Facing up, coming out…

Depression Journal


After many many months in which I posted next to nothing on facebook with any actual content, stopped using it to communicate and express myself, I finally stepped forward and said the ‘D word’ out loud and in public.

It’s a small thing. A short post. But it was the moment I returned to public – and perhaps waking – life. The moment I fessed up…

Much reading to do in an effort to understand my brain and my depression. But the process of discovery itself seems helpful as does understanding the physicality of my illness. My brain has literally blown a fuse. I’ve damaged the limbic system. Right now I’m at the start of trying to repair it. Learning to go easier on myself. Learning that so much of what I worry about is infact a symptom of the illness itself. My attention span for instance, which had me worried that I was losing the ability to write; to sit down, focus and let it flow. For now I’m setting baby step goals. 250-500 words a night (if I do more that’s a bonus). But that way progress will be made, stories will be finished and – I hope – any regular increase in wordage might reflect a growth toward recovery. All of which is just scraping the surface of the issue, but then I’m just scraping the surface of understanding it (and the depth of it within me), and making the very first steps on the road out of the dark.”

The stuff about writing and word counts was fallacy, it hasn’t worked out that way. Mostly what I’ve been learning is to take care of myself. Refil the tank. The writing comes from me, but I’ve been running on empty. That can’t be good for the work I produce. So I’ve stepped back. Focussed more than anything on learning to BE again. To FEEL again. And to EXPERIENCE.

The numbness that comes with depression robbed me of the  basic things that brought me pleasure, brought me joy; inspired me. Books never left me (they became more than ever a brief respite, a temporary escape). But I stopped loving movies for a while there. Everything seemed to disappoint me or just leave me cold. Now (with the help of my glorious wife), I’m making time to go to the cinema. And I’m having a ball.

Even when they’re bad, I’m engaging again. And enjoying that engagement. That desire to debate, and with the good ones, SHARE. Share the passion, share the love, share the joy that moving images juxtaposed to convey narrative and emotion have when they fit together perfectly, reach in through your retina and set fire to your mind.

I’ve begun to wonder if it might not be possible to blog my journey toward recovery in films, viewing by viewing.

It’s a thought…

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