The Big D

The big “D”. Depression. Maybe not what you thought… naughty!

There, I’ve written it. I’ve also just said it.

I’ve become more and more thoughtful about how my mind is actually processing day to day life. I’m also ashamed to admit that I built up such a stigma about mental health and being depressed, that it has taken me over 4 years to admit it. Quite simply put, I was a stubborn sod, who refused the admit that a person like me would actually have depression. What do I, have to be depressed about!?

Thinking about it though, my brain was actually quite clever. It’s stamped out, spun around negativity and refused to accept that I’m not myself – what ever that is! It’s clever because I know I want to be happy and my first way of dealing with unhappy feelings is to refuse to acknowledge they’re there.

I have a wonderful group of family, friends, a steady job, a house and car, so why am I in such a rut? Why, have I chosen to limit conversation, socialise and alienate myself from a wonderful group of people. Why, am I not enjoying my job? Why, do I hate the house I’ve spent 4 years renovating with my partner? Why, am I not like other, happy people? The list goes on but, stick with me. I’m determined.

Writing this down I can actually see that the reason I’m not myself, is because I’m not giving myself a chance too.

Today, I’ve taken my first sick day due to depression. This would’nt have happened before. Will doesn’t do sick days. Will thinks taking sick leave is weak, lazy and a complete waste of time. Although, look who’s sitting in bed, admitting that taking a day is needed and acknowledging that this is important. Important, I know! If I was reading this 2, 3 or 4 years ago, my thoughts would literally scold that statement.

I’ve now been on anti depressant medication for 2 months, something which I vowed never to take. Remember, I wasn’t the “type of person who was depressed” – my doctor, a stern, middle class and well brought up lady with a rather marvellous up-do, scorned at this comment. “To be honest, these are going to make you feel worse in the short term but will hopefully make you feel better after 2 weeks”. 2 months in, 2 different types of pills and I feel fucking shite! But, I’m determined.

So, after 4 years of hiding my depression to myself and others, what am I going to do about it?

No, this isn’t a rhetorical question.

Plan A, well to be honest, Plan D (A, B and C didn’t go well).

Stop lying. I don’t want you to all to think I’ve just fed you a pack of lies but, if I’m honest, I haven’t admitted that something is wrong and would never dream about asking for help or even talking about depression. That needs to stop.

If you’ve read this far … Fair play. At this point I grabbed a cuppa and 2 (by 2 I mean 5) chocolate digestives.

Plan D has been going on for 2 months and involves making changes to my job to make sure I actually enjoy and grow in what I do. I’ve applied for over 20 different jobs over the past year and I’m not waving my rejection flag any more. If other people can see I’m not myself then I need to do something about it. I’m determined.

Giving something back. I challenged myself at the start year to raise money for the hospital who cared for my brother after his accident. I miss him every single day, but you can guarantee that Glyn would be rolling around in hysterics at me running a race. Doing this has really helped me deal with not being with him when he passed away.

The last one is the hardest. Stop being self critical. I LOVE being self critical, I push myself to do everything to perfection. What I say, how I look, what I do and how I see myself literally goes from one end of the spectrum to another. Does this sound familiar? How do you deal with it? This one, is where I need you wonderful people, my friends, not to be afraid to pull me up.

So, I’ve accepted it, I’m working on plan D and I feel so much better getting this down. I’m bloody terrified mind. The black dog is out of the bag. But, I’m determined.

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23 thoughts on “The Big D

  1. Miss you babes . If ever you need a chat, I’m here. I’m quite shocked by this but maybe some of it makes sense looking back. Love you xxx

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  2. Well done for admitting you need help to get you through this illness.
    It’s amazing how writing things down helps to get you stronger.
    I don’t know you personally, but I have seen you perform.
    The very best of luck to you on your road to recovery.
    From a fellow sufferer Brenda xxxx

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    • Hi Brenda! Thank you so much for taking the time to read it!

      You’re right, writing it down has really helped me and it’s getting easier to talk about it too.

      The best of luck to you too and let us know if you fancy a chat some time. W x

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  3. Wow, so Will where to start. Firstly I completely see where your coming from and have been there. The worst part is not admitting there is a problem and then secondly not admitting that the problem is still there and every so often rears its ugly head again. I like to ignore it, well I say like( I mean I find it easier) until I get to a point where I am soo deep I know I can’t ignore it anymore. Having to go back and ask for help again, doesn’t sit any easier than the 1st time time I had to ask for help. Your amazing Will and your blog has really hit home. So I will now get my backside back to the doctors and ask for help. You are not alone Will xx

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    • Thanks Kate!

      I had no idea that you were going through a similar situation. It’s mad to think that we just don’t know how others are feeling and I don’t know about you, but I pressured myself into making sure I didn’t show it.

