Tuesday, 3 April 2012

"D" Is For Depression.

"D" is for depression, disillusionment, dismay, despair, daunting and the feeling of having yourself devalued.  "D" is for the 'duvet or doorway dilemma' I have to challenge everyday.  Indeed, some days, just getting out of bed is a personal triumph.   And today, to be in front of the keyboard, to find the inner resolve to type away, is a profound, uplifting personal triumph.
The "Blogging From A to Z Challenge, April 2012", as much as I attempt to satirise it, has my admiration for those who can take on such a challenge.  For I find many a day very difficult to even publish a posting.  Such is my lack of esteem that I feel unworthy of having what I write be read by anybody.  That is the brutal reality of a mind tormented by the 'inner critic' that constantly tries to undermine the sweet, gentle, soothing voice of my 'inner child'.  A constant battle between negativity and positivity.
There are days I cannot sleep and there are days I do nothing but sleep.  Sleep, sometimes the only freedom that I know.  There are days I cannot eat.   The thought of food repulses me and the effort to even have a piece of toast becomes too much.
Maybe you can relate to what I wrote.  Maybe you think there is no way out of a situation so overwhelming that what's the point in even attempting to make a change in your life for the better.  Then again, maybe you realise that even at the worst of times, there are options that are called positive resources.   And today, as I'm in the dark and foreboding place that drenches my soul with tears of sorrow, this man, this confused, sad and lonely man, reaches out, in one last desperate move, to make some sense of it all.
If your life is immersed in doom and gloom, in negative speculation, come take my virtual hand as we seek the help that puts us back on the road to recovery.   There are Organisations that can help you and most importantly, can empower you.   See your doctor, let your doctor know what you are going through.   Contact your local mental health charity or even become involved, as a stepping stone, in an online mental health community that empathises with those who would rather live with, rather than, suffer from, mental health concerns.
Yes, I'm ill and yet I know that I'm not really alone.  I have to fight my away out of this pit that tries to smother me with the dirt of depression.  I reach up and you pull me out.   Thank you and with that, I present you with a wondrous gift.   The gift of empathy.
"D" is for devotion, dedication, desire and determination.

70 comments:

  1. Depression is hard to understand and to cope with. You are very brave talking about your depression, Gary. I think talking about it makes everyone feel less alone. Sometimes depression doesn't make any sense to people on the outside looking in. Someone's life might look perfect, but for some reason they are battling with depression. It is so important to not judge, to only be supportive. Wonderful post, Gary. Try and get some rest tonight. (hugs)

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      Thank you and I know that by verbalising my feelings, not only can I feel cleansed, I know that others who are battling with depression and those who are not, may have a better understanding of it all.
      Of course, there are no rules that cause someone to experience depression. What you have stated so eloquently highlights that we must not judge, not label. And through increased awareness and support, those who suffer may learn to know they need be not alone.
      And yes, get some rest, as I comment back at almost four in the morning. Oops :)
      With respect and gratitude, Gary

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  2. You take up a more profound challenge by being articulate and honest about your dark demons through your blog. Every time you post is a triumph. Never think you are alone. This virtual community and world exists!

    Take care
    x

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    1. Hi Old Kitty,
      Thank you for that. I truly believe that by being open and trying to be articulate, that I can achieve a sense in those who may be feeling down, feeling lost. I am not ashamed of who I am and I want those who feel helpless to understand that there is help. We can all be here for each other. And when I switch on my computer, the virtual world and this caring community, shines through with amazing radiance.
      In kindness and warm wishes,
      Gary
      x

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  3. I know a few people who bravely confront their depression and soldier on with life. I have sad days here and there but nothing like what you go through. Those days call for courage which you have a full tank to draw upon.
    best wishes.

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    1. Hi Ray,
      Indeed, I also know of folks who challenge their depression and are determined to not let it get the better of them. We all have sad days and if those sad days turn into sad weeks, months and years, we know we must make a choice. Sometimes the choice to have a happier life takes effort that can seem so daunting. Yet, with the support of those who know what it's like, we bravely move on with the full tank of encouragement.
      Thanks Ray. In kindness and peaceful wishes, Gary

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  4. Any time you need a hand, I've got one to spare.

