It never really occurred to me that I was an expert at anything. I’m pretty good at my job, I’m pretty good at knowing the newest places in town to go out, I’m pretty good at being a friend. But expert. No.
I have a friend who’s been having a tough time recently. I’ve known him for years. Since 2009 in fact. I’ve never met him. I don’t know his real name (and, although he’s told me, I refuse to think of him as anything but the fake name I have). We’ve been talking a lot about his current marital situation, his depression, the effect the former has on the latter and vice versa.
In the middle of exchange he asked me a question and I answered “I don’t know, I’ve never suffered from depression. I’ve only lived with a guy who had it though”. His interest was immediate. How did it make me feel? Was it difficult to live with? What would have made it easier? Is the relationship worth working on?
And it hit me. I’m not an expert in much, but I’m pretty damn good at knowing what it’s like to live with someone with depression. In order to help my friend, I found some of the posts I wrote at the time – when I was coming to terms with it, when I left and why.
I thought, for ease of reference, I’d put them all together here in an anthology for people to do with what they will.
- Are the clouds lifting?
- One step forward… two steps back
- I just don’t know what to do with myself
- The world keeps on revolving
- A year on
- The black dog
Depression can affect anyone. It doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t target. It isn’t a disease which only affects one person. There are many brilliant charities around the world to help those with depression or those with loved ones with depression.
If you have concerns, however small, contact them. Don’t keep depression silent.
- Depression Alliance
- Depression UK
- Mental Health Foundation
- Together UK
- Scottish Association for Mental Health