly rather than use the polite pleasantries required for social interactions.
I haven’t really had any friends since school, and seem unable to connect with people. A few kind of connections over the internet, but to me they never feel the same.
As time goes on I find myself increasingly anxious whenever I have to go anywhere, and I’m becoming more isolated from the world as a result.
The only future I see is an increasingly narrow one defined by family obligation.
I’m never good at travelling. At enjoying the journey. At living in the moment. My mind always goes ahead to what’s next, and after that, and that ultimately leads to only one place. It’s not something that I can stop doing without stopping thinking, and it probably prevents me doing much of anything.