Back From the Brink

Today is gonna be a good day, the start of a good week, and hopefully the start of a great November (well the rest of it anyway)

I feel absolutely shattered but went for a nice walk in the rain to clear away some cobwebs and spend some pennies in Sainsburys** and can not feel my arms as the shopping bags were bleeding heavy.

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past few weeks about things from my past that may or may not have caused me to be depressed and whilst there are things I do not want to write about some of them for fear of hurting others I am more aware of where I have been as a person and proud of where I am now.

A lot of mistakes have been made by myself that hold me back now both personally and professionally but I am determined not to dwell on them and do things my way (sounds like a good idea for a song! wonder if its been done already?)

But this week I am excited and not because of something happening to me but rather something that is happening to a dear sweet friend of mine, someone I am proud to have in my life who has been through a rough time recently. I hope this week, and next brings her lots of joy because without her friendship I would not be here today! I wont name her but I am pretty sure she knows who she is.

Exciting things for me will happen in time of that I am confident, I have enough support and prayers going up for me to not have a little bit of faith in good times ahead.

I am excited about this amazing book idea I had it is gonna make me the most famous depressed moose in the world (evil laughter) but unfortunately there is no software available yet to take the ideas out of my head and put them into a word document so I will have to get cracking soon before the idea disappears.

And of course there is the big event in 17 days where all my followers and friends send me shed loads of presents to open! 34 soon sigh I still think of myself as a 18 year old but then those were the days when I was in my peak not like today when I have the body of a 70 year old! (apologies to any 70 year old readers)

So what have you got to be excited about? a new “friend”? ¬†a birthday? the Christmoose season? there must be something in the near future to get you excited***

Lets start this week feeling positive and hopefully good things will follow Lord knows we could do with a break!

** other supermarkets are available

*** it is ok to admit you’re excited by my new book I wont punish you for it ūüėÄ

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An Interview With The Moose

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The Moose Busy “writing” his blog

I was lucky enough today to catch the Moose hard at work on his blog, as you can see from the photo above. I had been invited to his “office” by his PA as he was willing to grant me an interview about his depression, the causes, the road to recovery and his hopes for the blog he is writing and what can be¬†achieved¬†as a result of it.

I was met at the station and surprised to be blindfolded and bundled into a waiting car all in the name of protecting his location so once I arrived I was delighted to meet such a charming, engaging “person” willing to expose himself (no not in that sense!) and give up his time in the interests of, in his own words, “helping to end the stigmas surround depression and other Mental Health Illnesses”.

After taking a few photographs, at his insistence Рusing his own camera no less!, we sat down for what started out as a little chat but soon turned into a wonderful insight into the man behind the moose!

Please sit back and enjoy the ride….

Garry: What made you realise you had depression?

Moose: I had known for some time that something was not right with me. I have had certain symptoms for a number of years without recognising what they amounted to and always managed to keep my head above water, somehow, without feeling the need to seek help from my Doctor.

These symptoms included, with a high combination of them at any one time

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.¬†A bleak outlook‚ÄĒnothing will ever get better and there‚Äôs nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities.¬†No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You‚Äôve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes.¬†Significant weight loss or weight gain‚ÄĒa change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes.¬†Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability.¬†Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy.¬†Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing.¬†Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior.¬†You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems.¬†Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

When things started getting too much for after a trigger moment I knew I had to see someone and get help.

G: “Trigger moment”? what do you mean by that?

M: I guess the easiest way to explain that is by saying it was like my “Eureka!” moment when all the pieces fell into place and made me realise that I couldn’t go on the way I was living my life.

The build up to my “trigger moment” all started after the death of my Uncle who I had cared for almost full time for the last 12 months of his life. While I was caring for him I didn’t have the time to concentrate on my own issues as he needed me to be strong for him and by the same token I enjoyed the time we spent together albeit with the unhappy ending. I say unhappy loosely because I firmly believe he is in a better place now and no longer suffering from his ailments, one of which was depression!

After he passed away I soon fell into a deep depression while battling my feelings of grief, anger and frustration and felt like I had let him down by not doing more for him. (For the record if I knew then what I know now about what sort of treatment was available to him I would still be kicking his Doctors arse 14 months later!)

Fast forward 7 months from the death of my uncle and I was at my lowest ebb and ready for a long drop from my window ¬†to end it all! This for me was my “trigger moment”

G: So what happened next?

M: I made the important step of making an appointment to see my GP and ask him for help. I remember my first words to him like it was yesterday “I need your help, I can’t take it anymore and I’m desperate!” The words fell freely from my mouth and once the dam was breached I couldn’t stop talking (and crying!) about the years of pent-up depression and I left his office that day feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I was diagnosed as suffering from “high intensity depression” those words well a relief to me, it meant I could now start recovering!

Moose relaxing with some cake

G: So what changed after seeing your GP?

M: The biggest change for me was being able to communicate properly with someone about how I felt without worrying about being perceived as “weak” for having depression. Suddenly my wife could hear from me about my feelings, thoughts and worries and since then our marriage has gone from strength to strength.