    I've taught many kids who've suffered from depression. It's a difficult, difficult condition to have. So many people don't understand/don't care to understand how difficult it is to battle it every day. I commend you for your courage, your strength and your resilience in facing it head on!

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    1. Hi Jemi,
      And your hand is warmly clutched with gratitude.
      I'm encouraged to know that you are what I'm sure is a beacon of hope to those children. What this blog has always set out to do is to reduce the unfair stigma that surrounds mental health issues. Your supportive comment is proof positive, that despite the fact we have a ways to go, more folks are trying to understand and not pass judgement of those with mental health concerns.
      Thank you and I take great comfort in knowing my transparency can continue to bring on the changes.
      Much respect to you, Gary

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  5. Every word you write here has hope and healing written all over it....you are a candle burning in a dark room to so many...when you think your words can have no meaning remember the candle and lift the bushel. We need the light.

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    1. Hi Delores,
      I'm heartened by your warm response. And may we all shine the light of hope on those who are going through such tough times as the ongoing negative environment we find ourselves in, takes its toll on so many. We truly can be here for each other.
      In peace and hope, your way, Gary

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  6. "D" is also for a Dear person named Gary whom I feel privileged and honored to know. Even those of us who have not experienced what you have directly know someone who has, and you teach us by your Example (an E Word for tomorrow?) how to be there and stretch out a hand.

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    1. Hi Susan,
      That is very kind and most profound of you. With further awareness, brings further understanding. Your kindness exemplifies the very ethos of what I wish to see happen. A more open minded world that realises that mental health issues can happen to anyone. Of course, your "Example" word would be most fitting for a posting in the order of the alphabet. I reckon the next time I drop into the 'challenge' again, they will be on the letter 'K' :)
      And with hands across the water, I thank you very much.
      Gary

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    2. You and me both, on that letter K bit! I had to break out my A-Z challengers on a separate blog roll so I could have some small hope of keeping track while still keeping up with all my other favorite people who, like me, are not inclined to post at warp speed!

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    3. Aha, and I wonder why I might be thinking of the letter "K"....Oh yes, the whole thing gets rather confusing and a good idea of separating the A to Zedders on a separate blog roll. I see a number of my favourite folks are um subjecting themselves to the 'alphabet challenge'.
      Like you, I write if and when I feel like it. Might now be time to go and check out some of those bloggers whose sites are more like a twitter update than a blog.
      Actually, Susan, even at this unearthly hour of almost 3:30 A.M., I was about to come and visit your site and see if my non-cultured brain can figure out what you have written and listen to any videos. This will mean, I will have to switch off "Classic FM" which is playing some really nice classical music. Have no idea what it is, but what the heck. See, there you go, you are turning me into a 'culture vulture':)

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  7. It is very nice of you to write so much in detail. Just remember that we care for you like you live next door. Remember that you are a very important part of communities near and far. Also there are several examples of people who have taken counciling and are now more productive than ever. Also sun light and eating right and exercises have brought changes in people with depression. Please check with you doctor about vitamins specially Vitamin D.

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    1. Hi Munir,
      Thank you and I think that such candid detail helps me and thus, I hope, helps others to understand that they need not suffer in silence.
      In actuality, I am a qualified mental health counsellor and I have been involved with a number of mental health charities. Yet, despite that, I still have my moments of total doubt and utter despair. I thank you for all you have noted and the irony of it is that even though I know what to do, even though I have helped run a 'well being' workshop', niggling reminders of the past can raise the seeds of doubt in my dazed and confused mind.
      Still, we are now in the initial stages of working with some dear friends who have started up a brand new mental health charity. I am honoured that they wish me to be an integral part of it.
      With much respect and kindness, your way, Gary.

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  8. D is for Day ... to do the best we can today with what we are given and approach ourselves and others with compassion and understanding...

    D is for Dream ... to dream of a world free of suffering and Do what we can today to move toward that freedom...

    D is for Dog ... Just a shout out on behalf of Penny and company ... :)

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    1. Hi joanne,
      Thank you and "D" is for delighted to see you here and we dream of the dawn of a new, happier, healthier day, for you, for me, for all of us, including that dashing dog, Penny :)
      In dreams of hope, your way,
      Gary

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  9. E is for Empathy. I hear you. And yep, just by taking a hand and walking a little away from that dark place, things get better. Here's my hand, let's go.
    x

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    1. Hi Laura,
      And may we truly embrace the magic, the power of empathy. And towards the light, away from the dark, my hand of understanding, reaches your way.
      In hope and caring, your way, Gary
      x

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  10. DARE to post your thoughts. Nobody forces people to read them, and yet they do anyway.

