Notes On Depression

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something proper and I apologise. I’ve been really busy with finishing my novel Lost in Iceland and my new poetry collection The Long Stillness. But I need to write about how I’ve been feeling, because I know I’m not the only one, and it helps to write about these things.

You would expect finishing two major projects would leave me feeling ecstatic, on top of the fucking world, like I’ve got everything under control. But, unfortunately, with me, this hasn’t been the case. I’ve felt no shift in my feelings whatsoever. Over the past few weeks, my head has been thick with bleak, twisted thoughts and grief as dense as peat.

It’s hard to explain to people how it’s possible to be okay and smiling one minute, and utterly grief stricken and soaked with tears the next. I wish I could just ‘get over it’ believe you me, but it isn’t as easy as that. Where would I be if it was, I wonder.

When you feel depressed, you are firm in the belief that everyone is backing away from you. That nobody gives a shit, and they would rather be giving their attention to someone who can wake up every morning and just get on with life after a quick cup of tea and a shower.

I have encountered some people this year who I know are unable to cope with the issues that plague me, and be supportive. But that’s okay. I just try and distance myself from these people, for their benefit as well as my own.

These low feelings also illuminate everyone else’s lucky breaks, and put a spotlight on my seemingly meek existence, which, at the moment, just seems to be getting harder with each breath.

I am fully aware that having a friend who has mental health problems can be really difficult, but we’re the same as you really. We’re loving and kind and generous and thoughtful and passionate and eager. It’s just the chemicals in our brains are slightly out of synch and we might have had some experiences in life that you have may have, fortunately, been spared.

It’s understandable if you are somewhat scared of being friends with someone who has mental health problems. One thing you should know, though, is how much it means to us to have you there. And remember, we’re scared too.