In November 2012 I knew there was a problem.
I couldn’t focus like I used to. I lost all sense of time. I couldn’t order things into priorities. I couldn’t see past one thing at a time. And as a Teacher, this limited my abilities in my workplace incredibly.
By December I was almost flat on the floor. I struggled through the last few weeks of school, and stumbled through the door of my GP. I was not in a place anyone wants to be. Vulnerable. Helpless. In Pain. For no tangible or understandable reason.
Over the course of the next twelve months I was in and out of my doctors office, adjusting, searching, hoping that there might be some solution to my illness. Medication works most of the time, and once I had found the right levels by September, I was mostly able to hold it together. Visits to a counsellor have helped me discuss and be open with my wife, but has yet to find the cause, or more importantly; a solution. I have tried writing. I have tried painting again. I’ve tried the whole exercise thing. All have worked to a minimal degree for a limited time.
It has been rough. On me. On my wife. On my family, and my friends. Some have tried to help. Some have wanted to help – but as I’ve found out the hard way; I actually have to want that person to help. Many have prayed and showed their support. Many have encouraged. Many have fallen by the wayside. Some have even found better things to do with their time and cease to be there for me any more.
In December 2013, one year on from being diagnosed with clinical depression, I stripped back my life. I rid my life of Facebook, Twitter, Email. I rarely use my phone for actual phone calls or texts any more – so that was left in a draw for three weeks.
And somehow, I managed to feel better.
And so it remained. I turned twitter back on, because it’s full of things I want to know about, from people that I don’t know enough to worry about. My Facebook became a deleted account, as the numerous posts of random events made me feel more distant from people, and more isolated and rejected. The chat left me empty and abandoned as I watched for hours people coming and going.
I don’t have any answers. Even after a year of struggling, wrestling, and searching, I’m no closer to knowing how to beat this beast. It has taken these last 13 months to even go public with it and put this on my website.
But here I am. In the depths of this despair. Constantly swinging from mood to mood; often miserable, rarely exuberant. But there have been two constants. God. And my wife. And I know that neither are the cause of this.
I don’t know if I will beat this. I don’t know when it will end, or if it will end. Hope lingers on, but fades in the darkness. To this day, I continue to fight with depression every day. In the end, I hope that maybe, just maybe; somewhere out there, these words will reach someone – they’ll strike the same note or cause a stir inside someone, and that someone might see that there is a way to keep living, even though the walls seem insurmountable and the struggles wear you down until you have nothing left to give. Kia kaha. Stay strong.
There must be a way through this.
When All Around Has Fallen – Delirious
When all around has fallen
Your castle has been burned
You used to be a king here
Now no one knows your name
You live your life for honour
Defender of the faith
But you’ve been crushed to pieces
And no one knows your pain