    DIG yourself out of the pit.

    DRIVE yourself to seek the light, the positives, the uplifting aspects of life.

    DON'T give up. Your blogger friends are here for you.

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  11. Hi Ian,
    Thank you, my friend, Your words of "D" resonate with the truth that lies within my ravaged mind.
    Conditioning and negative hype, brought on by others and compounded by me, are to be distanced from. Time to not believe the 'hype'.
    Thanks Ian and together, we friends in the great blogging community, can be a positive force for a better understanding.
    With much respect and kind wishes, Gary

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  12. Dear Gary,

    Your gift of empathy is powerful. What I always got from you and your blog was that I could, but did not have to, identify with what you were saying. I could just listen in. I felt invited to your haven of positive reinforcement here at klahanie just by the virtue of being a human being. Your words made me feel worthy and dignified when I had a hard time describing myself in those terms. I am grateful to you for that, and, along with your many electric friends here, am extending my hand to you as you reach up. Always reach up, and keep climbing.

    Hugs,
    Chris

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    1. Dear Chris,
      I am truly grateful for your kind and thoughtful words. And the eloquence of your words resonates with the sense that we can share through our words and thoughts, moments that strike a chord in the emotions of those who read them.
      What I have always admired about you is your articulation and your heartfelt transparency on your superbly crafted blog. Through the power of all of us electric friends, I continue to find strength and I know that we all realise that shared inner strength that helps us move on to a more positive life. I climb out of the pit and gratefully reach your hand.
      Hugs and admiration, your way, Gary

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  13. Hello Gary:
    Dear Gary, as you will know only too well, life is unfair and there ain't no justice. But we are so conscious, through your posts, replies and comments to others, of the way, with great determination and spirit, you overcome so many of life's obstacles to come out the other side, if not smiling then at least with the strength to face another day. You are not alone, and whilst your many friends in the virtual world may not actually be physically present with you, they are there in thought and mind and do, we believe, represent an immoveable force.

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    1. Greetings Jane and Lance,
      Indeed, my dear friends, like can seem unfair. Yet, through the negative environment that I found myself often trapped, a glowing ember of positivity always awaits as I reach out again and take a negative and create a positive.
      Like you, I'm a firm believer of positive interaction. Doing our utmost to be there for others and in turn, they are there for us. To meet me on the street, that passer-by with the smile on his face, who makes the stranger laugh, you would never know the tears of the soul inside. Yet I am grateful and I am blessed. I know that even in my times of increased isolation, my friends virtual and the occasional friend I see, care for me as I care for them. The gifts of hope and encouragement, make this world, that so much better.
      Thank you and much respect, your way, Gary

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  14. Hey Gary! W O W ... what an amazing..POWERFUL post. You are so gifted with words.. So happy to "meet" you. :-)
    I hope you can continue to put one foot in front of the other & continue to post through the challenge... -

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    1. Hi, my American friend living in Norway,
      Thank you so much for your flattering words. And it was my great delight to come and visit your lovely blog :) Very pleased to 'meet' you :)
      I shall continue to move forward in the most positive way I can. Although not part of the 'challenge', the ultimate challenge is to continue to find the strength to do the occasional verbalisation of my thoughts through the therapeutic and cathartic resource that is writing.
      With respect and happy writing, your way, Gary

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  15. I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said, Gary - even on your darkest days you are an inspiration.
    Take care - you are not alone x

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    1. Hi Teresa,
      Thank you and I do try to demonstrate that there is a way beyond the darkest times. I try to inspire, be there for others and the interaction we share, makes me know it's all worthwhile.
      None of need be alone and bless you for your kindness.
      Gary x

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  16. I can relate the wife struggles with depression as well... so I know how hard that daily fight is. But the fight is important and if she only achieves one thing a day then at least its one step back towards the light.
    Keep strong friend and keep fighting

