you can have fun 2moro, I need you today

Ive always thought this and wondered if I will ever meet anyone who understands where I come across with this. But I find this topic fascinating and overwhelmingly dissapointing at the same time. Is what constitutes needing someone? And when does that line get crossed?

I always find it difficult to express this, but I firmly believe that the principle is right, and we as human beings maybe need to recognise it. What i am referring to is, at what point does someone need to reach where one can understand that the situation needs drastic, and emergency action and that they need someone to be there. Its abit like this weekend, where I have been trying to get medication for my depression and find that the nhs cant help me unless my life is at risk? does that mean to suggest im not worth caring about unless I am suicidal? does that mean the fact that I hurt and struggle and feel lonely everyday that I am struggling to survive-is that not an emergency? just because I am not actively trying to end my life, doesnt mean I dont often wish it to end  with what i am going through. is that not worth helping? do i just deal with it? because the mere fact im asking for help, is I cant.

And this concept of being there for someone is interesting, because it is very often given to the person helping to decide what help the person needing it gets. And I very often think, when for example one says, well Im needing to sit with my family and they might need me, that I think, but in this criteria, when someone you say you love and support, needs you to be there and asks you to help, who is the one most in danger? who is the one that isnt safe? because ok your family might need you 2moro, but the one that needs you needs you now. not 2moro, not next week, now. and what if something happens and you weren’t there, if I was playing devils advocate? the first thing most people say in that sense is, I wish i was there. why cant you be? or more likely why werent you?

because under that criteria, anyone outside a circle theyve created that needs help, is overruled by someone who right now, this second, doesnt need any help at all and is safe, so all your energy your putting in someone that doesnt need it.   And that then means the only thing stopping them is that it must mean they must not love the needy person enough or care enough to leave their own safe zone. is that not a fair thing to think? but if you do need someone, its because you have no safe zone, and you are trying to find one by going to someone who makes the situation safer and better and you trust and most likely love. Which if you believe in the principle of loving and caring, is the right thing to do. arent we meant to ask for help? aren’t we meant to break down and need picking up?

Or another way of looking at it, is people then look at you and say you have to get through this yourself? but what if you have tried everything? what if you tried everything you can to be better? and ok , I might be alive 2moro, but I’m dying today, so is that ok to know and do nothing about?? and under that purpose we would never need anyone in our life. because under that basis, we need to be strong enough that we can never ask someone to be there or be needed? whoever thinks that is being unrealistic, and in essence lying. is it better to be fake?

I ask you this as an aside, how do we make relationships meaningful? isnt it through being there through whatever it may be?

Having helped people and gotten help like this, the best most effective form of help ive seen and gave, is rapid and quick and reactionary and instant, and if you think about it, If I said to you that I was hurting, I was Struggling, I was unsure, afraid and needed you, and i loved you, and you know I did, what would you want me to do if that was you? you’d want me to come and you’d want me to be there, right that second. And I dont see how people dont see that, if you help with that amount of power by going round, being there, consoling,as it happens, when its happening, it would take less time to help them in the future, and they would most likely get better quicker. So even if you think ill help them alittle bit at a time when I can, its nowhere near as effective, as meaningful, as helpful, and a better connection to a human being than helping with the problem now. And it doesnt treat them asking you that they need you as seriously as it should be.

If i ever had a family, and this is the crucial bit, and my best friend said to me, Steven, I am struggling today, and I could really do with your help, so i need you be here and then i decided to stay in cos my wife might need me, then Ive married the wrong person, cos she would know i value everyone I love with the same understanding and know how serious i would treat that. so if there wasnt a crisis in my house, i would know that I would be needed in a crisis that is real right now outside of it, and all they would need to do is ask me and tell me, and I can make the most difference by going now not 2moro. Cos they might not need me 2moro, but if we aren’t there for each other at the most crucial of times, whats the point in being friends, whats the point in relationships. whats the point in being needed?

