Tag: depression

Being open and honest in dark times…

I wrote a few weeks ago about being very very down and living through very dark moments. Although at the time of writing that post I didn’t express how truly dark those days were, but at the time I was considering ending it. Now, before I continue, I have NO point of life I can place this on, and really there is no rhyme or reason for my “black” thoughts, but all the same, they existed, they were real and nothing at that point moved me from this runaway train of thought.

Over the years so many rock icons had taken their lives by hanging, and I thought this to be a horrific, almost barbaric death. Then, this year our dear nephew hanged himself with his “best friend” dog by his side. He was at a point that this course of action seemed logical and to him his only friend was his dog, but even his dog could not chase the demons away. At the time of his death, I thought to myself how could he go through with it? What a terrible way to go. But, yes, there is always a but, in my head during those three or four weeks my thoughts changed and blocked the “how” question to something that now made sense to me. I even thought of exhaust fumes into the car, but my mind kept turning to the thing I thought barbaric and horrific, which at the time made sense.

These thoughts plagued me 24/7. In my dreams and my waking hours. It was monotonous and wore away at me. To me it was like something was daring, tempting, wishing me to follow that rabbit down the hole. Every song I listened to pulled me in the wrong direction and my head followed the trail of breadcrumbs to darker and darker places, like unseen hands relentlessly tugging at me, almost taunting me to the final act.

I can’t say what changed, what brought me back to a “sensible” train of thought, although still my head “goes west” but so far without the need for finality, however, it is still dark.

A week or so after writing that post I was wondering about the house and garden aimlessly and Mazikeen came to me wanting to play. Of course, I played with her and her ball and eventually, I sat in the arbour and she sat with me. She was leaning on me just staring at me with nothing but love in her eyes, and maybe the thought of a biscuit. I sat looking at her, holding her and asked knowing I was never going to get a spoken answer “will you miss me if I go? I need you to look after your dad for me!” She is a dog, indeed a very intelligent dog, but all the same, a dog, and I never expected an answer. She looked at me in the eyes, maybe sensing my turmoil, without breaking eye contact moved over to my knee and literally hugged me and gently licked me like she was giving me kisses of support, and maybe even telling me she would miss me. I have no idea what she was thinking but it was a gesture that unknown to me at the time made a big difference. Later that evening Harper did the same. Harper is a hugger, but again this probably made a difference.

Maybe that was what I needed. Maybe my girls really knew where my head was and formed a plan between themselves to help, or maybe they were being themselves and that was my point of return, a push in the right direction. Do not get me wrong, M knew I was in a dark place, but, I did what I always do, and pushed him back, told him to “leave it”, “don’t push it” and I am sure many other damning comments. Not that I wanted to hurt M, but I am someone that needs to deal with things on my own, and anyone trying to help gets pushed away. Not ideal, but I do not know any other way. I grew up with a hateful father who thought with his fists and “boys DO NOT cry” and the notion that emotions are weak. This is something I cannot change in myself even though I know it is self-destructive. I am over half a century old and old dogs don’t learn new tricks no matter what people believe.

Whilst in that frame of mind, the so-called sense is buried out of reach and dark thoughts emerge as sensible courses of action. Maybe my girls understood and their actions were just enough to pull me through, or maybe my head sorted itself out? I don’t know, and honestly, I’ll never know. I am still not right, but the edge of the precipice seems a little further away today.

One of the many songs I turn to when I’m down is “Hope there’s someone” by Antony and the Johnson’s. It is a beautiful song by a beautiful person.

A Little Bit Off…

Forgive me, this post may wander/ramble or be a bit all over the place.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been “a little bit off”, I don’t know why, and as the song says “I cannot put my finger on it”. One day I was my happy and carefree self, then the clouds came over and my mood went south and kept on in that direction for the duration. Many dark thoughts went through my head, dark thoughts that seemed rational at the time, but I could not talk about them. Talking is not something I do, never have, and I doubt I ever will. This I blame my father for as it was beaten into me that boys don’t cry, boys don’t express feeling, boys should go about fighting and beating up the gays. (The Irony of being a gay 51-year-old man whose father does not know he is gay as I have not seen him since I was a teen, also he lives somewhere in Europe.)

M has tried to get me to talk, but he knows not to push me as that has the complete opposite effect and being honest I tend to clam up anyway, so when asked if I am okay I just nod and stay quiet. I cannot explain why I clam up and find it so hard to talk and express myself. The whole thing is very uncomfortable and rather than go through the motions I would rather just close down, shut out the world and live in my own head. Even writing this is tough, not in an emotional way, but hard to put words on the screen. I have meant to write something over the past week or so in the hope that it starts to pull me back out of my slump, but, the voice in my head spouted negativity and piles on more dark thoughts and I finally decided the voice was right and agreed with it’s “who really wants to read this crap, no one cares”. Now, I am not looking for anyone to say anything, either way, I just decided it was time to let my fingers do the talking as it were.

