The Negative Thinking Challenge

One of the downsides to depression is the issue of your negative thinking. The feeling of being a failure and being pessimistic in day-to-day life is hard to shake off and can cause you to have a big set back in your battle. People who do not understand depression seem to think its a simple case of  being able to shake yourself out of it like there is some sort of switch that we flick off and on to suit our needs. Yeah right this morning I woke up and thought to myself “I fancy a down day lets set the switch to down!”

People who do not understand depression or people who never had depression should really just keep quiet and simply listen to those who need to talk. Half the reason we don’t talk to people is because of the “snap out of it” attitude people who don’t know better have. It’s the same as “what do you have to be depressed about?” attitude. Well let me tell me you why I am depressed…. It’s because of people like you who talk when you should listen!! (insert curse words where necessary LOL)

So how do you change the mind-set from negative to positive? Easier said than done isn’t it. Self loathing is a hard habit to break even more so when you have worn a mask for years to hide your true feelings. People always assumed I was in love with myself and arrogant when it couldn’t be further from the truth, I just happen to hide things well and the cocky me was only a facade that those who got to know me saw through in an instance. has some tips on challange negative thinking – I like this site by the way LOL

Depression self-help tip 2: Challenge negative thinking

Learn about hidden sources of depression

Watch 3-min. video: Roadblocks to awareness

Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself, the situations you encounter, and your expectations for the future.

But you can’t break out of this pessimistic mind frame by “just thinking positive.” Happy thoughts or wishful thinking won’t cut it. Rather, the trick is to replace negative thoughts with more balanced thoughts.

Ways to challenge negative thinking:

  • Think outside yourself. Ask yourself if you’d say what you’re thinking about yourself to someone else. If not, stop being so hard on yourself. Think about less harsh statements that offer more realistic descriptions.
  • Allow yourself to be less than perfect. Many depressed people are perfectionists, holding themselves to impossibly high standards and then beating themselves up when they fail to meet them. Battle this source of self-imposed stress by challenging your negative ways of thinking
  • Socialize with positive people. Notice how people who always look on the bright side deal with challenges, even minor ones, like not being able to find a parking space. Then consider how you would react in the same situation. Even if you have to pretend, try to adopt their optimism and persistence in the face of difficulty.
  • Keep a “negative thought log.” Whenever you experience a negative thought, jot down the thought and what triggered it in a notebook. Review your log when you’re in a good mood. Consider if the negativity was truly warranted. Ask yourself if there’s another way to view the situation. For example, let’s say your boyfriend was short with you and you automatically assumed that the relationship was in trouble. But maybe he’s just having a bad day.

Types of negative thinking that add to depression

All-or-nothing thinking Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground (“If I fall short of perfection, I’m a total failure.”)
Overgeneralization Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever (“I can’t do anything right.”)
The mental filter Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.
Diminishing the positive Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count (“She said she had a good time on our date, but I think she was just being nice.”)
Jumping to conclusions Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader (“He must think I’m pathetic.”) or a fortune teller (“I’ll be stuck in this dead end job forever.”)
Emotional reasoning Believing that the way you feel reflects reality (“I feel like such a loser. I really am no good!”)
‘Shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’ Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do, and beating yourself up if you don’t live up to your rules.
Labeling Labeling yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings (“I’m a failure; an idiot; a loser.”)

Agree with any of these? see yourself and things you say in these? I must admit it certainly touched a nerve with me when looking through the advice and my biggest issue appears to be the “LABELING” although my success at writing this blog is helping to change my views on myself.

Funnily enough one of the things that’s not on there that I suffer from is the “Haves” and “Haves-nots” which is very superficial and materialistic I know but I like having nice things and the latest things, Guilty as charged LOL. Would having things I want cure my depression? Of course not but I wouldn’t mind having an option to find out! (Come on Lottery Ticket! just a few million will do!)

So just for me see what happens when you focus on the good things you can do or can offer to others and see if it improves your negative thinking! whats the worse thing to come out of it?

As for me I am focusing on the good my writing is doing and happy in the knowledge I am helping other people, as the messages of support I have had show me!

Thank you for continuing to support my writing please remember to share it out and spread the word!


Life is Great…A Damn Good Day!

I feel good today really really good!