I can understand as well the premise some people have of rather having just people in there lives who are always happy, and keep their problems to themselves, but would life ultimately mean as much if you arent there for the bad stuff as well? think about the best thing youve ever done for someone, it would most likely be when you were there for someone because WE DONT NEED SOMEONE ALL THE TIME. yet when anyone does need someone, its suddenly so difficult to do, which is why it means something, the hardest things in life are worth doing the most, and we can have  million great time, good times, fun times, but to get truely close to someone, you need to be there for the bad. and when it happens, because this isnt said enough, but helping someone is never convenient, but neither is the pain that person goes through. that doesnt make it a reason.

i guess we are growing up in a world, where the easier option or the more instant gratification is better. ive never been more disappointed in humans. i thought we could be better at this. but maybe, I wont be loved enough for this to happen. who knows?

because you can always have fun 2moro, but i need you today, and not soon, or later, now.

 

 

 

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Depression lies part 2: manic depression/ why sharing is everything

I recently put up a new vlog where I talked about my battles with manic depression and how I hope that it would help anyone who feels anything like I do get the help they need and some comfort that that someone also feels like they do. heres the link!

I have been feeling  over the last few weeks very lonely and finding life in general difficult so many ask me why go through the struggle of doing something like this. the honest answer is I want to make a difference, and as I have been saying in twitter conversations there is people in this world that I love that do not understand what i go through and the only way we can get better at this is through being open, so it gives people the chance to understand more and help.

So i hope this helps you, or someone you know, and tell me if it does as some already have and it means the world to me just to tell someone that we do not have to fight this alone anymore, i certainly am sick of it!

your friend

Steven

Sometimes you can only try your best…

Its kind of funny sometimes how life works isn’t it? Even when you plan for time off thinking ‘right I’m going to do my best work and be productive and be awesome and the best I can be’ , it isn’t always how its works out.

Because I really am finding life at this moment of time not funny at all, which anyone that knows me knows that I try often to be in situations where I can laugh, ideally with friends or people I love to be around. I also should be happy in that something i.e. my web series that I spent A year and a half working on has finally been recorded and worked on with people I like and respect. I should be happy that I have been hired to run a geek night where I get to teach games and do a live Geek Apocalypse Podcast which I have wanted to do since I started the podcast.  I should be happy that ever single penny of what I have earned has been through hardwork and trying to do things that I want to do. I should be happy…..yet I’m not.

Which is because I am depressed, and depression does not give a fuck what you are doing ,it decides to unpack its bags and settle down right outside your front door. In all honestly, I have spent the last few days feeling so ungrateful and unproductive. I woke up on Sunday having finished recording the web series and I felt….unfulfilled. Now I am sure that your shouting, ‘but the fulfilment is coming Steven!’ and your right, but I expected to feel like I was happy with what I was doing. But in context I was feeling weird the last two weeks and was steadily getting worse to the point where I am crying more than laughing every day. Which is obviously bizarre but something I am used to.

Its a terrible feeling because a lot of the time you feel so self conscious and I am spending my time with people thinking ‘I am so not fun right now’ and to be honest, I am not really very fun at all right now. Now, if I put things into perspective, which is very hard to do while depressed, I could be affected by personal things like, my mam having a cancer scare, and my aunti’s going through a difficult time.  but to be honest, as difficult as those situations are, I feel I have dealt with them pretty well considering how trying it’s been for me, because for me, its easier being strong for others more than for myself as its more difficult for them than me in that situation.

Everytime I feel this way though, the honest truth is, the thing that’s difficult for me more than anything is, is this loneliness I feel 99% of the time. I understand completely that I am not alone in this, but I guess I mean, their is always so much responsibility on my shoulders that a lot of the time i have to be the strong one, so in a sense I cant be the one that cries all the time. Yet, due to my depression I sadly am one of those people who needs to feel loved and appreciated more when I feel that I can’t even look into people eyes due to feeling totally unimportant.I guess I feel that because, I very often see people I know, married or with someone, that will go to the end of the earth for their partner or lover or spouse or family, and I always get hit with the feeling that, I wish someone fought for me, for once, just so I can take a break and feel the love they get to feel every single day. I guess that’s what I mean by feeling lonely. I can not imagine having someone fight for you and listen to you everyday with the view to helping you anyway they can. and just listen, hug you…. just cos you need a hug. I’m not saying one sided cos like I say I have a lot of responsibility and I’m used to giving, but just…saying ‘I’m here for you, whenever you need me cos you matter’. The irony is I can’t afford therapy so i have no real way of talking this through, and a therapist as helpful as they are, are not personally attached.

