“Famoose”

Yep you read that right after yesterdays shenanigans I am now famous, or to spell it correctly famoose!

Well that of course is not true in any sense but it sure as hell was an exciting day, luckily I was prepared today for being back to “normal” and had no expectations of a repeat performance. This is an important step for me though because usually I would have been on a complete negative day today trying to live up to the figures of yesterday.

It appears I am finally making progress with the negativity that plagues me!

Of all the symptoms of depression this is my biggest challenge, trying to fight the inner demons of feeling like a failure and so this week I make a pact with myself to focus on the positive of everything that I attempt for the whole of the week.

It is a big challenge but one I am determined to do because I feel it will help me the most with my recovery if I can remain positive, or at the very least be more positive than negative.

It will involved looking at things from an entirely new perspective but should be an interesting opportunity to really take stock of how far I have come in 6 months.

Here is a top 10 list of things I can be positive about in the 6 months since my diagnosis

  1. Helping other people with depression
  2. Inspiring people to write blogs to help themselves
  3. Attempting to raise money for Mind through Stepping into the Light – Poems from the Darkness book
  4. Learning how to self publish books
  5. Learning how to communicate with my wife about my problems
  6. Asking for help when I need it
  7. Making new friends via WordPress, Facebook and Twitter – more new friends in a real sense not a gaming friend who I never speak to.
  8. Letting go of things from my past that have held me back – like visiting my Uncles old home
  9. Being open and honest about my illness instead of holding it all in
  10. Accepting that I have an illness and trying to beat it rather than wallowing in the self pity state I lived in for 18 months previously

Thats not bad for starters is it?

And best of all I can still accept yesterday as a great day without it impacting on the rest of my week and how I feel.

Onwards and Upwards folks for tomorrow is a new day and with it comes new challenges.

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Finding My Role

Something interesting happened to me on twitter yesterday that surprised and delighted me at the same time.

I received a message in my inbox from someone who wanted me to contact someone she followed because she was concerned about his tweets and the content of them.

Why is this a good thing? well to me it is fantastic because it means I am getting known as someone who can help others with depression. This is one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place after all.

It was a really proud moment for me!

I spoke to the man and gave him the link for the depression questionnaire and he was surprise at his score. It had never occurred to him that he could have depression as he himself said

I guess my vision of a severely depressed person was someone who had just stopped living life all together,never leaving their home.”

Job done by the moose he intends to see his GP and talk to them about how he feels etc.

It is hard to describe how happy it made me that someone came to me to help someone else.

I really enjoy that aspect of this blog, I certainly do better helping other people than I do myself at times.

I just wish I knew where I could go in terms of my role. I would like consider myself as a writer but lets be honest I am not that good and the depression always rears its negative side when it comes to sales figures. It cannot be helped it is just human nature and something that will never change in my head until the sales are so high I can just sit back and count the money 😀

Or am I happy to help other people?  I sure do like it but I am not a professional and just someone coping with the illness, some days not very well.

Either way there needs to be something in my future where I can combine my writing and helping others and earn a living in the process!

Today I am in a good place and all negative thoughts have been locked away in the cupboard and I intend to keep them there for a while.

Atos Vs The Moose

Tomorrow is the big day when I have to attend my medical to force me off sickness benefits and back into work. Well I say work its more a case of forcing me to sign on and receive rejection after rejection while the people at the job centre look down their noses at me and make me feel like shit for not finding work.

Even though it is THEIR job to help me back into work most of them couldn’t care less about the person in front of them as they are too busy shouting across the room to a colleague!

Back to tomorrow though and I am stressed, nervous, anxious and determined all rolled into a potent cocktail of emotions. I am determined because I want to make the most of the assessment to help other people like you who have not gone through the process yet know what to expect from them.

We already know the result the government has predetermined that I am going to fail the medical because they take no consideration of mental health issues into account. As far as they are concerned I am fit for work because I can breath and lift my arms.

Problem for them is I will appeal and appeal until eventually they revise it just to get me off their backs! I will exhaust all avenues because that means I can help other people when they have to go through the same process that I am about to.

