“You have nothing to be sad for, you’re not depressed!” Said a colleague. On the outside and a lot of the time, I’m walking around laughing, smiling and general being irritabley chirpy but deep down I’m not a happy person.
It’s Mental Health Awareness month here in the UK and I think it’s important that people talk about it. Since Depression runs in the family, it was hard to avoid it. I was diagnosed when I was 14 but I manage it a lot better now than I did back then. I was being bullied at school, my parent’s divorce had gone through but were arguing so much it was upsetting, my brother was in and out of hospital with a calcium deficiency and my mum had lost her job which in turn made us lose our rented property and which then made us essentially homeless. I was trying to do my GCSE’s while living in one room with my mum and brother in a hostel filled with druggies, ex convicts and prostitutes and struggling with ‘friends’ or lack of, I really hated my life. I turned to cutting up my arm, only a little but enough to harm, I wasn’t eating much and I just wanted to cry all the time. I found my salvation in music because I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Mum told me to man up and stop being pathetic, I had no friends to speak to, I never tell my dad everything (even now, he is always right and pointless to argue with even when he is wrong) and my gran just didn’t understand either.
I found Bon Jovi flicking through the music channels and I went online listened to some more of their stuff and I loved it. I listened to them all the time, I fell “in love” with Jon Bon Jovi, I printed off his pictures and blue tacked them all over the wall and when I was down I’d lay on my bed just staring at his face to make me feel happy. That’s how I mainly deal with my down days, listening to music calms me, makes me feel alive or just makes me feel something.
But then my brother was diagnosed with depression too at 16 but his became way out of control. He felt let down by everyone even though I tried my hardest to bring him up with the limited help from my parents (they were great but didn’t take the time to understand cos…this is life and it sucks) he still felt abandonment. He was soon diagnosed with Manic Depression almost Bi Polar. He was put on medication and at one point was nearly locked up in a mental institution because he locked himself up in his room and sliced his thighs open. Unlike me who listened(s) to music he is fortunate enough to have the talent to play it to take out his frustrations but sadly that was one of his down points, he was struggling with bands because he loves music they just wanted to play it and shag about. Thankfully he is in a better place now but I am still struggling to find satisfaction in my life with only small pieces of hope every now and then. I can be generally happy but I know my demons are lurking and at the moment, more days than often they appear.
My brother and I are fortunate enough to have each other to vent and to understand as people on the outside don’t know us at all, but then again do we really know ourselves?? The Japanese believe that each person has 3 faces, the one people see, the one you to your close friends and family and the face you only show yourself. The face you show yourself is said to be your truest form, I won’t tell you what I see.
I don’t want people to think bad or feel sorry for me as I know this is me. I hope one day to be free of my demons but I can’t only do that if people’s ignorance doesn’t get in my way and instead of pushing it aside, lend a hand to help.