But the reason why I started this blog by saying, isnt life funny? It never goes the way you want it to all the time, and I’ll keep trying to get over this, because no matter what day it is, sometimes you can only try your best……and as much as I’m going to struggle, I’ll keep trying.

Confidence and Paranoia-Depression lies

I’ve had this in my drafts folder of my blog for an awfully long time, but I’ve been touched by a recent friend of mine that is going through a lot that I feel this is the time to share this.I don’t share this to put the emphasise on me or to expect sympathy or pity in this regard, I share this because a friend in need thinks they are alone and thinks there is no hope, so I hope by me sharing my experiences and putting my struggles out there encourages people who feel the same way to seek help or find a way to talk to someone about it. Because believe me when I say that this is hard and difficult to say, but If it ultimately helps someone then It is worth doing and I hope that it does with someone. And trust me when I say I should of said this way earlier than now because sharing ultimately is for the better, no mater how hard the subject is.

Its worth pointing out that I am not a doctor, I am just speaking from my own experiences and trying my best to describe the feelings that I experienced at the time that I felt them. Because the most difficult line that everyone has difficulty saying or hearing is….I am depressed. I am a depressed person. Because the first reaction usually is that if your the depressed person, you think your life is over, or you don’t know what it really means or even worse you are not even aware you have it.  Also, what do you do if your the one being told by the depressed person? you’ll most likely feel helpless to help, and sometimes don’t know how to help someone in that condition because you too don’t feel capable.

To me that is a crucial and important point. I am often hearing people say ‘I don’t understand’ or ‘I do not feel capable’ and it makes me concerned that the solution to certain people with depression is ‘it will pass’ or ‘lets do nothing about it’ which is not a solution at all -to anything never mind depression. If you are a depressed person you can do something about it but it is having the knowledge to help yourself in the right way and the best way. For Example, if your want time to yourself when your sad, that is perfectly normal, but if all you are doing is spending time alone,feeling lost, insecure and unsociable for a longer period of time there is most likely something more going on than anyone is aware of. If you are aware of that, you need to know that you need to make the brave step of telling someone, and most likely getting help by visiting your doctor. Because you are worth something, you are interesting and worth getting to know, you are being told by your poorly brain lies and it needs help getting better. Unfortunately, as I will explain in my experience, a persons first instinct when depressed is to hide, because they are ashamed and embarrassed of what people will think of them. Hopefully anyone reading this that does think they know someone depressed recognises this and tries to help them, because you can help a depressed person, by simply letting them know that you are there as they will need you at some point. The key is it is not their fault and they will get better with help as you will now read through my experience.

All I can say with complete confidence is that I am a depressed person. It was only when I started getting therapy sessions that I realised how depressed I am, and will be for the rest of my life. My first recollection during these sessions was going back to seeing myself growing up feeling utter rage and energy that was very difficult to handle. It would start in my gut and build and build and build until I tried anything that I could to let it loose and try and get under control without anyone noticing. What I was also aware of is how fast my mind works or how slow the world around me felt and feels still to this day. Everything around me just seemed so unbelievably slow and whenever I would listen I’d be around 5 thoughts ahead of my own thoughts. To give an example, Id say ‘how are you?’ Then id be thinking ‘I’m good, well not really but best be polite, wow they look nice, better than me, oh god I hate this, I want this to end they hate me’ by the time they said ‘I’m good thanks’. And I was finding it completely unbearable to control. And I would say this was from around 8 years old, with the odd memory before that feeling the same way.