Sheryl is smiling and happy which makes me really happy, the kids are happy and most of all I have a good day! We spent it shopping in Oxford Street and there is a lot to be said for retail therapy!

I am starting to sense my online nearest and dearest are rallying around me and to be honest I freaking love it and them for it! I can feel their love coming across the Atlantic and wrapping its arms around me telling me its going to be ok!

The need for approval for my blogs will never go it is spurring me on in a positive way and this week, besides the few evenings of feeling down, has been my best for around 2 years at least.

The writing I have done has greatly improved my sense of worth, we all love hearing praise after all! But when you have built yourself up as a failure then its all the more appreciated. Sheryl loves reading my blogs which helps!


Tomorrow (30th June) is the first anniversary of my uncle Rons death and as if by magic today I no longer feel anger and guilt about his passing. I miss him terribly and every day in the year gone I have reflected on his death but today I woke up reflecting on his life and what a wonderful person he was. The most generous man I knew he always had a packet of sweets, a few quid or some cakes to share with us and as a result of uncle Ron nearly all the Williams kids have a sweet tooth LOL


I know he is up there watching me and inspiring me and his memory lives on in me everyday I battle depression but every time I feel good I take it as a sign from him that I am on the way to recovery sooner rather than later!

God Bless you Uncle Ron


Tomorrow is a new day but I have a new strength today brought about by seeing my family happy and my friends being there for me! As always you know who you are and I am always a message away from helping you all!

Today is a short and sweet blog because | wanted you to know how good I feel! And when you have the good days you sure as hell dont spend them online! you spend them annoying the wife and kids 🙂 


Weekend time folks if you are out on the town raise a glass to my uncle Ron I intend to eat lots of mints in his memory tomorrow!

Good Support Networks are Vital in Battle with Depression

Whilst trawling around the internet looking at articles on depression it occurred to me that a lot of sites all preach similar things but all of them talk about the need for a support network and talking about your problems. Something men in particular find hard to do, yes me as well until I saw the light and yes you over there reading this nodding in agreement, I can see you!

This was taken from which has lots of useful information but specifically regarding support.

Depression self-help tip 1: Cultivate supportive relationships

Getting the support you need plays a big role in lifting the fog of depression and keeping it away. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. But the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. However, isolation and loneliness make depression even worse, so maintaining your close relationships and social activities are important.

The thought of reaching out to even close family members and friends can seem overwhelming. You may feel ashamed, too exhausted to talk, or guilty for neglecting the relationship. Remind yourself that this is the depression talking. You loved ones care about you and want to help.

  • Turn to trusted friends and family members. Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need. You may have retreated from your most treasured relationships, but they can get you through this tough time.
  • Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
  • Join a support group for depression. Being with others who are dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.

10 tips for reaching out and building relationships

  • Talk to one person about your feelings.
  • Help someone else by volunteering.
  • Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
  • Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
  • Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together.
  • Call or email an old friend.
  • Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  • Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
  • Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.
How did reading them make you feel? would you do these if you was depressed?
I can’t turn to my immediate family to discuss my feelings and thoughts as currently I don’t speak to either of my parents, my twin brother lives miles away and my younger siblings couldn’t care less in all honesty. I can talk to my wife and I’m blessed she is so supportive BUT it wasn’t until I acknowledged I had depression and spoke to my Dr that I started confiding in her because I didn’t want to put my problems onto her which is, quite frankly, ridiculous but I can bet any men reading this who have depression but haven’t spoke to anyone about dont talk to anyone!
I even stopped doing my social activities as a result of my depression! For the past 5 years I have been coaching kids football teams but gave it up in May because I couldn’t handle it anymore!
And as for going to a support group well in all honesty I couldn’t think of anything more depressing! Funny isn’t it but I cannot see myself in a room full of depressed people talking about their problems helping me but obviously research suggests otherwise.
So out of the 3 main points in aiding your recovery from depression I managed a total of 1 at a push maybe I can give myself 0.5 for finally speaking to Sheryl.
This is where i value the virtual friends I spoke about in a previous blog I have spoken to some of them candidly on my feelings in the past to the extent that they know more about me than my own flesh and blood and I know what I tell them will never be used against me and be shared with others. They don’t judge me they help me and shows me how important their support is!
If you are in the same boat I was in you will know what it feels like to be isolated and think that no-one cares but you will be surprised at how much support you get and usually from the unlikeliest source and when you find the strength to acknowledge your problem your beginning to win the battle and can start on winning the war!
Its not a sign of weakness to suffer from depression nor is it a sign of weakness to ask for help!
Asking for help or even just talking to family or friends shows you have the strength to admit your only human and suffer like everyone else so please seek help if you need it! I am not ashamed to admit I cried my eyes out when I finally saw my doctor the overwhelming feeling of relief that I was not mad and could get help was too much for me and I sat in his room like a baby crying.
It was the start I needed on my journey and could be the best thing you have ever done!

