Quick Update

I am still here, still struggling to write and still dealing with more shit than I can currently handle – as always most of it self inflicted but moose is still fighting and just about clinging on.

Things have been improving in terms of how I am viewing myself, I am starting to get my confidence back again, helped by actually having a sex life again! yep moose has found his game again and rutting season is in full flow…

Hard enough (pun intended) to believe that one person finds me attractive but even better is when its a few people

BUT even better than having a few admirers is when they actually come over and visit! So besides being worn out by “moose meating” (I LOVE this phrase, thanks Mary for coining it) and an attack of the deadly man flu I do feel fairly positive again.

So much so that I am actually driving myself mad by a lack of activity! I have no plans currently, all the things I wanted to do have had to be held back until September/October time in terms of courses. Financially I am fucked and cant afford to implement any of my other goals until I get rid of this huge debt I am paying off – for someone who has such bad credit how the hell these companies keep giving me loans I do not know! but 3 out of 5 are paid off and slowly but surely I am getting the others down… I would say I am currently on the bread line but I cant afford bread… Money and Moose is not a good mix at the moment but I am proud that I have managed to clear nearly £800 of debt since the turn of the year although the struggle feels never ending!

I have had some amazing moments of clarity the last few days and can start to see a bright future, once I get this fucking debt cleared! I am very grateful to a few people who I wont name who have kindly donated via this blog to help me out – you have no idea how much this has meant to me. The friendships I have made since I started writing have been wonderful and I am honoured to have you in my life as friends and “mooseketeers”

My down moments are actually horrendous at present BUT with each one comes a new strength and peace of mind as I can process all the issues that are holding me back. Stepping back and being able to look at things as an outsider is a real positive and one that came from this blog.

At some stage who knows I may even take the advice I hand out to people and use it for myself! but I am taking Janes advice and working on a list of things I want to do and although I am two months behind schedule this year I am already doing things this year that I havent done for a long long time.

I want to get more involved with charities this year and get myself back out there again, these four walls in my home are starting to depress the hell out of me, once this poxy weather improves I intend to make the most of the sunshine again. I have places I want to visit, friends far away that I want to annoy in person and dare I say it…find a new Miss Moose.

Today is the first day in a long time that I have felt able to actually sit here and write a post,  this is a good sign because I have missed blogging! It has helped me so much, made me grow as a person and I want thedepressedmoose to be more famoose than ever! I am starting to realise that the only person who is hurt by my hiding away is me!

The penny is dropping again that I DO have a lot to offer and now I want to strike while the iron is hot.

It also helped seeing my face on Mind’s facebook page! who doesnt love a bit of fame now and again!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

 

what has also been fun is people actually interacting with me via my facebook page! I need to pay more attention to it and get people talking- after all its how I have turned many of you from readers to friends! drop by the page, like it and say hi! find it here

so much for a quick update! but was good to feel the writing bug come back again!

so tell me, how are you REALLY doing?

Operation Get My Arse In Gear Is All Systems Go

Despite the year starting as the last one finished I have now started the process of getting my shit together again and trying to move forwards, making up for lost time spent under a black cloud the past few weeks.

Today I went back to the Dr and finally told them how things REALLY are and what a struggle it has been, and still is to an extent. The great thing about doing this blog is that I can go back over the posts and spot the signs of when things are heading downhill so I am fully aware when the cycle changes from average to shit again. Okay maybe sometimes they are good too…

This week has been really positive in terms of shaping the future, short term at least because that is what needs concentrating on.

It is amazing how much the mood can turn when someone goes out of their way for you, my confidence has gone through the roof since miss cougar stayed. It was lovely to realise that I AM attractive and do have something to offer and that feeling of the shackles being snapped off in terms of the past few months was as much as a relief as knowing I do not have blue balls anymore…..

I have wallowed in low self esteem for too long, but in many ways I tend to force myself to rock bottom from time to time and I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to my depression. If I ever get of the fucking waiting list for therapy I will make sure this is explored further.

Speaking of therapy, surely almost 2 years of waiting is long enough? In that time I have had 2 “initial assessments” but the wait goes on.. something that I mentioned to my GP today.

I have a few ambitions for this year, money allowing and want to visit some places in the UK at some point. Once I get these poxy loans paid off I intend to start booking train tickets. I especially want to visit Newcastle as I have a HUGE thing for the geordie accent so would be in heaven up there. Bournemouth, Ireland and Liverpool (Irish and scouse accents are 2 and 3 on my list!) are also must see places this year for me. So any readers with a spare room and a love for jack daniels and cleaning up moose sick please get in touch!