Sharing advice and information about how these people operate will only help others. I am expecting a few fun and games tomorrow based on what information is available on Google but that will only count against them when it comes to the fun of my appeal. One thing I am good at is writing letters of complaint and appeals, besides I know my little blogging buddy is ready to kick some ass too 😀

Hopefully I can get a decent nights sleep so wake up feeling refreshed, although that would probably count against me LOL so maybe I should stay up all night and walk in like a zombie 😀

Either way it is going to be an interesting experience and one that I intend to use to help other people, yeah I know I am a noble moose 🙂

 

Embracing Depression

As we leave August and welcome September it will be soon be six months to the day that I was ready to end it all!

see here for details about my moment of weakness

Now though I can look back over the last six months and in a strange way be grateful for depression turning me into the person I am today.

Without accepting that I needed some help and subsequently being diagnosed by my GP I would have just been another victim to a life of misery.

I made a decision to embrace my illness and turn it around into something that be positive, and look at how far I have come since then.

I had not done any writing since leaving school in 1995. Seventeen years are a long time to be doing no writing whatsoever and yet without depression I would not have considered doing a blog, let alone writing books. Publishing them was never an option, I was not even aware you could self publish!

I have always been better at dealing with other people’s problems than my own but now I am helping strangers, people who have reached out to me to thank me for writing about depression. This would never have happened with my depression!

It is funny how something that has caused me so much suffering has turned into something that has inspired me, and others.

I can thank depression for forcing me into writing and doing something that I really enjoy for the first time in many years, it is really only comparable to  playing football. That is a big statement because football was my life until I was 23 and the knee injury stopped me from playing. It took me ten long years to replace the feeling that football gave me and writing has given me a new lease of life.

In a round about way I can embrace depression and be happy in the knowledge that without it I would not be a published author and a (moderately) successful blogger.

So what can you do to turn your depression into something positive? The hardest thing is being able to take a back seat and look at things from a positive perspective but I can assure you there is something tucked away there that you may not be fully aware off. Be it as a writer, volunteer or even just a shoulder to cry on for someone in the same situation as you.

Has it inspired you to try something different?, or maybe like me to try something that was a long forgotten talent?

Regardless this morning I can thank depression for making my creative juices flow again and help others.

One Little Moose but One Big Voice

I am just one person speaking out about depression, hardly enough to cause even a ripple in the sea of people who suffer with this illness. Note the word illness not condition, not state of mind. Depression is an illness!

Some illnesses evoke sympathy in other people, some make people afraid.

“Man flu” is more commonly recognised and understood in some peoples mindset than depression.

Man in street sneezes “oh no, I have man flu”

The same man has displayed depression symptoms for months and done nothing about it, ” I’m not depressed, that means I am weak and I do not need any help”

That man is me! or more appropriately WAS me.

Then I changed my mindset, looked a things differently and decided that I could make a difference. Not just in my life, but in the lives of other men, or women, suffering from depression but either unaware of the symptoms or simply afraid of the repercussions that being known as someone having depression can bring.

Repercussions may seem a strong word but there is truth in it. Having depression and being open about it can cause more drama for people. The way others deal with you and treat you can be changed because of the stigmas of Mental Health Illnesses, not just depression. This is why some people keep depression hidden away like it is a dirty secret, why people are scared to ask for help and why in some cases people take their own lives.

What I did was walked into a phone box, checking beforehand that it was not damaged, and no one had urinated in it as is usually the case and I changed into..

 

Well yes maybe it is a slight exaggeration. Super Moose maybe goes to far but have you even seen a comic based on “slightly better than average” Man?

If I can speak up and help one person in their battle with depression then I can be extremely proud. If than one person then helps someone, and so on and so on imagine the wave we have created.

That is the aim of my blog, besides the help it gives me, and the hope is one day someone who needed help sought it after reading my words.

Today my tiny little corner of the blogging world hit 10,000 readers. Ten thousand! I didn’t expect ten would read it.

Now if those 10,000 readers wouldn’t mind buying my book I would be a happy chappy 🙂

I like to celebrate the little milestones as they come because they show me that there is a place for me as a blogger, and when I forget these little events on my bad days I can come back here and know that people like you inspire me to keep going and helping others.

To the people who have sent me messages of support, messages thanking me for my blog your kindness and bravery in reaching out to me keep me going.

I may be a little moose but my voice is big because I am speaking on behalf of those not yet ready, or unable, to speak for themselves.

That is my motivation, that is the reason for my dedication to the blog and book ideas. Spreading the word a day at a time that depression will not go away simply by pretending it does not exist.