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    1. Hi G,
      Thank you for sharing this. Your beloved wife's challenge to attempt to accomplish one thing a day, is a triumph of wondrous magnitude. And with your ongoing support, love and trying to understand as best you can, your wife steps further forward in embracing that positive light.
      Thank you my friend and I will stay strong in the fight against depression. May you and your wife continue to be resilient and determined to live a peaceful, happy life.
      In kindness and respect to you both, Gary

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  17. Gary, my friend,
    I am feeling all those things that `D` stands for! Disillusioned with everything and Doubted by most. Daily I fight it and sometimes win.
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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    1. Hi John,
      My kind and sincere friend, I do understand. I think the disillusionment comes from those who have the audacity to devalue our valid thoughts, feelings, dreams and aspirations. I have been subjected and haunted by a distant past where people told me that I was "stupid" and would never amount to anything. If enough folks say such things, we can start to believe the negative hype. I try my very best to ignore such hype. Oh how difficult it can be. And when we fight it and have the occasional "win", we cherish the win with dignity.
      With much respect, kindness and admiration, your way, Gary

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  18. D is also for Delight. It is just so hard to remember that from the Depths. And I wish someone could tell me why the plummet to the depths is so fast and easy and why the climb out to something approaching sanity is so hard.
    Sending so many good wishes your way. Indeed you are not alone. Hard as it is to remember or understand, you are never alone.

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    1. Hi The Elephant's Child,
      Yet we find delight in the determination we somehow muster from the very depths of depression. And that slow, arduous climb out of the pit brings doubts about our sanity. Then we look below to that even darker place and remember the voices of madness that screamed ever the louder. With determination against what appears to be a daunting prospect and with the help of others, we can savour those moments of the surface that show us the positive sunshine.
      I thank you and I celebrate that I am never truly alone and that none of need ever be.
      In kindness and peace, your way, Gary

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  19. D is for DOH! One of your favourite words that I noticed was missing. I've come to cherish those DOH! affirmations.
    Terrific post; now I'm off to purchase Gummi Bears; I'm feeling down. DOH! xxx

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    1. Hey Dixie,
      D is for DIXIE! Ah yes, Fred Flintstone meet Homer Simpson, 'Yabba, dabba.....DOH!'
      Thanks, dear lady and enjoy your Gummi Bears and you keep smiling, DOH!
      'Dohlightful' to see you here,
      xxx :)

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  20. The struggle between staying under the duvet and moving to the doorway is all too real when one has depression. I hope you'll weather this one out, Gary. And please don't say that people are not excited to read about what you write! Don't you see that they do! Look at those lovely comments stacking up above mine and down below. Give yourself a good pat on your shoulder, take Penny out for a stroll, be with nature and allow time to make you feel better. Love and positive thoughts and wishes from Malaysia. -Shanaz. X0X0

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    1. Hi Shanaz,
      Ah yes, the duvet or doorway dilemma. And even the simplest of tasks can seem an exhausting plan. I always manage to work through my bouts of depression. It's been a constant battle against a negative environment that I didn't create, but are doing my utmost to eliminate.
      I always doubt my writing. I try to prove to those who thought I couldn't write anything worth reading, to be wrong. Their negative put downs haunt me and it's so difficult to believe that anyone really thinks my writing is okay. So thanks and the comments that I'm graced with by you and all those other wonderful people, makes me feel much better about myself.
      I do try to get out and I'm trying to get back with some positive resources that have fallen to the wayside. It's amazing, when one has the energy or somehow tries to find the energy, just how beneficial positive resources, the great outdoors, can be.
      Kind, peaceful and loving thoughts to you from jolly old England xxx

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  21. The rather fabulous Sir Tom Eagerly says:
    Talking of not being able to eat, old boy - a tramp once came to the door of Eagerly Manor and said to Lady Eagerly, "Have you got any scraps of food to spare, lady? I haven't eaten for three days".
    She replied, "My good man, you must force yourself!"
    She was always one sandwich short of a picnic.

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    1. Oh my its, The rather fabulous Sir Tom Eagerly,
      My dear chap. From what you have written, it is obvious that you and the good Lady Eagerly, were the perfect match. It appears, together, you are two sandwiches short of a picnic.
      Cheers.....

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    2. Oh Gary...I just spewed coffee all over my monitor.