As far as the loans go it is amazing how people with such bad credit get accepted in the first place but I have managed to clear 2 so far with 2 to go, I am touched at the people who sent me donations via this blog which were used to clear some of the payments off.  I am working my butt off to clear the others asap. Another example of being my own worst enemy. I am pleased that there is only one arsehole who tries to put me down via this blog, Asylum Heaven kindly fuck off with the comments they are trashed before approval anyway. Most people are not judgmental and understand  the issues I have are linked to my cycles of depression but for those who want to try and make me feel worse with your comments..I wouldnt waste your time because your comments wont be approved so you are wasting your time.

Things are improving day by day, I am in contact with more people and have had a few visitors to Moose Mansion already this year with a big one next weekend when a great friend from Ireland is coming to stay! It is important to have something to look forward to and I know she cannot wait to spend time with me :D

Being famoose does have it perks! I will be strolling into Macdonalds with her using the old “dont you know who I am?” line to get a free bigmac or 2, failing that I will be walking out with more straws than I will ever need, who doesn’t love a freebie!

While I remember I have a facebook page that you should like if you are on there – for no other reason than I am a numbers whore click here to find it and share with the world! I am also still looking for guest posts for this blog, on any subject about depression, how you deal with it, if you look after someone with depression, how you cope with a partner etc etc

I love being able to give people a voice and cannot recommend enough trying to write to release some shit from your chest, it has worked wonders for me time and time again so dont be shy get in touch and send me your words of magic!

As we leave January behind and enter February remember that the year has still only just begun, things can get better if we give ourselves a little time and not expect overnight change – hard as that can be at time.

Here is hoping that I can create plenty of memories this year to share with you, even involving some of you as well – what would be better than a mooseketeers get together in London at some point!  Imagine that we can all wear something moose related and take the big smoke by storm!

And if miss cougar is reading this….maybe you can work some magic on the antlers this weekend!

flaccid-moose

 

Things I have learnt recently

As I have been reflecting and taking time out I have also been learning some things about me that I thought I would share with you.

1) when the cats wont smell your feet it is time to change your socks – fairly self explanatory I think…

2) loud farts are funny – unless you are wearing your ipod and think its silent until you see the look of horror on the faces of the other people in the lift.

3) the washing up will not do itself no matter how many times you wiggle your nose, blink your eyes or sing to it.

4) same goes for the hoovering, laundry and general housework.

5) talking to an attractive lady on the bus AFTER you have just come out the dentist with half a numb mouth is more likely to get you arrested than a date..in my defence I did not realise I had a wonky smile and was dribbling…

6) if people are easily offended by the real you, then you are doing just fine..

7) masturbating with tennis elbow will not cure the condition but make it worse..(erm so a friend told me)

8) hiding all the mess from your front room in the bedroom does not make it go away, it just makes it harder to find your bed!

9) I am not a centipede and do not need 7 pairs of trainers and 3 pairs of shoes.

10) opening the door to a very good looking woman, in your boxers shorts with your cock pointing between the buttons only has success  in 1970′s porn and not 2014…

11) laughter can make you feel so much better about things

12) I dont need 100s of friends when I have a few amazing ones

13) hiding things in the back of your mind only means when someone brings up the subject it all comes flooding back :-(

14) my cats like to run around like lunatics when I am most tired…

15) my cats seem to think I need a bodyguard whenever I am sitting on the toilet as they have to surround me…

16) the dentist is not as scary as I thought!

17) online dating is not for me!

18) I can be by myself and survive, not crash, not do anything silly and be happy

20) I missed 19 and you didnt notice….

so what have you learnt recently?

500…

followed-blog-500-1x

 

500 followers of this blog is quite an achievement and I am extremely proud that so many of you want to read my moaning, depressing stories :D

I hope (okay I KNOW), that I have helped some people with my experiences and I am so grateful to all the new friends that have come into my life as a result of this blog. People from all over the world, even some in my home town of London have become firm friends and without this blog I would never have met them.

So thank you for putting up with me, supporting me and reading my story without judging me. There has only been one person who has “trolled” me in the whole period of this blog so I know I am fortunate to have so many good visitors to this site. Keep the comments coming I enjoy reading them, and wish I got more to be honest.

It is heartwarming to be at the end of such support and long may it continue. The more people (especially men) we can get talking about depression the less stigma we will face and we can continue to educate the ignorant…

Thank you!

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My Return…

You may have noticed a huge lack of blogging from me these last few months, even hiding this blog from you for a while.

That is because I have been busy doing a huge amount of thinking about what 2014 holds for me both personally and blogging wise. The last 18 months of this blog has been a huge part in my recovery but what I started to notice was that people were coming to me more and more for help with issues, then once I had offered an ear/advice etc I would not hear from them again and it was starting to drain me mentally and emotionally, so I took some time out.

Now I am ready to return to doing something that I enjoy albeit with a slight twist..

