I’ve been staring at a blank screen for the last two days trying to think of something entertaining, witty or uplifting to write about, but the truth is nothing has happened to me that fits into any of those categories for the last couple of months. Instead I’ve been feeling lonely, unhappy, angry and restless. I know it’s not the nicest thing to talk about, but depression is a part of so many peoples lives, but it is rarely spoken about. Apparently the LGBT community are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression compared to heterosexual people and while some of the underlying issues I had stemmed from my sexuality, it’s now coincidental rather than a reason for my depression.
I was first diagnosed with depression when I was at university and it almost cost me my closest friendship; not because I was depressed, but because when I am I can be angry and hostile towards people without them doing anything to deserve it. It was brought on by the stress of studying and other issues I thought I had dealt with, but instead I had just buried them deep enough away that I could forget about them long enough to keep functioning. I’m not going to lie to you – this is not the way to deal with your problems. It took me leaving university for about a month, coming back home and getting help from a doctor for me to learn how to cope with everything that was going on in my head; and that helped a lot. Sadly, it’s something that has stuck with me throughout my adult life though.
Generally I am a happy, upbeat person and what can be frustrating is that people don’t realise that depression doesn’t mean you are sad and crying all the time (or not for me anyway). I can put on a front and still function, but inside I feel like if I have to speak to someone I will either break down or scream at them until they leave; this is what I have been struggling with for the past two months.
I work in tourism just now, but on a zero-hour contract so money can get tight, you struggle to pay bills, your debt gets bigger, you stress more, you have to rely on other people to help which stresses you even more and it’s a horrendous cycle that doesn’t’ help to improve your mental state. What I end up doing is regressing to my teenage years and spend hours alone in my room doing nothing because it’s easier than being around people and trying to pretend everything is fine.
It’s at times like this that I really miss living in the city. Yes, at times you could be surrounded by thousands of people and still feel like it was the loneliest place in the world, but there was always somebody there that was happy (or willing) to just listen to your ramblings. That was much easier when we all lived 10-15 minutes away from each other. Now there are hundreds of miles between us which makes it slightly more difficult. I am just back from a weekend in Glasgow now and it just reminded me how important it is to talk to people to improve your mindset and help you to remember that you have value (even if others cannot see it) and to refocus your priorities because the little things don’t matter so just let them wash over and focus on what is really important to you.