One of the worst times I ever felt this way was the time I finally got diagnosed with my condition. I was getting angrier and more irritable, and my brain kept telling me that life is just a total disappointment. I got some sort of release by writing songs, I have written something like 3000 songs since I was about 14 and I put about 200 of them on my wall as each individual incident and memory to look at. But that stopped working after a while, because as it gets worse and worse you cant find the words to say what your suffering any more. And to be totally honest, I stopped hanging out with my entire social circle because of that. It wasn’t because they didn’t care, I just took myself out of every possibility that someone would find out about my horrible secret. The hardest bit to talk about is that I spent every single day and every single second wanting to die. I cant say it any other way to make it any clearer or as poignant. I had a plan that I thought out every Inch and detail on how I would do it. Nothing was interesting, I stopped looking after myself more than usual and I stopped being productive. I just did not think that anyone would understand what I was going through and It was never I can honestly say a cry for help. Because I hadn’t told anyone. The first help I got was a total accident. I sat in a history lesson ( I remember every detail) and I resented everything that moved. And something that had never happened throughout my struggles was that I cried. Uncontrollably. I asked to be excused and never went back. Was is hard to admit but true is that I really did this next bit because I was so embarrassed that I went to my form tutor upstairs to tell her something, anything to get out of school. To her credit, She knew that I was trying desperately to not reveal anything and just exploded with fear and crying my eyes out that she took me straight to get an emergency appointment. Now what I am ashamed to say is that I even considered not going in to the appointment. But I still treated it half heartedly cos I kept thinking ‘doesn’t matter because I can go home and will myself to take my own life’. As difficult as it is to say it is the truth. The GP gave me some medication and I got some sort of release for a limited time. But I was getting very little support and very little help because I wasn’t telling people the truth or giving people the opportunity to help me. But as the title of this blog says, depression lies , tells you things that does not speak the truth but its all you ever hear and it wont let you have a seconds rest telling you your shit, worthless, and no one cares and you shouldnt try with anyone or anything anymore. But its not the truth, and you can beat it. The hard part is admitting that you need help. The rest will come I promise you.

My second confession is my worst episode in my life. I started getting worse, What people don’t know is that I got special consideration to go to university because my work was suffering. The last thing I wanted to was to pick up a pen other than writing that dreaded word ‘depressing’ songs over and over again. The same thing happened at university at first year, in that my work and life suffered and I started drinking and smoking. I was trying so hard to stop thinking the way I felt, lonely, tired, bored, uninterested and uninteresting to others. I was trying to find a way to not live. Luckily I had a bunch of friends who saw this when I got heavy handed with drink, rage and strange behavior and had a full blown manic episode. I was crying in my kitchen and scared to look at anything and to be brutal I was beginning to self harm. They called the police and the ambulance without my knowledge and I walked out, they wrestled me to the ground and took me straight to hospital. I honestly don’t remember what I thought other than I felt betrayed by my friends (horrible to think I know) but I definitely felt like I had an outer body experience which was later one of a series of manic episodes I had had throughout my life. Its worth noting that these friends don’t speak to me anymore, I wasn’t a nice person throughout this, and I can understand them for choosing that path of not forgiving me,but the fact remains, without their intervention I wouldn’t be here telling my story. What I will say Is its really hard to be grateful and put things in perspective because I was not all there. I refuse to use that as an excuse, its simply the truth that I do not remember a great deal of what I was doing and I felt totally out of control and I apologised after I recovered, thats the least I can do.

