A Moosive Goodbye

The time has come for me to say goodbye to this blog.

My inspirations for writing, Teresa and Sheryl have left me. Time for me to spread my wings and fly – or crash land to the ground, one or the other.

Thank you all for reading and supporting me but now I have to move forwards on my own.

My books will still be available for the next month when I will remove them from sale for anyone interested.

good luck to you all and good mental health!

The Depressed Moose has left the building

 

 

Moosey Takes A Break… And needs Your Help

For the next week or so I am going to be taking a wee break from this blog.

Going to keep myself busy with things around the flat that need a good clean and hopefully decorate as well. If any of you live in the east London area and have some paint that you dont want please consider donating it to me so I can get cracking as I can’t afford paint yet LOL or anything that may help make this flat spotless considered.

So here is your chance to have your say while I am gone…

As always the opportunity for you to write a post for this blog is open and here is your time to shine.

Any topic on depression is wanted, be it from a sufferers perspective or from someone who lives with a person with depression. Any subject any topic related to depression is open for you to get things off your chest and share with the followers of the moose.

Please send me an email at thedepressedmoose at hotmail dot com with your post and I will get it uploaded – no words limit, as many or as few posts as you feel able to write. just give me a name to use and/or a link to your twitter account or any link you wish to share.

I feel amazing still and now want to make the place look great too!

See you on the other side, I hope that there will be some guest posts coming your way soon!

Its Ironic

But when I feel so good I have no one here to share it with.

After so long in the doldrums and wanting to just hide away, that now, when I want to get out and about and socialise again that I am sitting here on a Friday night with nobody here but me and my loneliness.

Now I sit here desperate for the chance to be sitting in the pub with great company and conversation but I don’t even have enough money for a quick half of lager or even a coke.

This is not even about depression but about being alone. Hell I have Vodka, Jack Daniels and other stuff here to drink if I wanted to but its the company I want more than the alcohol…

MUST. STAY. STRONG.

 

The New Old Garry

As written before the old Garry is back and 2 weeks later still going on strong. Not a single depressive thought or negative feeling in all that time either although obviously alongside the old me is an improved version.

With all the old traits of sarcasm, confidence, and a yearning to go be out socialising comes the sensitivity to other people’s feelings and wanting to help out where I can, especially when it comes to depression and mental health.

At the same time though no longer will I be a party to game playing and mind games. I am a nice guy despite my recent failings and will never again allow myself to believe that I do not deserve better than what life throws at me, time has come for me to go out and look for opportunities rather than waiting for them to appear.

As far as socialising goes okay I will admit I haven’t been out yet for a drink or 12 but thats because I have no friends in the real world to go out with. However, only having online friends is not as much as a handicap as I led myself to believe in the past. A few of them are still local to me and eventually they will take the hint and invite me out for a cup of tea at the very least! oh and pay for it cos moose is poor don’t forget. Hell I don’t even need alcohol to go out and make a prat out myself I can do that just as well with the bubbles from the pepsi in the pub :D

A friend is a friend no matter where in the world they are.

So what tips can I give to people on how to cope with the black dog of depression?

Here are my 3 top tips

First thing to do is learn not to be so hard on yourself. This has been my biggest issue because every little mistake I made I allowed to fester away at me and increase the feeling of being a failure. Admit the mistake, apologise if anyone was caught in the crossfire and move onward and upwards. If you keep saying sorry you will only end up making it worse in your own mind.

Show me someone who thinks they have never made a mistake and I will show you a liar…

Get active is number 2! I have seen a massive increase in my recovery since hitting the gym, or even just getting outdoors for a little while. Fight through the pain if needed for the first few sessions and soon it will become part of your routine. I feel in better shape than I have for a long time and although that shape is more circle than anything else the results are there to see!

Make plans – It has always helped me to have something to look forward to, even if its just simply a friend coming over for a cuppa and a chat, it may not be a proven scientific fact but gossip helps :D

Naturally it is all easier said than done but each of the 3 above have been major reasons as to my current state of mental health. That’s not to say they will work for you as everyone is different BUT if you haven’t tried some of them then give it a go, you have nothing to lose by trying something new.

To keep myself going through the last 2 weeks I am keeping myself  busy by staying on top of the housework and getting out at least once a day. The treadmill is slowly being tamed and after an hour on there yesterday I even attacked the rowing machine. Here is a tip for you though when using the treadmill – dont hit the fucking emergency stop button half way through your workout because you lose the stats and have to start again. Some dopey bastard did that TWICE yesterday!