There is a lot to be said for simply talking to someone about having depression or talking to someone who has depression! If more people spoke openly about this they would be amazed at how much it would help them. Since I no longer have to hide the fact I have depression I can focus on helping myself then , as I become stronger, helping others.

G: Is the blog part of the healing process?

M: Yes and no. The blog is like my diary where I can express myself freely and share my emotions and thoughts. It helps me to write these things down and look back over them when I am in a better frame of mind so I can learn more about myself and what causes my depression and what makes me feel better. I find it easier to write than I do to talk to others about my depression, apart from my wife of course!

G: What are you hoping to achieve from your blog?

M: Well the main objective of it is to make myself better! From there I am hoping to help other people, especially men, learn about depression, its symptoms and how it is ok to ask for help, that it is not a sign of weakness. I also hope that through reading my blog people can help their loved ones by learning more about how depression can affect people and what they could do to help them.

Moose with his friend Jess

G: So what happens now?

M: There is no set plan, as long as people are reading my blog and feel inspired by my words and experiences I will continue to write it. I intend to gain lots more followers and readers in the hope that I can help even one person then I will feel like I have accomplished something. I intend to bore my friends on Facebook into submission so that my Facebook Page gets shared around in the hope that I get more likes and therefore more readers coming to my blog.

For the first time in years I feel inspired and the creative juices are flowing helping me to recover or at least understand more about the depression that I have and what causes me to have the ups and downs! I am making myself heard in a positive light and gained a new-found respect for myself in the process. It can also be said that people have a new-found respect for me too and see me in a different light than before.

G: How can I help?

M: Giving me this platform has helped, my readers will learn more about me and hopefully they can help spread the word of my blog. The more people who read it the better chance we have of showing depression in a positive way and in turn the more people we can get talking about mental health illnesses the easier it will be to end the stigma of it. People with depression come from all walks of life it doesn’t care what riches you have or what career you have.
At least one person in every six becomes depressed in the course of their lives, that shows how many people you know could have this illness yet would you know what to do or how to help if a friend came to you and wanted to talk? This is where, hopefully, my blog can help.

A relaxed moose during our interview

And just like that the moose was gone! Back to his keyboard and desk and I was on my way back home.

I would like to point out that the moose received no money for this exclusive interview but did accept Pringle’s, Pepsi max and big red chewing gum!

I hope you liked this interview!

Garry

Related Posts:

Depression and Me

Depression 2

The Man behind the Moose

or for a complete list of all my posts so far please see Moose Tracks

Try Something Different Today

 

 

 

I have been trying something different this weekend in my approach to my depression. It all came about when I woke up feeling down on Saturday morning, feeling negative is not a good thing for me as it stresses me out and causes my bowels to play up.

“too much information” I hear you cry! But am I seriously the only person out there with this issue caused by stress? Well I am pretty sure its stress that causes it as blood tests have found nothing wrong!

But I digress, my newest solution was to THINK POSITIVE! sounds simple doesn’t it but negativity plays a big part in depression and is one of the hardest issues to deal with.

Revisit my blog on https://thedepressedmoose.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/the-negative-thinking-challenge/ for more about this issue but what I want you to think about is the POSITIVES.

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you best features?
  • What have you done to be proud about?
  • What do you offer to people?
  • Describe yourself using 5 POSITIVE ADJECTIVES. Start with the words “I AM” (example I AM BEAUTIFUL)

Just try it even if for a few minutes, finding positive things to say about ourselves is never easy but sometimes you can surprise yourself with what you come up with it may even help you.

It is nice to think of yourself in a positive light for a change I have been focusing on the positives of writing this blog as it has really enabled me to express myself properly, as well as the thought that I am helping people too.

Of course the problem with depression is that the concept of thinking positive is not one we are able to consider. How many times have you complained about having a bad day? compare it to how many times you have said “I’m having a good day!” or on a lesser scale “I’m having a better day”.

It is so much easier to focus on the negatives, whats going wrong in our lives always stands out more but by trying to focus on the good things you have done to fight depression you are showing strength which can be the first step to winning!

Here is a list of my recent positive thoughts that made last week my best week in years………

  • I am a good writer and people LIKE my blog
  • I am not as fat looking as I think I am
  • I am better looking than I think I am
  • I am helping people
  • I am loved

Being positive changed my down feelings at the start of the weekend into a good mood and although this wont work for everyone, it may not even work for me next time. Where is the harm in at least trying it?

The hardest part of the battle will be the “I can’t” feelings but I believe “you can”! so try it for me and see how it goes.

Carrying on from the strange songs in my head there has been a second song now going round my head.  Here are the lyrics from the first couple of verses

You can do anything that you want to do

Put your mind, body and soul to it,

Prove it to yourself and say

I want (I want), I will (I will),

I can do anything.

It’s a difficult world and you have got to prove

That you’re ready and you can do it.

Nothing in this world would stop you,

I know, I can, I will fulfill my dreams.


The tone of the lyrics dont quite ¬†fit with the song genre as you will find here but sometimes you find inspiration in the most¬†unusual¬†places. Here is the video for the song by Livin Joy called Don’t Stop Moving

Until the next time!

Garry “the new mr motivator” :0)