Attempt #1

I see you, do you see me?

I’ve been trying to get your attention all day.

I need you to know me, and I need to know you

But I close the curtain and let you see what I choose.

 

My greatest fear is isolation,

Yet, its this fear that I’m causing by hiding.

I’ve opened myself up to others,

and have been hurt.

Should I let those who hurt me dictate who I should trust?

 

I know that I’m not alone,

But it doesn’t stop me from feeling it.

I feel like the colour orange in a monochrome image,

It’s beautiful, but doesn’t fit in.

 

I’m angry too,

At the past, at those who hurt me, and myself.

I want to let go and move on,

But I seem to get more stuck, the more I attempt to get free.

 

Why does life have to be like this?

Will I end up stronger?

Is it worth enduring?

 

 

Do you even know me?

I don’t think that anyone does. I barely know myself. It’s difficult to explain what I feel. I’m a positive person by nature, and so many times I down play my depression. The problem is that it affects my partner. Outwardly, I seem fine to all my peers at work. Many of them confide in me because of how ‘positive’ I am.

The reality is that they only know Jekyll, whilst I live Mr Hyde.

I feel like I need to pretend. If I want to be accepted, I need to be Jekyll not Hyde. I want to be a nice person, I desire to help others and outwardly I do much of the time. In my thoughts though, I’m spiteful, vengeful and vindictive. I feel so misunderstood. I’m to blame, I know. I’m only showing everyone one side of who I am. How could I expect them to know anything else?

I think I’m too afraid to let them know who I really am. Am I, who I think I am? Who am I even? The person everyone sees? Or the person looking at everyone?

How could I expect you to know me, if I don’t even know myself?

She told me that she probably has cancer

Over the past few weeks I’ve done various of those online personality tests. A few weeks back I started with the innocent, “Am I bipolar”. I’ve done the test before with a doctor and the answer was a resounding ‘No’. But I needed to do it again, maybe there was something the doctor missed out on. I’ve been on meds for a few years now, surely my mood swings would have cleared up?

A few days ago I took this to a whole next level, I searched, “Am I a sociopath”. I think its because I feel to a large degree that I resonate with the character Dexter Morgan. I feel like I spend much of my life pretending to be normal, Dexter said it perfectly, “Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that I am not the only one pretending to be normal.”

”Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that I am not the only one pretending to be normal.”- Dexter

Dexter had something dark inside of him, something that he had to hide. I feel the same. Where he contemplated violent murder, I contemplate absolute darkness. Darkness that I cannot show, darkness turned internal.

My mother phoned me today and told me that she probably has cancer. To those who know, I pretended like it hurt me, I pretended to respond like a normal person would. Inside, I feel absolutely nothing. To take it to the next level, had someone phoned me and said that she had died, I would have felt absolutely nothing.

Surely there’s something wrong there? My mother told me that she probably has cancer, and I (her child) felt absolutely nothing. Sure, she has hurt me tremendously (I’ll get to that in another post) but surely I should feel something? Yes, it could be a protection mechanism, it most probably is.

The truth is that I feel like this about many things. There aren’t many things which cause me to feel anything.

I guess that’s the reason why I’m writing this all out. Is so that I can communicate how I actually feel about it all.

Death Smiles at us all

I was playing around with potentially calling this blog, “All a man can do is smile back”. But on second thought it was quite morbid. The reference obviously being the quote in Gladiator.

The problem with my depression is that I’m prone to thinking really dark things about myself. I’m not bipolar, I’ve checked and been tested. But I do have times where I feel elated and awesome, only to find myself in the depths of depression only a few hours later.

I’ve been tempted to surrender to despair many times. Even neglecting to take medicine at times. It’s almost as if I find death appealing. I think that part that I desire is to be rid of feeling like I do. I wish that I wasn’t as messed up as I am. 

In the darkest moments I contemplate where it would be easiest to end it all. Honestly, if it weren’t for my wife and the people that I know love me, I’d have done it long ago. I think that we really need to consider the people that love us, we should never believe that we are unloveable or that no-one cares about us. Perhaps we should even pre-empt the thoughts about death by building our lives into the lives of people around us. Although its the most difficult thing to do in the moment, and when everything seems absolutely dark, I think that we really need to invest in spending time with people, allowing them to love us. So that when thoughts about suicide plague us, we won’t follow through because of the people that we love. I guess it starts with trying to find the right people. When it comes to where you can do that, I’m not sure. All I know is that you won’t find them in clubs or at parties.

The first part of that quote is, “Death smiles at us all”, the second is, “All a man can do is smile back”.

I don’t agree with it. There’s a lot more that we can and should do. Depression is a disease, if we just smile back at it, the smile will only last so long. We need to be proactive.

If you are contemplating suicide you need to:

  • Immediately go to a doctor like I did and allow them to evaluate your situation and potentially put you on medication
  • Contact a suicide hotline and seek guidance there
  • Contact good friends and let them know where you are at
  • Be honest when people ask you how you are.
  • Definitely don’t give these thoughts airtime in your mind, don’t entertain them. I know that this is extremely difficult in the moment (trust me, I know) just do your best to stop thinking about it.
  • Don’t go on Facebook and compare yourself to everyone else on it. Personally, I deleted my Facebook account 2 years ago because I hated how fake it all seemed (but I’ll probably write a post about it).

If the only thing you do is smile.. Depression will absolutely kick you in the face.

I’m going to be completely honest

I’ve started writing for blogs many times. This post is usually the most difficult.

I’m not a great writer, I’d much rather sit with you and have some coffee. But I have a feeling that through you reading what I’m writing, some healing may occur. Yes, we’ll laugh at the times that we both know that I’ve done crazy things. Things that, at the time seemed completely normal for me.

What I promise is that I’ll be completely honest. I won’t cover up and pretend that I’ve been completely cool, when I haven’t. I struggle with depression, so I have some great times and some really low times. Something I guess you can relate to, seeing that you started reading this blog.

I’m also quite an extraverted hopeful person, this could be because of co-dependancy issues, or it could be that it’s who I really am.

I want to write about this journey that I’ve had and am currently going through, as a record that might help. I remember John Watson’s psychologist in ‘Sherlock’ recommending that he start a blog so that he could write about his feelings, and I must admit, that I’ve been largely inspired by that.

The name of the blog, hopeful hopelessness is something that I think that characterises me on the good days, it’s something that I strive towards. When the depression over takes me, I would love to still have an element of hope in me. Sometimes I do, sometimes clearly not. But it’s something that I want to achieve. It’s also something that I think will be helpful for all who might ever read this blog.

Many times I pretend to be okay, because I need to. My job requires that I’m positive, if I stop being positive, then I’ll most likely lose my job.

You can contact me via this blog and I promise to respond, but for the time being I feel like I need to be able to write with absolute transparency things that might jeopardise my career, thoughts I’ve felt about my co-workers and so I’m going to need to keep myself safe.