Speaking of something to look forward to… Now I just need to save up £28 to book my place in next years 10k run……

If the black dog comes near you today make sure you growl first and watch it run off tail between its legs…

I am Sorry

I am sorry I let you down

I am sorry I let us down

I am sorry I took you for granted

I am sorry I became a shell of the old me

I am sorry I took your spirit away

I am sorry I let myself go

I am sorry for all the wrong I done to you

I am sorry I hurt you

I am sorry I drove you away.

I am back to the me from years ago and this time things will be different I will not take the piss again and let you mother me, take care of me at the detriment to your own health and I will be the one take takes it on his shoulders and carries you when you are weak.

My arms will be there to hold you and protect you.

My heart will always be here for you

Lets look to the future and the good times ahead that have eluded us for so long, yet are around the corner.

You and me against the world – an unstoppable team….

you need actions not words, but words are all I have until your back when the actions will be all I promised and more!

birthday-moose

The Birthday Moose

 

birthday-moose

A year ago today I made the decision to finally “come out” about my depression, and in typical Garry style I did it to the world and created this blog.

My original intention was to help other men come to terms with their depression and get people talking about mental health in general –  I would like to think I achieved this moose mission! It has also helped me in a way I never even imagined – I cannot recommend writing about your depression highly enough. At times it has made me see where things have been going wrong and helped me spot the warning signs of the bad cycles coming.

I have made many new friends since starting this journey and have become “famoose” in my own right – or in my own head, either works for me!

Massive thanks go to Sheryl and the never forgotten Teresa for inspiring me in the early days and giving me the encouragement to write and the support to help me through the bad days.

Naturally I owe a massive debt of gratitude to you, the reader who puts up with my dodgy humour (or comedic genius as I call it), my wallowing and moaning in equal measure yet have stood by me and offered words of advice or just words of support when needed. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know many of you who I now consider friends.

390+ posts and almost 55 thousands views later it has been a wonderful journey of self discovery and remembering my love of writing.

Here is a list of the top 10 most viewed posts on this site since day 1

  1. You can’t be depressed you’re smiling
  2. Hitting rock bottom is not the end
  3. The Man behind the moose
  4. Moose Tracks
  5. This form could change a life
  6. why I blog and how often
  7. Things to cheer you (and me) up
  8. why its ok to have bad days
  9. Books published by the moose
  10. a children’s book on depression - possibly my favourite post!

 

This blog has been view in 131 countries so huge thanks again to the people who kindly share my posts via twitter, Facebook or any other method.

A few people have also donated to the blog over the first year and I want to say how grateful I have been for this. As you know I have less money than certain countries in the EU so every little donation has helped keep me going.

Raise a glass and lets toast to the next 12 months of thedepressedmoose.com

I will toast to new friends, great support and being #famoose!

Enough of the thanks now lets get a party started! I will bring the Jack Daniels you bring the cake and the strippers!

 

 

Three Little Words…

How are you?
Are you okay?
Talk to me
I am listening
Here for you
I want you
I need you
I miss you
I love you

such simple words yet all seem so hard to be said AND meant.

Wonder if I will hear any of these today

well besides the times I tell them to myself but you know its always nice to hear them from others

meanwhile today is Father’s Day so a very happy father’s day to dads all around the world

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10 Days of Happiness

Guess who’s back, back again
Moose’s back, tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back,
Guess who’s back. Guess who’s back?

 

For as long as I can remember I have not felt this strong mentally. The shock of what happened 10 days has been to such an extent that the Garry who wallowed with his depression, lazing around on his backside all day and expecting things to come to him and be done for him has seeming packed his bags and moved on.

I have rediscover my love for myself, my confidence and, more importantly rediscovered Garry of old.

I have complete sympathy for Mrs Moose and understand why she had to walk away, for too long has she been a mother, wife, housekeeper and unable to look after herself because the man she fell in love in had turned into a shell of that person. I should have been more aware of her needs but as we all know depression is one selfish bastard of an illness and its hard to focus on other things when we are so busy just clinging on to the edge before we drop off. Yet now I see everything so clearly now, and giving up has never been my style. We finally spoke face to face and will be trying again in a few weeks after she has returned from a much needed holiday where she can recharge her batteries.

How on earth can you love someone who hates themselves? quite simply you cannot and poor Sheryl has been completely run down trying to deal with me and not having enough time for herself, or even quality Garry and Sheryl time. This will change, now is time for me to step up and be the protector and not the protected.