Arghhhhhhh bored so bored!

I cant shake the feeling of being bored today, bored of what I am not 100% sure Facebook is losing its appeal, mafia wars is boring me, Twitter is annoying me. I want this blog to grow so badly but I don’t know how to improve it.

Why wont people read it when I spend all day whoring it out on facebook and twitter is it because of the subject matter? seems to be only football blogs matter on twitter so i need to reevaluate the people I follow on there if they are not prepared to read my posts because they are bloody good and surely a better read than “this person is joining that club” etc

One of the things about this site is the stats pages where it shows views by country and so far the USA is miles in front from the UK which shows me that my facebook friends are more interested than my twitter “followers”  so how do I publicise better? Is it just a case of word of mouth and waiting for the masses to arrive?

If your a fellow blogger like me please feel free to share some tips and ideas. Is upgrading and going pro the way to go? what am i missing? how do i get things like a contact tab let alone the all important donate link 😀

Patience is not a virtue I possess!

Anyways back to my boredom I have become a bit of a domestic god this week I have even set a new record of cooking dinner 3 nights in a row! and washed up and done the washing and walked to the shops and used the hoover! No wonder i am bored LOL  At least I had the football on TV tonight to keep me entertained besides the 3 year old wanting to jump all over me.

And why is it so damn hot in my flat! I hate the summertime my flat doubles as a sauna i sit here at the pc with sweat pouring off me! its a miracle i stay the size i am when its so hot in here! I will take the rain over the heat anyday of the week and call me a miserable bastard all you want i just cant deal with the heat.

Is it funny that I miss the company of some facebook friends who I have grown close to over the years? I love how people from such different walks of life are drawn together by an online game and develop into close friends despite never meeting but then they just stop logging into facebook and you never hear from them again, then you feel guilty because maybe you didn’t reply to a message or forgot a birthday. Besides my angel from texas I dont speak to anyone everyday and I used to have 5 or 6 people i could rely on daily to keep me amused!

Would be better if I had some friends in real life i could rely on but ho hum!

Anyways feels like the ramblings of a mad man today but i felt the need to write and moan LOL


Questions, Questions and the Occasional Answer

I feel down tonight, I did last night as well but during the days I have been feeling fine! I even went for an 8 mile cycle yesterday morning (and nearly killed myself in the process LOL)

Got me wondering about the change in mood come the evening and raised some questions in my head…

I thought it might be time to start thinking about causes of moods be them happy or depressive. Are there certain things that trigger you off into these moods? a song on the radio? a film? Its amazing how something that is so trivial can almost be a set back or a moment of clarity.

What do you do when this happens? Embrace it or take a backwards step? Some days all I want to do is sleep other days I can’t sleep – why? Depression does make you tired we know that but sometimes I sleep not because I am tired but because I am bored. What makes me feel this way? Is there some sort of chemical imbalance that causes this or is it just the depression? How do you cope when you feel like this?

Do you like the way I am trying to integrate you into this? start some discussions or even just a comment or two to see how others deal with depression. Anyways enough with me whoring the blog out for a moment lets get back to the points at hand!

When you feel down what do you do to change the mood? do you do anything? I must admit I tend to load up some old skool garage on the Xbox and dance around the front room like a nutcase singing at the top of my voice. This works best when no-one else is home as Sheryl hates my taste in music almost as much as my voice! Besides that I am running out of glasses where my singing keeps breaking them! The good news is that a group of whales in the Atlantic have set up a fan club dedicated to me as only they seem to be able to decipher the sounds of my singing voice!