I want to step back slightly from the whole depressed moose thing, although keeping the moose alive and well in the process. Moose is a nickname I have had for over 5 years so it’s a part of me that I enjoy but I want to show there is more to me than depression.

I want you to see more of Garry and the person I used to be, the fun loving guy who enjoys a good drink, some karaoke and the company of people.

some call it bad singing - I call it entertaining.

some call it bad singing – I call it entertaining.

I have made some resolutions since the turn of the year and have stuck to them, all about increasing my positive thinking and focusing on the things I do have, the people in my life and not looking at who is not around anymore, who has let me down etc and thus far it is really working!

I feel positive and excited about what this year may bring and have plenty of plans to put into action. To the point that if plan A, B or C do not come through I have X,Y and Z to move forward with.

So while the domain name stays the same I hope that as well as posts on depression there will be a lot more to interest you, more humour, more positive posts and more experiences to be shared with you all.

Garry is all about the here and now and not dwelling on the past and it is really working well for me…

 

 

Ending The Chapter…

This will be the last word on this subject until I have something to report in terms of an outcome. It has been  suggested that keeping something inside is preventing me from starting the new chapter in my life and I wholeheartedly agree.

There are things I have wanted to say but held back, things I needed to confess to help explain but more importantly I need to use my writing as a way of closing the chapter to enable me to find the strength to move on.

Let me make this clear before we begin, I love Sheryl still and would love to have her come back. This has to be something she wants though because I am done with fighting a battle that is not winnable currently.

However the five months since Sheryl left have been hell for me, as the time has gone by and I found myself getting better I made me want her here so that we could go out and enjoy each others company, have a drink and a laugh being Garry and Sheryl and not Mum and Dad. Then when the darkness came back it made me realise that I needed Sheryl to help me climb out of it.

There is difference between wanting and needing someone, and at my worse I NEEDED her to look after me, mother me in many ways. This is not good for a relationship but it was the illness not Garry. I have loved Sheryl since the first time I laid eyes on her, I knew she was the one for me. I wanted her, wanted to be with her and wanted to make her happy but the neediness depression cursed me with destroyed that.

I was guilty of treating her terribly, neglecting her needs and making her feel inadequate. I have to live with that fact. I could not provide for her emotionally, expecting to take not give. I spent too much time doing things on my own and not as a team, not involving her.

I was ill, although this may not be an excuse in some peoples eyes, believe me the depression has changed me in so many ways.

I stopped being the man she married.

I have held on to ALL the blame for it going wrong.

I completely understand why she left, although I do not know the reasons fully.

However

There are two sides to every story and it takes two to work on or break a marriage.

When you are rejected nightly for years and not allowed in the marital bed it will give any man self esteem issues, it ate away at me and is a big reason behind me being the way I am now, in terms of confidence.

When you are constantly checked up on, to see if you are doing things you shouldn’t be, it causes resentment.

When you have to question if you are loved, something is not right.

I can walk away knowing I tried, boy did I try, to reconcile. I never wanted to lose Sheryl but in her own words “don’t bother fighting – It’s over. This was said 3 days after she walked out.

Now as my friends will know, I do not believe you can stop loving someone overnight, sure you can fall in and out of love with someone – that is why it is important to keep working at relationships – but to suddenly feel nothing? sorry call me a fool but I don’t believe it. Be that as it may I have to accept it and can’t keep sitting around waiting for reality to catch up with her. I have to let it go for my sake.

The last time we were physically together was in August and she couldn’t say it was over to my face. The proof has to be in her actions as she wont look me in the eye and say words.

When I took my overdose I text her to tell her what I had done, no I dont know why but when you reach that point you do not think clearly, she did not once try to contact me to find out if I was out of hospital let alone still alive.

That is not the action of someone who loves you.

I have held myself back for too long now hoping for a miracle and now the time has come for me to stop kidding myself.

This is the end of that chapter we shall refer to as “The Breakup” let me now start working on the next phase because I have some plans and changes in mind that will, eventually, see me improved in many areas.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post – Rose Returns!

I am interested in what distractions people use when dealing with their mental health. I asked on twitter if anyone was willing to write a guest post about distractions and Rose sent this in! Rose also wrote a guest blog for me recently and I am delighted she has returned!

The original post she wrote can be found here

Over to you Rose….

 

The art of distraction.

Why would I need distraction ?

When you are depressed there are many things that can help you to feel better, sulking about it isn’t one of them. It’s not hard to understand that sitting on the sofa or lying in bed all day isn’t going to make you happy, especially when your thoughts are mainly about the fact that you are not happy.

Now even though it’s not very helpful, it is natural that your depression is on your mind a lot, it’s a feeling that is impossible to ignore.