Whilst I can appreciate her apprehension, as obviously words are easy to say, believe me when I tell you all that never again will she feel so alone in our marriage. There are numerous posts on this blog explaining how I feel (and have always felt) about her and just the fact that she is giving us one last try is welcome news to me because she is my soul mate, my best friend and my shining light.

She makes me want to be a better person and you cannot ask for anymore from a partner. I have changed so much because of her over the years into a much better version of Garry, ask ex partners LOL they will tell you what a different man I am since being with her.

My relationship with Brandon is getting back on track as well, we have had a great 10 days of being just the two of us, and once the shock of seeing Dad with an Iron in his hand subsided he has been brilliant. His room even managed to find the carpet that once was visible under all his shit and he has kept it clean too!

While I am not naive enough to think I have beaten depression I can finally tell the world how fucking good I feel currently because I haven’t had a 10 day cycle of feeling this great for years! 

The strength, the laughter, the “don’t give a fuck” attitude, the smile and the being able to look at the person in the mirror and like what i see has returned and depression can, quite simply, go fuck itself.

With the support of some amazing friends, people who have only recently come into the moose’s world at that has been a huge part of this and my advice to anyone reading this with depression wondering what the biggest thing for me was is to get out there and make friends, find a support network and you will be amazed by the level of support you receive from strangers who suddenly become the best of friends.

Ant, Maria, WeeGee, Amy, Jamie, Kimmy, Gary, Emmy, the moose and friends support group on Facebook i run and others i forgot to mention have been amazing and really stood up for moose. While others have disappointed me with their disappearances I am too busy focusing on those who were there for me to care about you. “friends” who have always come to me for support who simply deserted me the past week or so, I don’t forget these things in a hurry….

Man oh man the moose sounds bitter doesn’t he lol

I can see all the faults I have had over the past 3 years or more, all the negative things I have said and done and at the same time I am fucking amazed at what I have achieved too! 

I have also not paid to play bingo in 10 days! more success on the road to recovery…

Moose likes Moose again and this is the biggest victory of them all!

 

 

Moose Talks Depression

Tickets will soon be on sale for my one man (moose) show, Moose talks Depression.

Hopefully it will be as successful as I expect with all seats sold out well in advance and demand so great that I am forced to add a string of dates and take the show on the road!

Please bare in mind I only have a 2 seater sofa and 3 chairs around the dining table so book quick to avoid disappointment!

The set has been designed along the theme of a famous old lost city where Moose roamed freely and became too powerful, eventually this upset the Gods and they were banished underwater forever.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the return of the lost city of Antlertis….

So why the idea for the one man show, and more importantly why am I wasting your time with this obvious incoherent nonsense..

well the reason is because I have a dream… a dream where people are hooked on my every word as I talk about depression! It would be a dream of mine to have a job where I could go into places and speak about the issues surrounding depression and how to help people with it, how I cope with the illness and how I pushed myself back from the brink to where I am today.

Having depression and, albeit mild anxiety is something that would never hold me back from talking about it whether it be one on one or to a group of complete strangers. In fact by nature I actually thrive in group situations where I am often in my element!

I WILL BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION DAMMIT! 

People like Alastair Campbell inspire me in this sense because he has overcome his depression to become a successful motivational talker and a regular on the after dinner speakers circuit. He speaks freely about his depression and how he overcomes it and has to be admired for this! (He also retweeted me once so gets additional bonus points!)

So what makes me confident enough to KNOW I could speak in public? and how can it help you?

Obviously it helps if you have an outgoing personality to begin with but being introvert by nature does not mean you do not have the ability to overcome your nerves if you found yourself in this situation and clam up..

Firstly and most importantly is to remember that if people ask you something it is because they WANT to hear what you have to say, consider it your time to shine and make yourself heard. Value what you have to say and that your opinion matters!

Something that most people with depression have in common is the ability to wear a mask to hide how we are really feeling so why not use that mask, that false personality as it were, and turn it into an advantage. Use it as a confidence generator when in a group situation as opposed to the mask of invisibility you see it as.

Lots of people talk about the old trick of imaging the people in front of you naked to make you feel uncomfortable but lets be honest here, no one wants to be listening to a man with an erection so use caution if in a room with lots of good looking people!