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    3. Oh no, all over your 'monitor'? Do um 'lizards' like coffee? LOL

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  22. Depression is a truly horrible illness, but with the right help it can be overcome (or at least managed to the point that episodes become fewer and further apart). I'm glad that you mentioned the help available as some days one can feel so low that even asking for help is too much, but the help is there

    I wish you well in your ongoing recovery.

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    1. Hi Lost in Space,
      Depression can be a debilitating illness. And through my own bouts, the good news is that they are further and further between.
      As one who has worked with various mental health charities, I know a great deal about the positive resources on offer. Healthy heating and a healthy lifestyle, go hand in hand. So, it just shows how consuming my depression can be with such knowledge and still be so vulnerable.
      And yes, there are times that even asking for help can seem too difficult a task. So, hopefully, if one has access to a computer, a good starting point can be getting involved with one of the mental health websites and interact online or at least obtain some knowledge or the realisation that one is not alone.
      Thank you for your well wishes in my ongoing recovery. I wish you well in your blog and I have informed some of my blogging friends of your interesting and thought provoking site. Indeed, we are all in this together.
      With respect and gratitude, your way, Gary

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  23. Dammit, man! If you had never mentioned your internal challenges, I would have never even dreamed that problems are an everyday trial for you. Your words are so eloquent and your thought process so intensely sound. My daughter is suffering from bouts of depression, and I suffer with her; I feel her pain. Good luck with the daunting task of submitting a daily posting on the A to Z Challenge - the task is way out of my league right now. Maybe I'll plan on next year and pre-write some entries. Take care now, Gary ...

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    1. Hi Jackie,
      From the outset, my blog has tried to demonstrate that my mental health issues are only a small part of who I am. It is my hope that I can bring a sense of comfort, a sense of realising that one need not be ashamed of being mentally ill, regardless of the degrees of severity. We are doing what we can to reduce and invariably eliminate the unfair stigma attached to mental health issues.
      And yes, my good friend, your beloved daughter knows of your caring and your concern. Your just being there, encouraging her and being such a great dad, are immeasurable in the inspirational impact it can have. And yes, the suffering of those who have mental health concerns, has a ripple effect on all of us.
      I am not involved in the A to Z Challenge. I could not possibly dedicate myself to a daily posting within the challenge. Usually I do a satirical, tongue-in-cheek', occasional posting, making good natured fun of it all. The irony is that I have brought further awareness of the challenge and the hosts really have asked me to be a part of the challenge. No surprise here. I said um..no! :)
      You take care, my friend and happy writing.
      Gary

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  24. Help isn't always available where I am, so I've learned to cope. I'm not even sure how. I think survival kicks in. I write. I clean. I watch TV. Something geographical or even hollow like home renos. Oh, and I cry. That generally wears me out. I find reading your elegant words helps too. Because I remember I'm not alone.

    You are a huge influence, Gary. In a very real and positive way. Please find solace in that. You write, you help. Simple as that.

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    1. Hi Joylene,
      That's one of the problems in regards to helpful resources when you are somewhat isolated. However, for what it's worth, I have been involved with various online sites that were of benefit to me and others needing help and support. I was the moderator of one online mental health 'chat room' and it was of much value to me and those who were involved.
      Seems to me your survival instincts are aided greatly by you keeping busy and coping through positive distractions. Okay, maybe cleaning isn't a positive distraction :) Then again, the end result makes one feel better about things. I know that your passion to write, to verbalise, to get it out there, is one of the most powerful resources you have. And through our shared words and shared friendship, we know we aren't alone.
      Thank you, Joylene. I have always been a firm believer in writing with total honesty and transparency. It is my desire that my words can be of some comfort to others as we try to live happier, more fulfilling, more contented lives. Empathy is a powerful gift and a gift that we share. With much respect, hope and admiration, your way, Gary

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  25. I have struggled with depression most of my life. It wasn't until the deaths of close family that I sought help. I am so grateful for my husband and grown children, who keep me real and grounded.

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    1. Hi Susan,
      And through your struggles with depression and the trauma of losing loved ones; you realised that you needed help. Indeed, there is no shame in knowing one needs help. Thank goodness for the love, concern, caring and the wanting to understand, from your husband and your grown children. Much respect to them and you.
      In peace and positive wishes, your way, Gary

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  26. Your eloquence is moving and humbling. I'm still in the thick of my latest depressive episode - the first came upon me all unknown a few years ago, though all the signs had been there - and i have to fight the negative thoughts that I'll never work again, listen to the music that I love so dearly when I'm well, enjoy the spring...and then there's sometimes hope and the support of a partner in a million. As yet I can't find the words for it in a blog which is about the all-singing, all-dancing good times. You lead the way to some honesty on the subject.

