Sunday, 2 August 2009

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you're a f****** idiot.

Isn't that how the saying goes? I never paid much attention. It always got the same reaction as 'Chin up love' or 'Pull yourself together.' If I knew how to pull myself together, don't you think I would? Utter bloody contempt.

Has anyone else experienced it? That darkness; so deep one could believe they're blind. Once you've been into The Darkness, you're more susceptible to it. It's like poison. It remains undetected, coursing through veins and vessels when suddenly it attacks and once again you're at its mercy. You don't know when it will strike but its cloud is hovering. A black threat in the distance.

Depression is a serious illness. I know the depths Darkness can reach. It isn't pretty. What surprised me was how little people realise this; how flippant they can be. 'Oh she's depressed? Nothing a bit of fresh air and sunshine can't fix!'

Erm. NO. When you're depressed, air is a stale evil. Hurts to breathe. Sunshine burns every layer of flesh yet never pierces one's soul; it's too bright for one's eyes. All you want to do is shimmy under the duvet and let sleep win over. Let the Darkness in.

Then come the tears. Standing at a bus stop, sitting in class, at work, when that bitter salty taste reaches your lips. Crying and you didn't realise. Numbness a result of depression's destructive path.

Somedays it feels like it's brewing again. The light is slowly fading, shadows contort my face and I'm bracing myself to be immersed. It's like I can feel its pulse; the sadder I feel the louder it gets. I call them 'those days.' I want the sun to shine but on 'those days,' the sun doesn't have the time.

Sadly, I'm not a lone sufferer. Research suggests that depression is on the rise and even more worryingly, left undiagnosed by GPs. Why? Apart from lacking a cure for depression, the main reason is shame. When one feels embarrassed for the loss of their emotional state, their deficient grasp on their life, one doesn't want to admit it. Owning up to losing control? Not on your life.

This is where we're going wrong. People should confess. Go to the GP. See a therapist. Whatever it takes for The Darkness to fade. Do it and be proud. If anything, at least you're gaining back some control.

And if anyone tells you to 'pull yourself together' feel free to punch them in the face. And once from me too...


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  2. This pretty much describes the fog of depression. Oh and I hate to be told to just "pull myself up by my bootstraps!" As if it were that easy. I have had mental illness all my life and have tried to educate the people I love about it's effects as they have seen me suffer beyond reason. People do need to get help for depression instead of wishing it away because it doesn't quite work that way. The only problem I have is having been on just about every anti-depressant & anti-psychotic and not improving. I do intend to take your advice and start punching ppl in the face when they make stupid comments and when they ask why I will simply let them know that Lou said it was okay to do it, lol.

    Please check out my blog for more on depression, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Plenty of personal experience describing the hospitalization process too...



  3. I bow to you for your courage to admit it and write about it. Too many people live either in silent shame or deny it in public. I will punch a few for you.

  4. Thanks for all the great comments. I wrote this on Sunday and didn't post it until Monday (although the date on here doesn't add up!) because i was so hesitant. I wasn't sure if people would roll their eyes and think i was an idiot. Then i realised that is exactly what i'm moaning about- not having the courage to tell people what i am and what has happened to me. So here it is. I'm really pleased it's received a good response and if it helps one person go seek help- amazing. I'm delighted.

    Nat: I'm so pleased that my post has made you see that it's okay to go see a Doc. There's no shame in admiting that. Go for it.

    Just Me: I hope you continue to do everything you can in your stuggle to get better. It may not seem like it now but one day it will suddenly feel a lot better. That day will come, and when you least expect. Keep thinking of that day. Remember, there is always hope. ALWAYS.

    Libertine: Thanks for the lovely comment and yes, go punch all those 'pull yourself together' idiots! hehe :)


  5. Thanks for posting this Lou, you did a great job of describing the creep and the lingering susceptibility once you have experienced a depressive episode. I agree that there should be no shame but alas and sadly there is. Getting help, however a person finds it, is a show of strength and ultimately evidence of a core optimism that things can be better than they are.

  6. Ava: RE the getting help and having that optimism; I couldn't have said it better myself!

  7. I can't say I would punch someone in the face, I'm a pacifist. Fortunately, I don't have people in my life telling me to put my chin up. Anyone who does care about you wouldn't be so bland and pathetic. Those people I refuse to associate with. =]

  8. Chase: the punching in the face is meant as a joke! People take things too literally sometimes, i have to be careful. I am not so crass that i would actually do that, unless they really deserve it.


  9. I'd cling to "a power greater than yourself" and let go of all the fears. after all 99 percent of all the worries and fears never really happen. its only a suggestion from a dumb person like me. i might have been depressed before but it was the alcohol abuse that did it. after 9 years of getting rid of that stuff, i don't think that creeping darkness had no space in the brightness of the day.

  10. Hi Lou,

    Thank you for taking a look at my blog but more importantly thank you for your words of sympathy and support - that was very kind of you and I really appreciate it.

    Good luck in taking part in the race for life, although I'm sure you won't need it!


  11. Pretty much how I feel most days. You made it very clear. I have some struggles in that area myself that I am voicing in my blog. I just need to get those feelings out. Maybe it's too dark for people to want to read.
    My Blog:


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