If I feel really down sometimes I like to watch films from my childhood to cheer me up, silly films like Oliver! I can recite almost word for word and besides making me want to “pick a pocket or two” it reminds me of being in the choir at junior school in the days when teachers wrote in my report “has a good singing voice!” before the cigarettes made me sound like a gravel voiced Justin Beiber! ps thats the one and only time he will ever appear in my writing! 


Now for a quick musical interlude 

Ok now that’s in your head we can think on the same level did it make you feel better it did me! Don’t tell Sheryl she just wont look at me in the same light anymore.

Besides dancing and singing what else can help bring you out of a funk? reading a book maybe. I am a big mafia buff and have over 50 books on the New York Mafia but I tend to read them from front to back in one sitting and being in the UK it is damn hard finding mafia books that A) I haven’t got B) are within my price range and C) not from American sellers with crazy postage charges so I end up reading the books 3 or 4 times. I like the escape reading brings but unless its mafia based I just cant get into them.

Talking is always good but as we have a daughter who appears to be nocturnal we never really find the time to have a talk about how I’m feeling without being disturbed by Queen Lilybet! This is where having a good support network comes in handy but thats a subject I want to deal with more closely on a different blog! (stay tuned coming to a monitor near you very soon!)

I guess this where my idea of writing a blog comes in handy because I can share my feelings and thoughts and tomorrow I can look back and try and shed more light onto the issues of feeling down in the evenings more than the daytime. Having said that I do put pressure on myself to get more and more readers of my blogs which really is insane its like I am on a crusade to show that depression can get anyone at anytime and want approval, want lots of people to see what I write and like it and want to share it with their friends. Hmmmm that doesnt seem right but hey its how I feel.

I wondered what inspired me to do this blog in the first place and here comes the question I guess I want answered most, bare with me while I ramble a little bit but there is a point to it I promise..

As I mentioned before I cared for my Uncle Ron until his death last year. In fact this Saturday will be a year to the day of his passing. Could this be why I feel down this week? He suffered from depression for many years to the point where he became almost unrecognisable in his personality at the end of his life and if I am really honest his death affected me a whole lot more than I ever let on to my family but did make me realise I needed some help.

A little story for you now which may make you think I am crazy but I know what I saw and stand by it.

In 2000 my great uncle Eric died. On the night he passed away I woke up suddenly and on the end of my bed I saw him standing there waving to me, he then walked into my son’s bedroom as if to check on him and waved goodbye. I didn’t know he was ill, didn’t know anything until the following morning when I got the call to say he had died. I have always believed since then that Eric became like a guardian angel to Brandon as he never had kids of his own and was so excited about me having a baby. He died 2 weeks before Brandon turned one.  A few weeks later Brandon fell down a flight of stairs from top to bottom and walked away laughing. Eric stopped him hurting himself!

Now to my uncle Ron. I believe he is watching over me and Elizabeth I even have a tattoo of a guardian angel as a tribute to my uncles. I wonder if it is him that is inspiring me to write? Its crazy but in the last few days I keep seeing people who look like him at one point I even shouted his name out which made me laugh later in the day but scared some poor man half to death LOL. Are these signs of his help or signs of me losing the plot? Does my belief in this help me or is it causing me to feel down?

I think having something to hold onto is probably more of a help as it gives me strength that I am being watched and aided from the other side but what do you think? Have you had these experiences? how did they make you feel?

I would love to hear some of your experiences

Tomorrow when I re-read this I will probably think I have gone mad but let me assure you any insanity is only temporary!







Motivation, Frustration and Other Ion’s

Words ending in ion seem to weigh heavily in my life at the moment so I thought I would look into them in more detail and turn the negativity of some of them into positives.

Biggest one for me at the moment is motivation – 

“Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It’s the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.” 

How do I motivate myself when I don’t know what it is I want to do in my life? Setting goals is an easy enough thing to do, anyone can say I want to do this, that or the other but setting realistic goals is different entirely. Are the goals I want to set myself either realistic or achievable? Are they below my capabilities or am I exceeding my abilities? What I do know is that I am an intelligent person who has spent all of my adult life wasting my abilities – that is assuming I have some of course!

