I have found that one of the worst parts of mental illness especially depression is the loneliness and despair you can feel, if like me you feel alone in a room full of people, imagine spending the last 4 or 5 years essentially in isolation.
When my illness really started to show, it was around the same time that Covid was really kicking off, so I spent the 1st couple of years of my physical illness slowly declining behind closed doors, unable to see a doctor, or really talk to anyone bar my wife, spending day after day on my own, sat at home with no real meaning or direction, and my condition whilst not at the point debilitating did seriously restrict what I could do.
And then as the lockdown eased I was desperate to get out and about but my physical illness had continued to decline and wouldn’t let me out, roll forward to now, I am pretty much house bound, only able to go out occasionally, thanks to my wife and of course my motability car.
But even with the car I can’t go far, so am reliant totally on people picking up the phone and calling me, or popping round to see me, and that’s where the problems start, people think they are doing you a favour by leaving you alone to recover, or whatever other excuse they give themselves for not being around the depressed guy.
I have generally found except for a few exceptions that if I don’t instigate the call then no-one really wants to call me and just talk, and I don’t blame them life is too short and people have things to do, they have their own problems, and that becomes my excuse for not calling them, “oh their probably busy”, “they’ve got enough on their plates”, etc, etc, etc, I can really off a thousand excuses my anxiety will come up with for not picking up the phone and instigating contact.
So again, I sit alone, a self made prisoner in my own four walls, left to my own thoughts and living with chronic pain, somedays I sit and just wish that someone, anyone, even a bloody courier driver would knock on the door, and give me sone rest-bite from my own thoughts.
The option, I sleep, I sleep a lot during the day, often to the point where I cannot then sleep at night. I try to read books, but lack the concentration, I am trying to learn guitar and piano, but trying to motivate myself to actually focus and practice is harder than learning the instrument itself, and then there’s my anxiety, “why bother, you will only fail”.
I guess one small success has been managing to self study and pass my CILT Operations Manager CPC exams, something that I never thought I would be able to do in my condition, yet that was January and since then I have done absolutely fuck all to build on that success.
And in all seriousness believe my when I say, you can help. If you know someone like me, whose suffering, then all you need to do, Is call them up, once a week, once a month, whatever, but just call, and talk, even if it’s just how’s things etc. Because without that interaction depression will drag you down further and further, remember Wilson in Cast Away, well life can get very much like that, if you let it.
One of the things I do to ease my own depression and drag myself back up from the depths is this, I write in my blog, I jot down my feelings on everything from the issues of the day to global warming to well pretty much anything that plays on my mind. But in having that conversation with myself and the page via the keyboard I find a huge amount of solace.
Welcome to my world, and remember you can’t catch depression it’s not contagious.