    One thing I might ask you about in your wisdom: too much of the literature I read is of the 'depression is here to teach us a lesson and if we don't heed it, back it comes until we do' variety. That just makes me feel worse - especially as I'd been going just fine for two and a half years, and this feels like failure. Do you have any sound advice on that subject?

    In admiration ,

    David

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    1. Greetings David,
      I want to thank you kindly for taking the time to visit my blog and leave such an open, honest response. I thank you for such flattering words in regards to what I have verbalised.
      What you have so articulately alluded too, demonstrates, despite your negative thoughts, your self-doubts, you are practising healthy behaviour by doing the best you can to focus on the positive distractions in your life. Positive resources and trying to keep active, helps quell the negative chatter of what I call the "inner critic".
      With me, my friend, you will not get the all will be wonderful scenario. We know that isn't realistic. What I do endeavour to do is live my life with a sense of realistic positive anticipation, rather than, negative speculation. And of course, this is not always that easy and I openly admit that the dark times do have a tendency to overwhelm me. That is why I believe that the power of writing, the cathartic and therapeutic aspects to writing, can be conducive to a better mental health well being.
      I don't think that 'depression' is teaching us some sort of lesson. Depression can be caused from a variety of reasons. It can be diagnosed illness via genetics (nature). It can be an environmental situation (nurture), or a combination of both. Thus, if for instance, we have been subjected too what seems an out of control, negative environment, it can have an adverse impact on our mental health. I would ascertain that what you are experiencing is not "failure", but a setback, that through maintaining your obvious healthy attitude towards embracing positivity in your life, should lessen. However, if you have doubts, it is always advisable to contact your doctor to seek further guidance to keep you moving along towards a happier, even more fulfilling life.
      Yes, I have setbacks and yes I'm in a bit of a negative cycle right now. Yet I know that with recognising the warning signs and reaching out to those who have the shared gifts of empathy, I will be just fine and my friend, I'm sure you will be too.
      With respect and admiration, Gary

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  27. Hi, found your blog from the Feathered Nest. Mental Health is a topic that I am most interested in. Glad to have found you. I will be back.

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    1. Hi Retired Knitter,
      I'm delighted that we have connected via the site of the lovely Delores :)
      Indeed, mental health impacts us all. And during these brutal economic times, more so than ever.
      Thank you and I look forward to our further interaction between our sites.
      In kindness, Gary

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  28. D is also for dilly-dally; diamond; delightful; delicious; dazzle; decorate; design; debonair; dawn; dexterous.

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    1. Hi River,
      And at the dawn of a new day, lies a new hope for all of us.
      Thank you and I shall dash away now :)

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  29. Grab on. Seriously. Grab on and hold on. Our arms are out.

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl, I hear you and the arms of my dear friends around the world, are gratefully reached for.
      In peace and kind wishes and hands across the water, Gary

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  30. Gary, you are so dear and make so many people feel bright even when you are in the throes of darkness. I thank you for your encouraging comment you left on my blog. Godspeed into your light.

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    1. Hi Manzanita,
      Dear lady, that is very kind and most heartening. I try to display, by honest and open verbalisation, that even through the darkest of times, together, we can help each other rekindle the dwindling flickers of hope.
      Always a pleasure to drop by your superbly written and thoughtful blog. Thank you and may you have a most peaceful Easter weekend.
      In kindness, Gary

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  31. Awh bless! Yes depression is one of those things people hate hearing about, but it's a very real and Desperately Debilitating. I can empathise. Oh and
    D is for Delightful Dawgie, too ;O)

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    1. Hi Madeleine,
      And yes, depression can happen to anyone. Even those who think they are immune, if circumstances so negative and overpowering, enter their lives, then they become aware and then they understand. I know we share the powerful gift of empathy, dear lady.
      And the "Delightful Dawgie", wishes you and your loved ones, a peaceful, 'pawsitive' Easter weekend :)

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  32. And there are so few brave enough to admit when life has beaten them down, that they need somebody to understand, to care.
    Yes, the Challenge is a great undertaking, but the hours I sacrifice visiting hundreds of blogs a day is nothing next compared to the heart of one who is truly hurting. And if I may be so bold, on this Easter holiday weekend, no one should be without hope.
    Thanks for taking the time to seek me out. From now on, I will make sure my visit comes first.

