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Depression & Anger: 2 More Things

It's been a little time since the "Depression & Anger: The Dastardly Duo's Latest Adventures" post ... well, quite possibly it's been short for you, life went on, work happened and shows were seen. For me it's been very similar with an underlying sense of EVERYTHING IS CHANGING.

So much to write about, so much to tell but let me try and gather my thoughts and not overwhelm you with a brain splurge (those I leave to the family and close friends on all the types of instant messenger thingies :)

Oh, god, how rude - my first action has to be say THANK YOU! Fark, I was blown away by the support shown to me on Facebook, via emails and in real life - I have had a lifetime of hugs, words of encouragement, people telling me how proud they are of me and ... well, it leaves me speechless ... for a little bit. I cannot say thank you enough, but I'm gonna try!
Never alone, xx
In this post let me tackle just two things - drugs and friends!



1: Drugs are goooood!

Despite what we were so eloquently told, the drugs DO work. Or more specifically, the drug I am on Fluoxetine, works a treat. "It takes the edge of", said someone who opened up to me, so yeah, do it, get to the GP and take the drugs. And if they don't work for you, which I hear can happen, the get yo ass back down to the GP and keep asking until you find the drug and/or dosage that works for you.

Having the edge taken off is a little like your first coffee in the morning, that first smile you receive in the day, or the first item on the list crossed off at work - it means the day will be ok, maybe even good, but it's just a start. Without that smile, coffee, completed task, or small pill then maybe the day will descend into shit and everything else will be so much hard work it's impossible to move. Sometimes I can't move out of bed, even if I have had the pill, or if I've been knocked sideways by something ... and it's the weirdest thing, to be 49 and unable to get out of bed, talk about feeling like a complete loser. But I know, I gotta relax, let the body get back to equilibrium, enjoy the small things and start again tomorrow.

Whatever your wee pill is, treasure it - it means you can face the day.


2: We're all individuals

What else have I learnt, well to competing things really about my Foundation #4, the people that have been there and are going through it. Firstly, the amazing thing - they're like British people to me. "What the actual fuck Mike?" - let me explain. As you know I came to New Zealand from the UK (London actually) with my wife at the time, Jude/Judith. Twas was back in 1996 and we quickly assimilated our immigrant selves into the local culture by enjoying ourselves immensely in bars and having a grand time. Eventually Jude and I moved on with divorce and new lives ... BUT, whenever we got together for drinks, weddings or whatevers I found there was a level of ease talking to her that I never had with Kiwis. It was a massive underlying cultural reference that we could lean on in conversation, that we could reference with shorthand and immediately understand without having to explain it - this:
Are you a Swap Shop person or a Tiswas person?
Every British person, around my age, instantly gets that questions AND more importantly, what it implies to answer one way or the other.

And that's what it's like being around people who are dealing with their own depression, anxiety, or anger - I am discovering a mutual underlying cultural reference that I can lean on. To use an other analogy from my first post, I'm learning "Japanese" by being immersed in it (I have no choice) ... and this is making my life oh so much easier.

And this is good, but also, I am learning that I have been "racist" ... or something. I have grouped everyone together as "Sufferers of Depression", much like I did with "Japanese". The label (use of "labels", that's a whole new post), the label, "Japanese", implies a commonality and therefore sameness - you know lumping everyone together coz it's easier. Well, I did the same with "Depressions" or "those that deal with anxiety" (not so much around the anger label, not quite sure why not). And you know what, everyone's an individual and what works for me, what works for them and what I think is best, or what they think is the best can often be extremely different.

And so, as I learn more about the "Japanese" (you know what I mean) I get to know them in more detail, at a different level - there are those that will never take drugs, there are those that know exercise is the be-all-and-end-all, there are those that talk about it to everyone, there are those the believe it's a personal matter and not for others to know about. Everyone is different, and the groupings of these individuals only work when it's self-formed, and certainly not when imposed by me, the health industry, the media or society at large.

Next time someone opens up to you with depression or similar, once you have stood next to that person to show you're with them quietly ask them, "How would you like me to support you tomorrow?"

Supporting those with depression, those that are stricken with anxiety or those that only just keep the lid on the anger is the hardest thing to do, whether you're a fellow traveller or one standing near - I salute all of you that do it in your own way, you are amazing and without you I wouldn't be able to carry on.

Never stop!


And finally, have a laugh!









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