      Although my doctor has been been brilliant I know that I need to change the way I’m thinking. How that’s done I haven’t got a clue but the more I share hopefully the more we can all share and start making a bit more sense!

      W x

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  4. The first step was the biggest and hardest, I believe in you and so should you believe in yourself. Nothing wrong with asking for help, it’s the ones who don’t ask for help that we often end up wishing we “could” of helped. You’re an amazing man who has made lasting memories in my life, if you’ve done that for me imagine what you will do for others xxx

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  5. Well said Will, I can understand everything you’re saying. Depression got hold of me a few years ago now and like you I thought I was being silly. Depression didn’t take hold of strong people like me… Well bloody hell it does !!!
    I try to do some things for charities because I feel giving a little back helps in the short term, but when you go home and you’re Sat there in the dark with a cup of coffee and just the tv light, the buzz has worn off and it hasn’t helped at all.
    Keep pushing forward though Will because you do have wonderful friends who genuinely care….
    If you feel up to it one day call in for a coffee and let our black dogs off their leads xxx

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    • That sounds lush! Let’s make it happen!

      I get the need fora distraction and the need to do something. My mind is playing overtime constantly so when you’ve got time to reflect it never seems quite enough does it?!

      Hope you’re good. W X

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  6. Completely honest account of what it’s like living with depression. I actually got in the car this morning, and went to drive, but just couldn’t. There are definitely better days than others, and yes the tablets take an age to get into your system, and for you/Doctors to find a correct level. It’s never going to be all puppies and roses, but the majority of the time it can be. Admitting it to yourself, family, friends and others is one huge step (it took me years) But I did, I take each day as it comes, and get to recognise the warning signs, adapting work is good. Money doesn’t equal happiness, something I found hard not to agree with, but a change in vocation will certainly shake things up. I suppose for me over the last 6 years, is the realisation that “this is me” like it or lump it.

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  7. Thinking of you beautiful, depression is an awful feeling. You’re a brave guy putting it all down like this. I echo Lindsay and miss you a lot. You know where I am. Lots of love xx

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  8. Well this was a shock to read, but then thinking some more not so much. Depression is something that affects more people than you think or know, some people don’t label it or recognise the signs, by doing so you can deal with things a lot better. Grief is a big part and being too hard on yourself another. Never being satisfied, feeling guilty about the trappings of happiness or success, feeling you’re not good enough all of these things weigh us down. Me telling you you are a lovely person and someone I admire, respect and am proud to know won’t make you any less anxious but knowing you have people who care helps,
    I can identify with every thing you have put out there and do we ever know what’s behind the smiles we show the world. For me it’s grief to a large part, compartmentising feelings in a locked part of my brain, letting them out when no one is around, however sometimes they escape and putting them back in the cage before someone sees is how I think I cope.
    You are a caring soul Mr Summers and if you ever need someone to put you down with a sarcastic comment you know where to turn.

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    • Haha! Why do you think I visit your desk so often?! 😜

      Thanks Ga. That’s really kind and makes the world of difference.

      The sentiments are mutual and it’s always a pick me up when talking to you.

      I don’t know about you but I’m finding grief a weird thing to get my head around. One thing I do know though is that you’re a strong ol’ gent and anyone who has your view on life will go far.

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  9. This has resonated with me so much. I too am with you in the battle, quite literally.

    I have been off work for 3 month. Like you good job, house, car and amazing support, but it got to the point that I couldnt open the front door, let alone step out of it.

    I do now manage to do at least 2 things per day that makes me uncomfortable, Sometimes its as little as walking Boris around the block,

    This has all come about after over 30 yrs of literally putting on my face each morning, with my smile and swallowing all my true feelings and anxieties.

    We can battle together. I look forward to reading your progress both good and bad.

    All the very best darling Will

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    • Thanks Fiona!

      I had no idea lovely.

      It’s great that you have little Borris though to get you out and about. One thing I’m learning is that getting out of he hosie is giving me head space and the time away from home to figure things out.

      Kept it girl! You’re a wonderful lady and when ever we’ve chatted I know that it’s genuine and not a face with a smile.

      Let me know how you’re getting on xxxxx

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  10. It can happen to anyone. Even the ones who look strong on the outside, who laugh and joke, continue like they have no care in the world and it hits you in different ways. It can change people but what I found is that the people who really know you, who love you are there for you even though you may think not. keep in there, you be surprised how many people around might be going through similar things, if not the same but they just don’t say or look like there is something wrong. Hugs x

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  11. Reblogged this on These Girls Do and commented:
    We’re into sports and we’re into fitness, but we’re also into well-being and mental health is an enormously important part of that. The Big D is a new blog by a close friend who shares his experiences of depression. We think it’s fantastically well written and opens up an important conversation that we should all be comfortable having. Give it a read and let us know your thoughts!

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