Sunday, 24 March 2013

Who Am I?

Am I a father, a husband, a brother? Am I the product of my occupation? Am I a rock climber? Do these self adhered labels of society actually give you a clearer insight into my life? I would say no.

I will choose one label ... I am a Manic depressive, I always have been and always will be! It's taken me 40 years to realise this.

I would suggest we ignore any  labels connected with who we are, anyone from any walk of life can suffer from depression. You could be a multi-millionaire relaxing around  idyllic beaches in the Caribbean, you could be a struggling artist trying to sell his work, you could be the local post man who smiles and whistles his way to work every morning. It's all irrelevant the end result is the same. Comedians are renowned for suffering with depression, ironic but true.

I also think that why we are depressed in the short term is less important than dealing with the "problem" as a whole. People should not try to rate their depression on an imaginary scale of importance. The person who just lost his child to cancer does not deserve any more sympathy than the person who just realised she gained 2 dress sizes in the last 6 months. I've been just as depressed when I couldn't open a tin of beans as I have when a close friend has passed away. In fact one of my worse ever episodes was because of a damn tin opener. We can land human beings on the moon. we can explore the deepest depths of the sea but can't design a decent tool for opening a tin can. This illness is not judgemental which is a trait most of us could do well to put into practice, myself included.

Am I a rock climber?

I know I said we were going to do away with labels but it seems necessity over rules philosophy in this case, sorry.  

I'm a 40 year old, ordinary, working class man. I have a wife and children, I have a car and a dog called Neil. Apart from the dog's name I'm as average as you get.

I prefer to think of myself as semi-alcoholic rather than full blown alcoholic. I drink every night to help me sleep, I don't need alcohol to get through the day. I say that's a justifiable excuse, my wife would say otherwise but me being the consumer I would defend my rights wouldn't I?

I smoke far too many cigarettes than I care to admit to you or myself.

I'm over weight, super-unfit and sometimes I have problems dragging my self out of bed.

I'm an aspiring rock climber shall we say.

Why the blog?

My aim is to help raise awareness for people with mental health problems. If along the way I can inspire one person for only one minute to go and follow their dreams I will be ex-static.

Every day there's a new celebrity coming out and revealing that they suffer from depression, this is a brave thing to do and I commend them but it isn't relevant to 99% of the population.

So where do we find help?

There is help out there through various doctors and organisation but for me it wasn't enough, the system didn't work. I do not wish to take medication and it's unbelievable how many organisations and self-help books there are which demand you part with your  money for their "cure"!

I am no expert, I have no qualifications ... besides a 100m swimming badge from when I was 9. I'm not sure that will suffice for psychotherapy so please do not take anything in this blog as " the given word" or medical advice.

I just feel that people who are low need other people they can relate to. It's hard to get through to friends and family no matter how good their intentions may be.

What can we expect from this blog?

I really can't answer that as yet?  I'm just one man attempting to be true and honest to myself and anyone who may read this.

I just want to help others in my situation and in turn I hope that others can help me too. I will try to write as much as possible, as honestly as possible. I'm sure some of the stuff will be really dark but I'll attempt to lighten it as much as possible.



  1. spoken from the heart................well said mate Deb x

  2. Jake, I live in the next village to Gary & Mel, I´ve read your blog, your experiences are very similar to that of a guy that I know of, who has only just been diagnosed as bi polar, he is struggling, but in conversation the other day, he says that he is starting to recognise regular patterns, and finding ways to manage it. He has been offered medication etc, but he has decided not to go down that route. He is lucky as you are, by having someone close to help ie, your wife, and for him his girlfriend.

    Mental issues of all kind should´t be pushed aside, it is disabling but with support of some kind, helps to break down ignorance etc.

    I have noticed, that there has been quite recently on TV,a campaign to get the public to help those who do have mental issues, and not see them as a problem, but to find ways to help, even if it means just to have a chat about it, to try and comprehend it, at least its a start.

    I do have a disability myself in that I am born partially deaf and am dyslexic, I have had depression,(stress related) but nothing in the way that you two guys are experiencing.

    Sooo, after chatting and listening to the bi polar guy vent his frustration; by the end of that evening had set up a project. He is now looking at some sort of IT, Web Solutions for me, as he is more in the know about it than I am, as it happens it is his job!!! Well, he did say he wanted to be kept busy......I suspect to keep his mind occupied.

    Well done you guys for being so open about it, not easy to do, so keep going!!