There’s been lots flying around the media about mental health and depression since the suicide of Robin Williams. As per usual when these things make the news, some of it awful, much of it brilliant. The piece I’ve quoted from above is one of the best. I was going to blog something considered of my own about depression and things but since I’m a bit busy with work/The Novel/a damaged foot, and a bit bored of the sound of my own voice, I’ll be brief and to-the-point. If you’re really pushed for time, skip to the final para; that’s the important bit.
This year and last, I’ve been on (and am still on) a very long and frankly sometimes quite bloody annoying road to functioning normally after an especially horrible previous two years. I’m currently writing a book which is going to drive me mad if I don’t finish it and equally so if I do, and I must be the only author in modern existence with their family’s blessing for writing a novel because it’s more stable than their actual job. I’m also trying to find long-term support to address various interlinking professional and personal problems. Whilst I’m grateful to have had the support I’ve had up to now, and in most cases at the very least it wasn’t actively unhelpful (which is a lot more than some people can say…), my past spells of counselling and therapy have been very short-term, and only ever semi-addressed one thing at a time, making me feel as though I’m perpetually falling between stools.
I’m fortunate in that I have a two-way support network of some lovely, lovely friends and acquaintances who’ve had broadly similar experiences, which is brilliant at keeping me going whilst I look for the right professionals. However, there’s something else which I feel could be helpful in the mean time, in relation to one in particular of my situations, which is one of the hardest of the bunch to talk about publicly or find people who relate to (just FYI, it’s nothing illegal…).
I’d be interested to hear from you privately if you’ve ever been involved in any difficult/emotional circumstance which you’re reluctant to speak openly about for fear of being judged negatively. I’d like to hear how you feel and how you cope, if indeed you do (It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, or what it is. I won’t judge you or tell anyone – not even if it’s illegal, so long as it’s not an imminent physical threat to anyone, like you’re abusing kids or planning to blow up a government building…). You can reach me via email – for those who don’t have my email address, you can use the contact form above. Or you can speak to me in person if you’d rather. Please don’t feel under pressure to disclose anything you don’t want to, but it will mean a hell of a lot to me if you do.