Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Demons Behind A Smile

The news of Robin Williams suicide has prompted many to speak out and think about the effect depression has on every day people. It is a silent killer and many people hide it well and go on with their lives whilst others find it debilitating.
For me personally, I have struggled on and off with both depression and anxiety for most of my teenage and adult life. In fact, it has become so much a part of it that the coping mechanisms I’ve learned over the years just come naturally, but it doesn’t make the battle any easier. I just recognise the signs quicker.
Compared to some, I consider myself very lucky. Not many people who know me, know this side of me. I’m the joker, always laughing and smiling, but behind it is another story. However, I have a great support network around me that consist of family and friends, that will very quickly step in if needed.
But when it comes to suicide, it’s hard as the outsider to understand why someone would take their life and some even consider it selfish or cowardly. I don’t. I lost a close family member to suicide when I was seventeen and it hit me very hard and even now I don’t think I’m fully over it. But I don’t blame that person for what they did, but have some understand at what drove him to do it.
When you are in the depths of depression, it’s like the whole world has lost its light and colour. Nothing makes any sense and there’s no joy in anything. Every day is a struggle and for some they succumb and others recognise something is wrong and have the ability to ask for help.
It’s very hard not to listen those negative voices or little demons as I call them. I am my worst enemy for it. Those voices telling me that I will never be good enough etc and I bloody listen to them. But at best, I shut them up and turn around and say: ‘no actually I am good enough’
This year, I struggled with depression on and off due to a set of circumstances that were out of my control. One where I lost my father, the impact of which was to try and get on with things and not think about it. This evidently resulted in a burnout, but what this taught me was that it was okay to not be okay and admitting that was very empowering. I feel that the stigma attached to depression and anxitiy does cause people to buckle down and try and cope and really the best thing anyone can do is say: ‘I need help’ then maybe suicides would become less common and mental health issues would be highlighted and understood.

God and I

Today I had a lengthy discussion with someone about my relationship with God or lack of it. When I was a child, I believed blindly in God, Heaven and the devil. It was an unquestionable belief. However, that belief was tested after a childhood trauma and at ten years old I stopped believing. For some, it may seem not really important, but for me it felt like I’d been let done by a parent and the space left was empty.

In the home, I was brought up to find my own path. My dad had been a Mormon, my mum CofE and my brothers and I were christened as of CofE. But we had always been taught to believe as we wished and we did and still do. Later in my life, I turned to paganism and that started to fill the void. For some reason finding some spirituality was in important for me in whatever form.

However when it come to the ‘Christian God’ there’s always a battle of wills. It sometimes feels like the obnoxious child and the stubborn parent. I have a strong interest in the mythology of Old and New Testament and those who have read my books will see that. There are undercurrents of my battle with god running through my creative works, which has led to many to say I have God Complex.

So why does it matter? Why not just believe in something else or nothing? The answer is simple, there’s still a desire to find that magic and completion I felt as a child. Having that blind faith and love for something that is unseen. And the fact that I can never leave it alone, like a crusty scab, could mean I seek approval from this unseen and possible non existent parent figure.I have done the church thing. Sat there and tried really hard to listen and accept, but I resist it. It is literally like sitting there as a sulky child getting the lecture off an elder. You sit there, swing your legs in an irritated fashion. Arms crossed the chest. Nodding, but not really listening to anything being said. Yet, if they ignored you, then panic sets in and the tears start.

One friend made a good point to me, which probably prompted this post. My Higher Trilogy came about while sat in an Good Friday service. Nun’s tend to talk to me and I gain comfort from being inside these old buildings. So God is calling to me.
My counter point is that maybe the case, but it’s the people inside the churches and preach that pisses me off. I get annoyed at their interpretation as well as some of the clique way they are. I enjoy the stories in the Bible, but I love picking it apart too like a literary novel that is being studied. So maybe on that thought, my problem isn’t really with any god, but the men who write and preach for it/them/him.

I will say this, I am thankful to whoever inspires me to write what I do and I am grateful, but I’ve yet to find that magic that I had as a child and no doubt my battle with god will continue until I reach the pearly gates.

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