Since school I have had all types of jobs but never what I would call a career, is this because I cannot motivate myself to aim higher?  Can I do better with my life or I am simply happy to accept my lot and let the cards fall where they will? Maybe there is a pathway already set for me but I can’t yet see it or have not reached it yet? (That’s deep isn’t it?)

Some days the only motivation I have is simply to get up in the morning (or afternoon lol)

This leads to my second ion…


Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.

Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that’s their way of justifying putting things off.

The bright side? It’s possible to overcome procrastination—with effort.

Sheryl will agree with this ion – I do tend to put things off until there are either done for me or its a last resort. I do prefer to work under pressure BUT in jobs where that has been the case I couldn’t handle the stress it brought me, it made me ill despite me bringing in results, which in turn earned me commission and like everyone I LOVED the commission!

this leads nicely to my next ion

Dedication – the state of being dedicated

The only thing in life I have ever really been dedicated to was playing football as a kid. I was good and had trials for professional clubs until my knee injury prevented me going any further in the game. Since then I have never shown much dedication to anything career wise, sure with my mafia wars group on Facebook I have been dedicated to that for 3 years but in that time nothing else. Does the lack of dedication come from the problem of motivation? 

Which then creates…

Frustration – 

a. The act of frustrating or an instance of being frustrated.
b. The state of being frustrated.

 Because I’m suffering with a lack of motivation, and anything to be dedicated to I get frustrated that my life appears to be heading nowhere which is a cause of…..yep you guessed it DEPRESSION

This dissection of my depression is fun!

The good news is that this blog is really helping me! I have a new motivation each day to write although I didn’t post yesterday but that is more because of me not wanting to burn out rather than I couldn’t be bothered! For the first time in years I have some inspiration rather than just perspiration!

I love seeing how many people have viewed my blogs but I want more viewers, more comments and a lot more people sharing my link lol. Where is the blog going to take me? who knows but it has reignited my love for writing that left me when I left school in 1995. Teachers always said I had a talent for writing and as long as I keep getting positive comments, messages of support on facebook and twitter then I hope the motivation and dedication continues because what I would like is appreciation, adulation and life free from complication!   

I could probably go on all day with words ending in ion but sometimes less is more! 

Until next time

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time



I bought a mountain bike yesterday – what was I thinking?

So today I thought I would start with a piece of advice for you all. If you have not cycled for about 6 years, and weigh 5 stone (70lbs) heavier since you last rode a bike then for love of god do not buy one from a shop 5 miles away at the bottom of a hill and expect to be in one piece when you make it home, having carried the bloody thing up 3 flights of stairs.

That advice is free the next bit of advice comes with a donation link 🙂

I decided maybe to try the exercise route to try and combat depression despite there being a study conducted recently which concluded

“Exercise doesn’t help depression,” according to The Guardian. The paper said that patients advised to exercise fare no better than those who receive only standard care. For more details on this please refer to where the NHS (National Health Service for you non UK residents dissect the findings and present their own ideas)

As a back story to this let me explain my physical conditions to go along with the mental issues I enjoy.

Currently I’m what the doctors would call “Obese” or what the kids at the school I used to work at would call “fat bastard”, either way its something that needs working on.
The pringles and big mac diet that I have worked on for the last 10 years is really not giving me the results I need but I just don’t like “healthy food” I find it bland but thats another issue.

So besides the depression and obesity the biggest problem I have is my knees and it is here I think that the depression problem begins. My youth was spent playing football (soccer) and as a result of an injury picked up as a young teenager I had an operation on my knee at 17. After the Operation the hospital kindly lost all notes and made the problem worse to the point where I used to train on a Tuesday and not be able to walk without pain until Saturday, play a match on Saturday and not walk properly till Tuesday and start all over again. This carried on until I was 23 when I had to stop playing altogether  which meant the only thing I truly loved and enjoyed doing was taken away me.

This was when my weight started to become an issue and without the regular (albeit) painful exercise I ballooned and enjoyed comments like being told I couldn’t shave properly because my face is too fat! Thanks for that Dad! 

A second operation in 2009 has not made the problem any better (despite being told they couldn’t find anything) and I am now in the vicious circle of having knees not able to support the weight I carry but not allowing me to exercise to lose the weight! And people wonder why I’m depressed and comfort eat LOL

Fingers crossed I can take the cycling on and start shifting some weight and see if the healthy body healthy mind philosophy works out if not then I’m screwed.