Churchill famously called his depression his “Black Dog” and I understand why because it feels like it’s a physical thing. I have no name or point of reference for my “low mood” but it does feel like a dark oppressive cloud over me. M also refers to his clinical depression as his black dog from time to time. M has been diagnosed with depression, however, back in 2013 my GP gave me some antidepressants for a month as I was having a bad time at work and she labelled mine as “low mood”. I didn’t take the tablets as I am not a tablet taking person, even when I was given meds for my heart, foolish maybe, but that was my decision.

We all experience down days, and it usually is just that, a down day. This time felt different, but I cannot put into words why it was different. Even the dogs got to me, Maz jumping up at me and Harper not listening kept sending me over the edge and I had to sit in the garden on my own to try and sort myself out. Not that it worked all that well, but it did take an edge off my frustration and calmed me slightly. Again, as to why this was bothering me I will never know. Maz has always jumped up at me and Harper never listens, but that day I could feel myself falling over the edge of a precipice.

I have just read over the post so far, and I can see I am not really talking about things properly, just skirting about things, and I cannot go any further, it seems my head will not let me, and this is the same when talking, however, talking comes with a mental and dare I say it a physical muteness.

One thing that has come out of this dark patch is that I admitted to M that all the scars on my arms were self-inflicted from when I was a young teen, he knew deep down, but I had never mentioned them, and now the sun is out they are showing quite a bit, usually, I tend to burn and that hides them. I guess this is positive, even though my ramblings here have not exactly been groundbreaking, but it is a start. I don’t know where my head will end up or even if my current mood will change, but today I feel a little bit happier, fingers crossed I am on the up.

“A Little Bit Off” by Five Finger Death Punch resonated with me and I have therefore shared both the video and the lyrics.

I’m a little bit off today, something down inside me’s different
Woke up a little off today, I can tell that something’s wrong
I’m a little thrown off today, there’s something going on inside me
I’m a little bit off today, a little bit off today
(I’m a little bit off today, a little bit off)
See, I’m a little bit off today, I cannot put my finger on it
Got up a little off today, just to play that same old song
I don’t really wanna try today, I see nothing in my reflection
I’m a little bit dry today, feel like I could die today

Feel like I could die today

Hey yeah, hey yeah
Hey yeah, don’t ya know? (I’m a little bit off)
Hey yeah, hey yeah
Hey, you gotta let it go (I’m a little, just a little bit off)

I’m a little pissed off today and there ain’t nothing you can do about it
I’m a little put-off today and I could not tell you why
Got a really short fuse today, everyone around me’s fucking crazy
I’m a little ticked off today, a little pissed off today
(I’m a little bit off today)
I told a little white lie today, I smiled and told someone I loved them
I had to say goodbye today to someone that I love
I couldn’t even cry today, I think my heart is finally broken
Didn’t need a reason why today, I don’t need a reason why today

Hey yeah, hey yeah
Hey yeah, don’t ya know? (I’m a little bit off)
Hey yeah, hey yeah
Hey, you gotta let it go (I’m a little, just a little bit off)

I got a little too high today, got lost inside a sea of madness
Crashed a little bit hard today, crashed a little too hard today
Everybody sing

Hey yeah, hey yeah
Hey yeah, don’t ya know? (I’m a little bit off)
Hey yeah, hey yeah
Hey, you gotta let it go (I’m a little, just a little bit off)
Hey, you gotta let it go (I’m a little, just a little bit off)

I’m a little bit off today
Something down inside me feels so different
Just a little bit off today
You can all fuck off today

Five Finger Death Punch – A Little Bit Off

Dark Days

I have not been in the best of moods over the past few days. I have been quite down, depressed some may say. I woke on Wednesday and felt a huge black cloud/dark mood come over me, and it has nestled there ever since. Indeed, it is not as bad now as it has been, but all the same, it is still there. I cannot pinpoint as to why I am feeling like this, but needless to say, it has been all encompassing.

I have avoided my email box, my blog, and other things that I do day to day. I have even deleted this post several times with the thought of “who wants to read this? really?”, then started again.

It is a holiday weekend, the last of the summer, and usually, I would be planning days out and fun things to do, but I just do not have it in me, and when I try to force myself to get back into the holiday spirit I tell myself “I cannot be arsed” and “I don’t care”, and right at this moment I don’t care. I feel like getting into bed, crawling under the duvet and letting the world pass by until I am ready to tackle it. But life is not like that and I have a partner and two dogs who depend on me. I have responsibilities that I have to attend to, and there is no way around it, so I carry on regardless of the building dark cloud.

I am tired, exhausted really, irritable to the point of flares of anger. My heart problem (atrial fibrillation) is really playing up, waking me, erratically missing beats, speeding up, stopping for long pauses, then trying to catch up on itself again. Although I am used to this, it still causes discomfort and worry/stress. This time it is adding to my dark mood, but not causing it.

My youngest dog seems to sense I am down as she keeps sitting on or by me staring at me, but not in the annoying way Eddie stares at Frasier, it is as though she is trying to help and her stares are longing loving stares. My older dog is only concerned with food, so has no interest. I told M on Wednesday that I was really down, but I have not spoken further about it. I was brought up to keep my feelings to myself, and cannot change a lifetime of conditioning.

Like all thing, it will pass.

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