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    1. Hi Alex,
      Through all the trials and tribulations, I have learnt that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, to admit one is fragile and oh so vulnerable. Indeed, to remove the mask, to ask for help and understanding, is a sign of bravery and a sign that one wants their life to change for the better. My friend, together with hope, we cope.
      And in the background and beyond the challenge, for many a year, I have done my best to discreetly be very much an integral part of a sharing, caring ethos that embraces the ideals of true and deeply profound empathy. Like you and in my case, I write even less postings than perhaps I could muster. Instead, I spend many hours commenting on other sites and commenting back on mine.
      Alex, I gratefully embrace your message of hope and may your hope and my hope and the hope of us all, make this world, a caring, more understanding world. A world where the unfair stigma of mental health issues, is no longer fraught with the bias of those who choose not to try and understand.
      Good sir, you are well known and your ability to spread the word of positive interaction is to be admired.
      With respect and peaceful Easter wishes to you and your loved ones, Gary

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  33. Hi Gary

    I feel rather humbled by your post. Here I am whining about the Russian winter and the difficult language yet here you are struggling every day simply to cope with life. I forget sometimes that you suffer because your blogs are not heavily laden with self pity and a "woe is me" attitude. So here are my "outside looking in" answers to your D's. I don't see your disillusionment, I see you dreaming, dreaming of a peaceful, kind and caring life not just for oneself but for everyone. I don't sense any dismay, I sense delight. The delight you show to other bloggers by your kind and positive comments. Where you see despair, I see determination and drive to not allow your illness to hold you back and beat you down. You see daunting, I see dazzling. In your writing, humour and the kindness you show to others, who couldn't be dazzled by this? You are not devalued Gary, you are deserving. Deserving of everything you write being appreciated and applauded. Deserving of happiness.

    Take care my friend.


    GEM
    xx

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  34. Hi GEM,
    No need to feel humbled by this post. Your concerns and your challenges have as much validity, in their own right, as mine. And yes, my dear friend, you so eloquently describe that the "D's" within this posting are moving beyond despair, beyond disillusionment. I do indeed dream of a better place, a better reality, for all of us.
    My blog has always been about demonstrating that my illness is only a small part of who I am. My desire is show that those suffering, need not feel alone. Via this positive interaction and through the therapeutic resource that is the written word, I truly hope that my words are words that people can relate too, or that such words bring further awareness of the plight of those with mental health concerns. GEM, I try to live with, rather than suffer from my illness.
    Your kindness resonates within your beautiful comment. For that, dear lady, I'm deeply grateful.
    With respect and peaceful wishes in your new, brave adventure, Gary
    xx

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  35. No, we are not alone and it is blogs like these that remind me of that. Depression can make us feel so very alone in this world but like you said there are positive resources we can tap into to help us learn and cope with these debilitating emotions. Often when I blog about my illness I can get self conscious about my writing, pronunciation, grammar, etc and then I am reminded of my main purpose for sharing, which is to help myself and others, just like you are doing.

    Have a beautiful weekend!

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  36. Hi My Meddling Mind,
    First of all, thank you for taking the time to comment on this archived posting. Most kind of you.
    Oh yes, we never need be alone and feel we have to battle on without the help that's on offer. At the peak of my illness, I thought I was not worthy of help. Almost like I deserved to be depressed because I was not allowed to be happy. Of course, we know different and we have the right to a happy, peaceful and positive life. I have learnt that those who had the audacity to devalue my humanity had a problem and saw me as an easy target. Now, I distance myself, as best one can, from a negative environment and like you, dear friend, I know I have the right to live in peace.
    And any grammatical errors, or getting self conscious about our writing, is secondary, like you allude to, of the main purpose of sharing. Sharing, caring and encouraging. For when we help each other, we help ourselves. Thank you so much for your understanding words. We are all in this together.
    May you also have a beautiful weekend :)
    With respect and admiration, Gary

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I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.