In my case it would appear that I have genetically inherited this crippling illness. Several members of my family suffer from varying degrees of depression and a rather dysfunctional upbringing seems to have been a trigger.
I have decided to post about my illness in response to reading John Kirwan's book 'All Blacks Don't Cry' where he writes about his struggles. John Kirwan is a high profile former All Black who has championed the cause for educating people about what depression is. For someone who does not suffer from depression from the outside it would seem a sign of weakness and simply a matter of toughening up and dealing with it.
In my struggles I have tried the fighting and denial approach but nothing until now has worked. While reading John Kirwan's book I was filled with insight as I related his experiences to mine. I was also given hope for the future as I discovered strategies to help me deal with this illness!
Here are some quotes from his book:-
My Ugly Mate
'It's your brain running at a 100 miles an hour and you can't stop it. It's a locomotive out of control and there is no respite. It's your worst nightmare staying with you the whole time'.
'You need strong people around you who are very understanding because one of the negatives of depression is that it becomes very very personal and very very isolating. You feel low which is devastating for partners: you have nothing to give. It is a selfish illness because it's all time consuming, all energy consuming'.
'I had to come to grips with accepting - acknowledging that I was ill and find a way of living with it. The day I accepted I had this illness was the day I started getting better'.
'Stop denying what is and deal with it. Acknowledging that it's an illness, not a weakness and not something integral to your personality, is a big part of that'.
Reading John Kirwan's book has been a first step towards my dealing with something I have not been able to understand and finding hope for happiness in the future.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with what can be an illness that can bring despair and extreme anxiety. Here is a web site if you want to get some help with depression.
Here are the lyrics to a song I wrote 10 years ago that expresses some of these feelings. It's called 'Hard At Times'. I will ask Lea nicely whether she will record for me for a future post.
Hard at Times
You cut yourself up bad
But it makes no odds it's sad
To think you've reached this low
That there's nowhere you can go
It's so hard at times
When no answers you can find
You've bravely took a stand
Though painfully did land
When chopped down at the knees
Fall at increasing degrees
From a distant land soothing music plays the band
To you it gently calls 'there's peace for one and all'
They say they understand
As they preach their words so grand
But how could they know
All inside I dare not show
Snap out of it you say
Can't seem to find a way
Might be easy for you
In truth I've tried to do