Y’know, I’ve always struggled with quite how open to be on this blog. In a public forum such as this, even if it is one with a limited readership, how appropriate is it to talk about the realities of life?
For most of us, life is full of ups and downs, struggles and successes, faith and doubt. The Ying and the Yang go hand in hand, so to speak. Yet, so often, we don’t allow ourselves to admit to others that life is ever anything else than steady…My previous blog incarnations have been anonymous, enabling me to reveal and rant in cathartic fashion with impunity. Having a ‘named’ blog means that everything on Intelligence and Ignorance goes back to me, and that means that I think very carefully before I reveal anything on these pages; not just about what I want you to know about me, but also about how revelations reflect on those around me…
It is too easy for us to take legitimate concerns about what we make public and turn them into excuses to paint rather distorted pictures of ourselves. We end up blogging only on the fun elements of our lives and implicitly crafting the impression that our lives are ‘perfect’. They’re not; no-ones life is.
I’ve been really impressed with Phil Togwell’s blogging of late. Phil most definitely does not splurge intimate details of his life, but recent posts have expressed the pain and frustration he and Emma have been going though as their house-moving dreams have been continually delayed and upset. It has been an amazing example of a tough time shared publicly in dignified and reasonable way. Kudos Phil!
The nature of my posting on this blog has always been somewhat sporadic. This blog has always been driven by inspiration and availability, so when one or both are lacking it all goes quiet for a while. Recently I’ve been struggling to write because I’ve been struggling to do anything.
Depression is a funny thing, isn’t it? Human beings have this great capacity for resilience; we can survive, even grow accustomed to, almost any situation. People live through sickness, bereavement, war, famine, and appalling atrocities and come through the other side. They may even travel through those hard times without seeming to be bowed down by them. And yet, for some of us, at some points in our life, even the simplest of changes in circumstance can end up crushing us.
I’ve battled with depression at several times in my life. It’s hard to describe it; especially to those who are lucky enough never to have experienced such a thing, but the closest I can get is this: Depression is like having a wave of emotion sweep over you, and you become submerged under it. For no real reason (because, although it’s often triggered by circumstance it’s always worse than the circumstance deserves), life suddenly becomes too hard to bear. You are weighed down, crushed. It feels like you’re carrying a heavy load on your shoulders the whole time. It can even get to a point where you physically feel like your blinkered; like your looking down a tunnel where the light doesn’t quite illuminate.
Depression is far more than sadness; there is a world of difference between the two.
The recent drying up of my blog stream has been because I’ve been fighting depression for several weeks now. A ‘why bother’ attitude has attached itself to just about everything apart from food and alcohol. I’ve had very little inspiration to write anything. I’ve hinted on this before, now I’m being open about it.
I’m not looking for sympathy, just being real. Sometimes life just gets ya down…