Have a great weekend folks and remember if you see a man on the side of the road having a fight with a bike it could be me!!


Road to Recovery

When I started writing my blog I didn’t know what to expect from it, was I doing it to help others or to help myself and a few days in I still really don’t know the answer to this. Blogging about your feelings and depression in general can be difficult and a sensitive subject but I am determined to make a good go of it!

What I do know is that it has given me a sense of purpose and fulfillment that I hadn’t felt for a long time. I enjoy writing and see this as some form of therapy for me in getting my feelings and thoughts down not just for the world to see but for me to look back on. I have been waking up early just to see how many views and comments I have had on my posts. 

People who care about me are worried what will happen if it start getting abuse, negative comments etc but to be truthful it really wouldn’t bother me. When you spent your childhood being called four-eyes and your adult life being called fatty a little name calling is like water off a ducks back, I learnt long ago people like that are abusive to others to mask their own insecurities. 

When writing these blogs I let the pen flow, well in the virtual sense, and don’t think about what i am writing it just comes out naturally which is what I hope makes the subjects that more interesting for you the reader because I am not holding back and just putting my heart into it.

Going back over the posts so far has been a good lesson for me and although some people think I should speak to a professional I am of the view that the only person to help myself is me and the first step is being ready to discuss my feelings which is what I am doing here…. and this is a big step I have taken and thus far is working for me.

Yesterday was a good day for me, Sheryl read my post on here and seeing the smile on her face was priceless, and knowing she was proud of me spurs me on to try a different approach to life. To the extend that I did two things yesterday that shocked me to the core, and those who know me are going to be shocked by this as well.

I didn’t go on Facebook yesterday for the 1st time in years! (well aside from replying to a couple of messages from my phone) and spent the day doing housework so when Sheryl came home from visiting her parents she wouldn’t have to run around like a blue arsed fly trying to restore the place from the destruction caused by “Hurricane Lilybet” or our daughter Elizabeth as she is more commonly known. Yes you read that correct no facebook and did housework!! 

 So here we are a few days into my blogging “career” and the benefits for me are outweighing any negatives, whilst some people may feel I am being too personal with my content I do feel that depression is a subject that needs more publicity and myth busting as it were. There will be a lot more to come from me on that subject especially on spotting the signs in your partner, family or friends because chances are you will see it before they do!

I hope people are enjoying reading these because I enjoy writing them, my own vanity loves seeing the number of views whilst at the same time wishing more people would come and visit my little site. I refuse to go professional in terms of upgrading the site until 100’s of people visit not just my usual suspects of friends 🙂

Have a great day everyone
Garry “the happy little moose” 

Social Media and Me – Virtual Friends or no Friends

After a day of shameless self promotion yesterday, via twitter (@gjwilliams78 for those who wish to follow, see more shameless self promotion!) and facebook (  I managed to reach 3 figures in terms of people who have viewed my posts.. Now I know 100 people doesn’t seem a lot in the grand scheme of things but to me it was a magnificent feeling knowing people took a few minutes of their lives to focus on me. Or of course the flip side of that made me wonder one thing, does the number of times I view my own blogs count because i sure must’ve refreshed a lot 🙂

I was thinking about how big a part social media like facebook and twitter play in my depression. Do they help or hinder so I thought I’d share my experiences and together we can form a solution. Lets go back a bit into my past so we can see if maybe there is a reason I am so reliant on it.

As I mentioned before I was always a piss taker with a degree in sarcasm but I did always think at school that I was fairly popular, with a big group of friends. I used to go out 3-4 nights a week with my best friend Jack Daniels from Tennessee, sometimes his cousin Sambucca  would join us to really make the nights better. But alcohol issues aside having a child at 20 changed all day and slowly all my friends deserted me, or in a lot of cases I deserted them. I do not suffer fools gladly and tend to let someone disappoint me once before walking away from them, as my parents have found out but thats another story!