Often when I am in situations where there are lots of people I take the following attitude with me

These people will never see me again and I will never see them either

It gives me a “take me as I am” attitude and mentality, again this is because I have always been a mouthy bugger anyway and never backwards in sharing my opinion – whether you want it or not in a lot of cases…

Be brave and talk loudly so that everyone in the room can hear you and take notice, nothing worse than straining to hear a timid mouse at the front of the room when your sat at the back…if you are like me you might not even need a microphone!

And so as my fame (or infamy more like) grows you may find my name listed here http://www.primeperformers.co.uk/category/after-dinner-speakers/ as an after dinner speaker but please remember that I am also available after breakfast, lunch, and supper!

you provide the food I will provide the nonsense!

Now where has my stage manager and ticket seller gone? still 5 tickets left…..

Help! I think I have Depression…

Of all the messages I have received from people since starting this blog the thing that is asked most to me is the question of whether that person has depression. This stems from recognising a lot of themselves in my posts and it is great that people feel confident enough in me to reach out and ask for my advice. It is not as easy as you think contacting a complete stranger and asking for help, you just don’t know how that person will respond. Will they ignore your message, or dismiss you out of hand? so kudos to everyone who has ever sent me a message, I hope in my own way I have helped…

So what do you do if you think you have depression?

Believe it or not the fact that you have asked yourself that question is the first and hardest part of your journey. It is all to easy to simply dismiss the issue and put it down to sadness, but when you are feeling low for days/weeks/months on end with no change then that should be the warning sign you need to consider depression as the cause.

Depression is one of those things that will not go away if you ignore it! (a bit like me!)

What next?

This is where I come in handy! if you click PHQ9_depression you will find a questionnaire that is used by your GP to assess whether you are depressed and if so to what extent. Answer the questions with complete honesty and work out your score. Depending on that score you speak to your GP as soon as possible.

When I first saw my GP about depression I was in the early 20s!

Talk to my GP? <Shudders>

Whilst I appreciate how difficult this can be for people what you need to remember is that they have heard it all before from other patients. They will not judge you any differently for opening up about this nor will they call the men in white coats to take you away!

Most GP’s will be kind and understanding about it, i say most because the wife was once told she wasn’t depressed but “suffering from the stress of life”!! but the majority will help you and determine whether you need to be prescribed anything. Some surgeries even have GP’s who specalise in Mental Health so you could ask to see them if you do not want to see your normal doctor ask at the reception where they can advise you.

Whilst you are meeting your GP remember to tell them everything, holding things back from them because you feel embarrassed or ashamed will not help you get better. Tell yourself that they have heard or seen worse and let it out! I cried like a baby when I finally spoke to my GP, it was a feeling of relief to not have to hold it in anymore and knowing that there was actually something wrong with me! I no longer had to hide my condition, I was just pleased I wasn’t going mad like I thought at one point!

Antidepressants? good or bad?

I can only speak as I find and for me antidepressants have been good! I did suffer from a side effect from the first ones I was put on but after speaking to my doctor I simply changed them onto ones that work just fine.  I notice if I do not take my tablets like I am supposed to, which indicates they do the job as far as helping me goes.

Take them if prescribed and talk to your GP about any concerns you have!

Talking about depression?

Telling your friends/ partner / family is a difficult decision with all the stigma attached BUT in my experience it is better to be open about your condition especially to those affected by you on a daily basis. Not only does it help you by not having to hide it, they will be able to offer you support. Well some people will and others not so much but then the ignorance of others is not your fault (my great-uncle for example is in his 80′s and does not believe in depression!), those who matter will be there for you in the long run.

As far as I am concerned the more people we have talking about depression, especially men, the better. I would love it to become an everyday topic of conversation instead of the taboo subject it currently is.

Talking about it will actually benefit you! Believe me when I tell you that sharing your thoughts and issues will make it easier for your recovery. This blog is an example of how much talking about depression will help! It was the best decision I ever made to start sharing my battle with other because things do not sit on my mind and weight my down, I blog about it and it is off my chest and that improves my state of mind!

If you are not sure about the benefits of writing how about doing a guest post for me to see how cathartic it can be!

If all else fails you can always contact me but remember that I am a sufferer of depression and not a medical professional and I will always direct you to see a doctor! but I will always answer any questions as best I can!

So there you have it! looks nice and easy doesn’t it?

I know it isn’t easy but think how much better you could feel if you take that all important first step. After the first step the rest gets easier because you will be getting stronger for acknowledging the issue!

ASKING FOR HELP IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH NOT WEAKNESS!

and may I be the first to wish you the best of luck on your journey!