• Ollie Horsfall

Depression: Suffering the Balance

I haven't written here for a while. I've also not been well and then recently I've been better. It's not like I haven't wanted to write, or that my brain has been quiet. Quite the contrary, my brain has been on fire. For the good and the bad. I've been letting go of things recently that matter little to me, but would have mattered a lot more in the past. I started to work out, I've started to work out who I am supposed to be physically as well as mentally.

I've been doing the Insanity Max: 30 challenge and I am on my 4th week of the process, I don't really want to go too much into it, but having a focus and a routine has helped me to ignore negative thoughts a lot more.

I found out today that someone I used to work with, younger than me, died. He struggled with similar issues to myself and those issues inevitably robbed him of his life too soon. This scared the shit out of me, the last I'd heard he had been doing well and was looking forward to the future. I told my psychiatrist the last time I saw her that I had been well of late, which meant I couldn't really remember how I felt when I was sick. This was important, because it made me realise I really am two separate people, one who is in control, and one who feels like he's in control.

The trouble, in my experience, with depression is that it really does just creep up on you. It's not a matter of it being there one day and not the next, it comes in waves and sometimes those waves are just ripples that become waves you surf until you fall off and begin to drown. Keeping my head above water is easier when I'm focussing on what I'm doing for myself. This then comes with guilt, people who don't suffer with depression also feel low, broken, sad and it's pretty easy for me to forget that the feelings of others matter just as much as my own.

I have to remember there are those struggling, I have to try and understand why they are feeling the way they are, even if they don't suffer with mental health problems. As an emotional sponge I also have to strike the balance of recognising when my own feelings have to come first and when they have to come last.

I've been doing better, but that fear I felt today, that worry that I am capable of taking my own life when I'm at my worst, which terrifies me, has made things clearer. Life is a gift, and sometimes I don't want it, from the deepest part of my healthy heart I want nothing more than to take away the sadness of others, but in doing so I add to my own.

I'm sorry that 84 men a week commit suicide in the UK alone, I'm sorry not enough is being done to reflect that and not enough is being done to support those who are suffering as well as the fact that we are only now starting to properly educate young people about what depression is.

I am angry that there are people out there who still believe that it's not a legitimate illness, that it's an excuse or a way of avoiding the world. To those people I happilly send a big FUCK YOU.

Today I am healthy, sad and angry. Tomorrow I might be ill, sad and angry, but I have to acknowledge this in order to recognise it and stop myself from putting myself in a position I can't get out of. I am my own worst enemy at the best of times... so...

Tonight my thoughts are squarely with those who are going through the darkness. It's not fair, it's not right and it's okay to feel how you feel. Talk about it to someone sure, but most importantly remind yourself that you are loved, that your disease is not the fire that will burn you down, you might get burned occasionally, but you have it within you to beat it, with the right support.

Unto restless sleep they may depart,

Finding nought but angels with eyes wide open.

They sing a choir song of even tone,

They fill the heart of sorrows unknown.

If you know someone is struggling talk to them, don't wait for them to come to you. Seriously, sometimes it's a matter of life and death.


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