The strangest feeling about the whole thing was I remember not caring even when I was escorted into the hospital which I found to be a psychiatric ward and I sat in a room that resembled an interrogation room from a CSI type show. I waited what seemed like days and two guys with white coats came and I found myself saying everything, honestly and as accurately as I could. And the first thing they said was it was amazing how much I recognised what I was going through, which confused me and my response I think gave them all the data that they needed,-‘but I’ve been struggling with this for years’. As they left, the most important moment happened. I looked around my surroundings and I pretended to be in a cop show, which sounds dumb, but what was so crucial was I laughed, and I really meant it. I’d got my sense of humour back and honestly, something as simple as that lasted me the recovery period, I somehow knew the war was beginning to end. I was immediately put with the crisis team who basically look after you for the first amount of weeks essentially they are suicide watch and I began seeing a doctor everyday to be treated. He put me on such strong medication that It knocked me out at night and then they went about getting a therapist to see me who is my therapist to this day. During these sessions and through specialist doctors they diagnosed me as having bipolar disorder, and it was like the puzzle of my life had finally been solved. I wasnt weird, I have an overactive brain, im poorly and I need help. I will need help forever, but I learnt to accept it.

So what now? I currently don’t take any medication and Im pleased to say I have better days than I do bad days, my bad days usually come In clusters where for about a week I really struggle to be motivated to do anything. But I do have extremes of moods that really are difficult to manage, but It really is a case for me now to say I know what this is and try to manage each episode as it comes. Anyone thats seen stephen fry’s documentary will know that I do get the other side, massive europhia moments where I am literally on cloud nine. Unfortunately they come so sparingly that its hard to wait for. But just like in the documentary, I too wouldn’t press the button to stop being bipolar if I had the choice. Because the high moments are moments you wish you could give anyone, and are better than any drug.

I believe in telling the truth, cos lies just like what depression tells us does not help anyone, so truthfully I struggle and its a battle I may not win and that’s something I know since I first got told. A high percentage of bipolar sufferers unfortunately do commit suicide and I hope that I do not take that road. But truthfully, as of today like most days, I thought about how convenient it would be if a car accidentally hit me. Death would be fine. Luckily I feel better just in writing about this, writing for me is a therapy no question and in most cases can calm me down a notch. The reason I say that is I am here, I am beating the statistics, so if you have any form of mental health, you can beat it with the right help.

But there is help out there, practical help. I know if I need to go to my therapist I will go there and I will talk to her about things. Or if I need medication I will consider going back on them, I realise sometimes I need that help to get there and I have no issues going on them if it all gets too much. They saved my life more than once so I know it will help. The thing that I wish would help with depression, is that there is such a stigma and lack of understanding involved, and all the proof that I need to show is this lack of knowledge nearly killed me, cos I had no idea what I was going through. The problem is in a general sense that far too many people misunderstand what depression is. Maybe they should change the name of it because it is often associated with the natural process of feeling down. But if you have lost your job, accidentally set your house on fire, are annoyed at your partner for a legit reason, then you naturally will feel down and upset. Depression is when it is unnatural, when you have the perfect relationship and just got a pay rise and still feel like jumping off the nearest bridge. Obviously the spectrum is fairly wide, but unfortunately, it is far easier and cheaper to give people medication then do therapy and get to the root of the problem. Like I said at the beginning I am not a doctor, and its really difficult to diagnose, but if we all know more, by having being more informed we can make a better judgement surely?

Its a bit like seeing someone with a broken leg, if they are struggling, if your a good person you’d hold a door open for them. just because depression or mental health is internal, just because its our brain that’s broken, why should it be any different?

And as I said earlier, if you think someone is in danger, or feels anything like I have said, please do something about it, they will thank you for it if they are one of the lucky ones that get better. I hear far too many people say to others ‘you will never understand’ and that worries me, because I’m one that does know a bit about it, and I hope even in small way, I’ve helped by reaching out and telling my story, It has really been difficult for me to, but I hope it is worth it and helps someone realise they are not alone and you can cope with your condition. People have said to me this is brave, but this is not brave, being brave is being open and honest to say ‘I need help’. It gets easier from then on in , believe me. I hope you take the leap.

Because I noticed recently, its been 8 years since I got diagnosed this month, and I really am grateful to be here, cos I shouldn’t be.

Depression lies, so lets be honest and tell the truth…because it ultimately is for the better of everyone.

Your friend

Steven Hesse