Writing myself out of a hole.

Please note: this piece references suicide.

Writing Myself Out Of A Hole.
How long I have suffered depression I do not recall. It is now many, many years. I was first prescribed anti depressants in March 1993. It took until September 2014 to get a formal diagnosis. A long time in anyone's book. Of course the black dog wasn't my constant companion, There were months and years when he didn't visit. However, he was never far away.
Just a year ago I was in a hole. Everything seemed to conspire to put me down. A very acrimonious break up with my then employer, who prevented me from claiming benefits, put my home under threat. I was a mess; my life was a mess… again. As people with depression do I retreated inwards, the hole in my head beckoned, and I took shelter there. The problem is, there isn’t any shelter to be had, the battering got worse, as it always does if you try to hide from it.
This time it was worse than ever. A nasty fall some time before has left me with nerve damage in my spine. In addition to all the problems I had the ever worsening pain of that to deal with. Sleep, of course I didn’t. What do you do with the long dark hours alone in the middle of the night? Well at first I worried and plotted escape. There seemed to be no escape. I became suicidal, and still fight those thoughts now.
Then Will, a CPN, came on the scene. His practical help secured my home and I somehow got through intact. Then he introduced me to the Gatehouse. Attending the Gatehouse gave a structure to my time, and a chance to share with others without being judged. Everyone there has their demons to fight. No two are the same and we never really know what the other person’s demons are like, but we can stand together and lend to each other from what little strength we have. Yes the staff are great, but the other service users are my heros.
That steadied me. Slowly I built the confidence to start to get up again. After a few months I could think again. That’s when I started to put those thoughts onto paper, or, more usually, a computer screen.
I’m fortunate that I have a passion in life. I’ll not bore you with the details of it here. That’s not what this is about. Save to say I’m known for being an expert in my field. (Yes I realise an “Ex” is a “has been” and a “spurt” a drip under pressure). I had, in the past written extensively about this, but my writing was valued for it’s technical content. However, I have a sense of humour, I’m certain I still have the receipt for it around here somewhere. I had learned to write to communicate my passion. Then I started to communicate my humour. I didn’t realise that the writing itself was becoming important as well.
Writing is often said to be a very lonely occupation. I don’t find it so. You see I am writing this to you. Yes YOU. Not the other person that may read it. This is what I want to tell YOU, about how writing has helped me, and may help you. In the nicest possible way, sod the rest of them. This is our personal conversation. It is also me sharing a bit of my strength with you, in the hope it will help. How can that be lonely?
Now I write all sorts, something funny happens when I’m out shopping; write it. Someone does something cool; write it. Something bad happens; write it. Just get it down. It might not make sense, or be in any kind of order. It doesn’t matter. Just get it out onto some other medium than thoughts buzzing around in your head. I find this does two things for me. I can get the thoughts out of my way before they cause me any kind of problem. Also it enables me to come back and look at them again later. Have you noticed how something really big at the time seems small and insignificant after a short while? Well writing does that for me.

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