This is one of the reasons why distraction is recommended by healthcare professionals, to keep your mind busy with other things.

You might wonder why not just not think about bad things then ? Well, the best answer on that you can give yourself, with help of a little experiment.

When you are reading the rest of this post, don’t think about a cuddly pink bear, whatever you do don’t think about that cuddly pink bear! Got it? Good.

Another reason is that doing things that you use to enjoy can bring back the feeling of enjoyment. It won’t be there immediately and you might need support of medication to be able to feel enjoyment again but when there is any change its best noticeable with those things you use to love doing.

simple but not easy

when you are depressed, you don’t really want to do anything.

Especially when you are deep in the depression.

Then everything is heavy, its like walking with cement blocks on your legs and you are already tired before you even begin. Your concentration is gone and you are pretty sure that you will fail at everything you try.

Naturally your instinct is to just stay in bed and wait until it’s over but as we discussed earlier, that won’t help. It’s very hard to any motivation to do anything but keep remembering that it is important in getting better.

Last year I came to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to do anything any more and I was taking into hospital. In the psych ward they also work with distraction, they had a whole program mainly meant as a way to keep your mind occupied. That the program wasn’t optional helped me into doing things again, for a long time I just did them because I had to but then there where moments where I began to like it again. Following the program wasn’t optional what was a good thing as I wouldn’t have done it if it was.

What helped me a lot when I came out of hospital is having someone who reminded me that it was important to keep doing things and someone to help make plans so I didn’t spend too much time on thinking about what to do. Also a gentle kick in the behind is at times just what I need.

My favourite distractions

this is what I love doing the most, writing. Not only (hopefully) informative post but also fiction in form of short stories and poems usually. Also I am working on a novel that I would love to finish and publish it someday.

I often write as now in English but my novel really will be in my native language, Dutch.

It’s not only working as a distraction for me but is also therapeutic as writing is a good way to express myself.

There are times when writing is just too difficult because it requires either thought or inspiration, neither is my depressed brain very good in.

reading is also something I really like, when I find that I can’t concentrate enough to read myself I find that audio-books are a good alternative.

I also like to puzzle, I make simple soduku’s on my phone or on paper. Jigsaw puzzles are also a great thing to do. I puzzle quite obsessively and often, it works quite calming for me and gives a feeling of accomplishment when its finished. When concentration is low I stick to simple and small puzzles so it doesn’t become frustrating.

Games on phone or computer are also often played and the tv is well watched.

With dry weather I try to get out of the house at least once a day. before this week it was always work that forced me out but work had due to all kind of thing become too stressful so now I am home. So now I walk and bicycle to get my fresh air (exercise is good for body and mind)

another thing that I have to watch on is that I am not days alone, this is a difficult one for me.

I do have the need for social contact and others are a great source of enjoyment and distraction but getting in touch with people isn’t easy for me as an autistic person. I go by a friend and to my parents from time to time but don’t want to bother them too much. Not sure how I am going to solve that one to be honest but I’ll find a way.

About that bear

if our little experiment has worked (and if this post wasn’t too distracting) you will have found that you never have thought so much about a cuddly pink bear as you did now. When you try not to think about something then in trying to do that you constantly remembering not to think about it what causes you to think about it.

Redirecting your mind to something else is far more effective than just trying not to think about it.

Only Words

and yet I cannot seem to get any out. Struggling to write anything worthy.

I have a trash bin full of attempted posts and nothing published for a few days because it doesn’t meet my standards (yes I do have standards for my blog before you ask!)

I could do without being at square 1 again after what had been such a good period but alas life likes to throw curve  balls from time to time.

I thought now might be a good as time as any to make an appointment with my GP so walked to the surgery to book one.

It appears now you can’t pre book appointments!

You now have to ring at 8am to try and get seen that day which is perfect for someone like me who normally only sees 8am if I have stayed awake all night!

So I explained this to the receptionist who took my details and said he would pass them to the Dr but that was around 3pm yesterday and so far I have not been contacted yet.

I am trying to speak to him about physical ailments not just the emotional issues I need to speak about so hopefully I will hear tomorrow because I could do with getting my health sorted out sooner rather than later!

This year I had good intentions but the recent developments have set me back a long way. I am taking time to grieve for Teresa but I can’t keep sliding back downhill she would not be happy if that happened. I have been touched by the support of people on twitter and facebook it has meant a lot to me and it has been amazing to read through all the comments left for Teresa on Facebook. She touched a lot of peoples lives in a lot of countries around the world.

You can judge people by the depth of feelings they create in others, I wonder how I will be remembered when it’s my time to go…

By the way as an example of how hard writing is at the moment I started writing this 8 hours ago!

A post is better than hiding away isn’t it regardless of the quality surely it a start at getting back on the horse?