So one day about 4 years ago I got an invite from Amy to join Facebook so thought I would join and see what the fuss was about. I tried to reconnect with old school friends and found myself being ignored with friend requests – obviously I wasn’t as nice or popular as I thought. So I started playing this game called Mafia Wars and got hooked! Started playing everyday sending out 100s of friend requests to like minded fools who were as addicted as me to this game. I joined a family of people which meant I was making friends with something in common with me and started actually communicating with these people.

After a year in this particular group I decided to start my own family and become a Godfather! (to a mafia buff like myself this was great LOL). In September this family will be 3 years old and in this time I have become a virtual recluse rarely missing a single day on facebook to play mafia wars and interact with my new family which is 300 strong! Before the kettle goes on in the morning the PC is switched on to see what I may have missed overnight in my virtual world!

In “real” life I could honestly say I have 1 friend, besides my wife who is my best friend, on Facebook I am admired, respected and loved by people I will probably never ever met, barring that elusive lottery win when the party will be at my new mansion!. Who would’ve thought that my closed confident would be a grandmother from Texas who gives me motherly advice and a virtual clip around the ear when required! Someone I know if I need a talk, a moan even a vent I can message and expect her to be there for me when needed. Yet in real life I have no-one am I lonely in this aspect of life? Honestly yes I do feel alone at times I would give anything for a phone call one night saying “Garry want to go for a drink?”, aside from the fact I cannot afford a night out having the option would be great!

I am known as Paulie the Moose in mafia wars and spend my days alongside a mountain lion, chicks, dragons, dogs and a penguin who would have thought I would be so productive with my time! Does this make me childish that I enjoy this? Would my depression ease if I spent less time online? Or does this escape actually help? Most of my “friends” on facebook are on the other side of the pond and I find myself keeping their timezones just so i get their interactions.

I am still getting to grips with twitter despite being on there for 12 months. I mainly tweet about Arsenal but am beginning to change this. I have 250 followers but only about 4 people who have ever communicated with me. So what is twitter for? Is it a place where people seek validation based upon the number of followers they have? Is that what I am trying to do with twitter or even this blog?

Or am I simply using this as therapy? I would love to think someone has read my thoughts and recognised themselves in what I say and decide on getting help. Maybe thats my plan! To change the views of depression that its not a sign of weakness but something that a lot more people than we think suffer from. I was very pleasantly surprise by some comments and messages I received yesterday it made me feel good about myself that they could share things with me.

Another ramble over but I do have a question for you…

Why is it I told my wife about these blogs but have not let her read them?

Have a great day people! please feel free to share my posts with the world – ok I admit it I want validation too!

More About Depression

Why am i writing this blog? well to be honest i am not 100% sure! I would like to think that lots of people will read my words and have an “eureka” moment and realise that depression is something that doesn’t care about class, gender, wealth or any social status. Maybe your reading this and thinking “this sounds like me and how I feel” if I could help one person then I feel justified in writing and if no one reads this whatsoever then at the very least I am helping myself!

Taken from the NHSDirect website

Depression is a very common problem.

Many people feel ‘low’ or ‘down in the dumps’ at times, but for some people the problem becomes much worse and ‘normal’ life becomes difficult.

In its mildest form, depression does not stop a person from leading a normal life – however, there is cause for concern if it affects your daily life.

You should seek help if your depression does not seem to be getting any better and seek urgent help if you are having thoughts of death or suicide (killing yourself).

What triggers depression?

Depression differs from person to person. There are many different triggers for depression.

Some people are born with a tendency to become depressed more easily than others.

Some people will have a significant life event which can trigger these feelings. For example, money worries, losing a job, a relationship breakdown or a death in the family and for some people, depression can come on for no obvious reason.

When depression begins to affect your life, it is best to seek help and advice from your GP.

Effects of depression

Depression can affect every aspect of your life – it can make you feel tearful, or feel guilty, or you may lose interest in things you have previously enjoyed. As a result, depression may make you lose confidence in your abilities.

Feelings of hopelessness and negative thinking are common symptoms of depression and can make your problems seem worse than they really are.

Depression can affect people in many ways. Some become withdrawn and sad and will avoid contact with family and friends. Whilst others may feel the need to be around people all the time or drink more alcohol or smoke more than they previously did.

Depression can be treated and well managed. You will need to see your GP for a diagnosis and treatment programme.

