Or you can call it the comfort zone or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. All I know is, the longer you keep your head buried in the sand like an ostrich, the harder it is to bring it above ground again. And lemme let you in on a little secret; it’ll come back and bite you in the arse the more you stay there in that place of false security. We’re not talking a kinky bite from the person you’re crushing on either, we’re talking a massive chunk of searing hot torment and frustration.
I get it, I mean, it’s nice and cosy right? It’s all snug, your brain convinces you that everything’s gonna be okay if you stay here, you can shut out all of your problems and escape while the world goes on around you, turning and turning. But therein lies the massive problem. Nothing changes, nothing gets solved, nothing goes away. Depression festers, planting seedlings in all of the fields that make up your life with wild abandon, caring not when it harvests the crops that grow inside of your skull.
Sometimes, we’re guilty of laying down the foundations that depression builds on ourselves. It’s not always something that happens to us because life is just unfair, life doesn’t care about fairness at all. And granted, while life events that are completely out of our control (like a family death or losing your job etc) can still be the source of a lot of pain, our own actions can also bring on the intensity and morose atmosphere that you breathe in when depression surrounds you. It can be a big “I’ve really fucked up here” kinda thing, or it can be lots of small decisions that you make over a period of time that add up in your subconscious and sneak attack you when you’re at your most vulnerable. However depression finds its way to you, it sucks like a giant gobstopper that never seems to shrink and only gives you jaw ache for a week.
Over the past two years, there have been some major changes in my life that I feel have contributed in varying degrees to my current state of mind. In the wake of the death of my nan and the subsequent move back home from Blackpool, I struggled to come to terms with the life I was living and my new one. Although I was back home in familiar surroundings, I never envisioned living back down South when I left 5 years ago and it felt so bittersweet; success and failure in equal measure. Those feelings have wilted away as the months have passed, but I still catch myself almost every day thinking about my Nan and how much I miss her. On the days where she’s not at the forefront of my mind, I’m sure that’s my brain’s way of trying to keep the baying dogs of pain and grief at bay.
I’m just sick and tired of holding on so tightly to the blanket that depression lays over me each day and night. It might feel easier at the time to pull it up to my neck and drink it in, mannnn, but it’s making the outside world a tougher place to deal with.
So, depression, I know you’re gonna stick around for a while. You might always be with me, you might not. But I’m tired of taking the easy option and shying away from the harsh realities of life. I’m tired of letting you win every game and wearing the captain’s armband. It’s high time things changed and it starts today.
Laugh all you want, but in group therapy this week, I managed to get some one-one time and she came up with a great suggestion. I was tasked with choosing a person whom I admire for their confidence and approach to life. Naturally, I chose Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and have been saying to myself, “What would DJ do in this situation?” whenever I’ve had a little wobble. And d’you know what? As silly as it sounded to me at first, it’s been working, so I’m gonna stick with it for a while longer because I’ll do anything to get better. Not just for myself, but for everyone around me that’s been so worried, especially over the past week with where my head has taken me.
I might cling on to the blanket every now and again, but one thing’s for sure, I’m not gonna use it as an excuse for not living my life. I’m casting it aside, pulling my head out of the sand and biting depression back right where it hurts; in the mirror.