24 April 2016

Description of a Dark Day

I'm at the start of a dark day.  I can feel it.  The darkness, sweeping in, avoidable; like the tide coming in on a beach.

If you have never suffered from depression, it is hard to understand.  I am lucky.  I get these days, rather than weeks or months.  They happen now and again and they do not affect my life, much.  I am thankful for that.

Earlier in my life, I went through a couple of years experiencing the darkness of depression.  I would not wish  it on anyone.  So I am thankful.  Because I know how bad it can feel.

But, this is not the point of this post.  The point is how to explain what a dark day feels, to someone who doesn't understand depression.  How you can have been having a fantastic day and then suddenly, it hits.  The swift downward spiral.  The way the next day, I am back to myself.

So let me try and explain.  *This is only from my view point.  How I feel.  What I experience.  It is different for everyone.

A deep seated sadness overwhelms you.  There is no rhyme or reason.  You could have been having the best day in the world. and then it hits.  

Your heart hurts.  Your soul hurts.  Fot that time, you question whether you are really happy at all.  Whether your life is just a mask to cover the hurt that is overwhelming you.  You cry. A lot. 

You are scared.  That maybe this time. the pain will stick.  That you will get stuck in this world of hurt.  That you cannot escape.  

You are angry.  Because the day before, you were happy.  Maybe even an hour before.  A minute. There is no logic behind it and for a logical person like me, this infuriates you.  You want to break it down and rationalize how you are feeling.  But you cannot rationalize depression.

It is the kind of pain where you feel that nothing can save you.  Your head is a black hole and you are falling down it; desperately trying to grab hold of something to stop your descent, but nothing is there.  

You feel guilty.  So guilty.  Especially if you are normally happy.  If you have a great life.  You see so much suffering in the world and you think to yourself "Why do I feel like this?  Others have truly terrible lives." That you are somehow indulging in a first world, inconsequential thing.  Except it isn't inconsequential.

Again I say that I am lucky.  Because when I had my couple of years of this, I understood why people tried to hurt themselves.  Cut themselves in order to feel.  Because I did it myself.  I am lucky because what I did, didn't leaves scars.  Yet again though. I feel guilty.  Because if I had truly wanted to hurt myself, there would be scars.  Feeling guilty because my pain did not leave a mark, Fucked up, isn't it?

You develop mechanisms of coping.  You try to shield those around you from it.  Because you know they will never truly understand.  You tell yourself "Just get through this day and you will be ok".

So here I sit, typing away, telling you how my dark day feels.  It is late.  I am hopeful that tomorrow, the darkness will be gone.  I am riding that wave, the rise and fall of pain that makes you want to curl into a ball and block the world. 

But that is ok.  You are allowed to block out the world.  As long as, when you are ready, you come back it.

This is my explanation of my dark day.  Like I said, it is different for everyone.  But for those who do not experience it, but know those who do: you cannot help them.  But you can understand.  You can give them a hug.  Let them deal with it. the way they know how to; but watch for the signs that it is overwhelming them.

Depression does not define who I am.  It is a part of me that I deal with, but it does not rule me.  Have compassion.  Do not judge us.  That is all we ask.

14 April 2016

The Outspoken Opinion

This is a conversation that I had with someone this week.

"You have a lot of opinions on a lot of stuff"
"Your Twitter feed is full of things you are spouting off about.  Don't you get tired of being an angry person?   Chill out for a while"
"I'm not an angry person at all.  But if I see something shitty, I am going to say something about it.  That is just who I am"
"So you are a social justice warrior then right?"
"Well if giving a shit about important issues makes me an SJW, then yes, that is what I am".

I thought about this conversation for a while.  Am I an angry person?  I would have to say no.  I am a happy gal.  My Twitter feed has a lot of things that I have shared that I disagree with, yes, but you know what?  Twitter takes up maybe thirty minutes of my day.  The rest, for all you know, is playing with bunnies and singing "The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music".  

So I decided to take a look at my feed over the last week and see what "controversial" things I had shared.  In reverse order:

  • 9 women's refugees in Lancashire facing closure because of budget cuts.  Shared a petition - please sign!!
  • Adam Johnson appealing his verdict.  Dude, you admitted child grooming and sexual activity with a CHILD.  Shut up.
  • That 8 out of 10 most abused writers on the Guardian were women.  No surprise there.
  • That body shaming is not ok.  
  • That Dennis Skinner called David Cameron "dodgy Dave".  LOVED this.
  • Laughed at the idea that the films that MRAs cried about were some of my favourite films.  (A woman, being the lead in a film: misandry!!!) lol
  • A guy on a dating website who went full throttle psycho on me within two messages of speaking.

Still wish I had managed to write "They should stop constantly obsessing about women" rather than missing the "stop".  But hey ho.

  • That 5 horses died in the Grand National meet.  Find a ray of sunshine in that.  I dare you.
  • That Missouri Republicans want Planned Parenthood to provide a list of any woman who has ever had an abortion and that the woman who is refusing, is facing jail.
  • That being blocked, is not the same is being censored.  Brilliant article from Clementine Ford who rightly points out her right to block a man from her own page who says "Good job you slimey fat cunt, I really do hope you are the next one raped."  Or that she deserves to be gang raped.

So there you have it.  Ten "controversial things I have tweeted about in the last seven days.  Look at them.  All of them.  Then put them together.  

So lets summarize.  Women losing a safe place to go when they have been abused.  A paedophile,  Women being abused for saying what they think.  Calling out body shamers.  Dodgy Dave (enough said).  MRAs moaning about women being a lead in a couple of films.  A misogynist guy who messaged me (and after that message, offered me money to go out with him).  Animals dying for human entertainment.  Women losing client confidentiality because the Republicans think the rights to a woman's body belongs to a man.  (A percentage) of men thinking that losing the right to threaten to rape or kill a woman online on her own page is a loss of a freedom of speech.

You know what?  Fuck that.  I am angry.