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.

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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.