Most people are treated for depression by their GP. Your GP may suggest a ‘talking treatment’ (counselling or therapy) or antidepressant tablets, or both. Your GP may refer you to a specialist mental health worker, for example a psychiatrist, counsellor, community psychiatric nurse or psychologist.

Specialist mental health workers will help you to understand your own issues and begin to work out ways of helping you to overcome your depression.

Typical signs of depression

Emotional signs of depression:

  • You might feel sad, low or miserable.
  • You might feel like crying or cry all the time.
  • You might get little or no pleasure from life.
  • You might lose interest in family, friends and your favourite things.
  • You might feel useless, helpless and hopeless.
  • You might feel anxious, agitated or worried all the time.
  • You may find that you just don’t feel ‘right’.
  • You may lose confidence in yourself and your ability to do things.
  • You may have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting others.

Physical signs of depression:

  • You might feel tired all the time or have low energy levels.
  • You may have problems sleeping or wake throughout the night and then find that events run over in your head preventing you from getting off to sleep again.
  • You might find that you wake early in the morning.
  • Your appetite may change – you may go off your food completely or you may want to eat lots of comfort type foods. This can result in either weight gain or unintentional weight loss.
  • You may have issues with your self esteem.
  • You might not want to get out of bed or feel like getting washed and dressed each day.
  • You might find yourself being extra sensitive to everything around you, and may blame yourself for things going wrong even if you have no control over them.
  • You may have problems concentrating on daily tasks and activities.
  • You may go off sex.
  • You may not be able to motivate yourself – such as not wanting to go to work or do housework.
  • You may have various aches, pains or physical symptoms that are not caused by another health condition.

This is where is gets interesting in terms of how it affects me

I used to be the annoying person who was always bubbly, cracking jokes, taking the piss and where ever there was a line I was always the person on the wrong side of it, right or wrong my mouth was saying things before my brain could engage it. Over the last few years I could sense my whole personality changing into someone who now rarely leaves home unless I really put lots of effort into it, aside from the daily trek to my Tesco Express store. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been out socializing in the last 3 years and still have 3 fingers spare!

Feeling emotional all the time was a new sensation for me I remember sitting down to watch A league of Their Own (with Madonna and Tom Hanks NOT Smithy and Redknapp!) and come the end of the film i had tears streaming down my face, was it because of the acting? who knows but i found myself welling up over “sad” films or even emotional TV shows like The Locator. I am hoping the wife still believes I had something in my eye!

Tiredness is a big issue for me and I know it drives the wife mad as well on an average day I don’t wake up till around 11.30am yet I have no energy to do anything, By 2/3pm I’m ready for another sleep for a couple of hours and by the time I wake up again the day is almost gone. Some days I do make the effort to go out even just to the shops but when I get home I’m exhausted! Come “bedtime” it’s almost 3am and the cycle starts again.

Probably the biggest issue for me is the feelings of being useless and a failure. Since leaving school 15 years ago I have been unemployed more than in work! I have been made redundant 5 times from companies that have gone bust and the self loathing i feel is difficult for me to overcome. I want to be able to provide for my wife and kids, having teenage boys is not easy in todays brand name world and not being able to get the “best” names or “coolest” gadgets for your kids is hard when all their friends have better things. Christmas time is never one of my favourite times watching the kids faces drop when they have 1 or 2 presents to open cuts deep and regardless of how grateful they appear to be for what they have received I feel for them when they go back to school and hear from their friends about how much crap they got and then ask what my kids got! My wife and I have not exchanged gifts for Christmas/birthdays for about 5 years! One day darling I will get you something that will blow your socks off! yes you guessed it, an industrial fan.

Have I had suicidal thoughts? yes I have but I did not act on them. It scared me that i thought that way but on the worst occasion my now 3-year-old daughter and wife came through the front door and their smiles changed everything! Would I have gone through with it? who knows but the tablets have stopped my dark thoughts and for that reason alone I’m glad I saw my GP.

Do you recognise some of these symptoms in yourself? If you do please don’t be afraid to talk to your GP about it. Talk to your partner as well talk to anyone but the voices in your head LOL

One final thing I would like to add….. Don’t you hate it when people say “what you got to be depressed about?” Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr