A friend of mine was recently telling me about the depression he suffers, how it is always there even when he puts a brave face on it.
I would never judge him, how someone feels is how they feel .. they can’t help that, even if things are better than they percieve, it’s a mind-set and difficult to break out of.
It’s too simple to say to someone that they need to look around and appreciate how lucky they are .. good home, great job, a decent regular income.
Thats all true for both him and I.
Additionally, he only works 4 days a week .. which I’d love to do.
So what is the big differnce in that he feels depressed and I don’t?
In the three years that I’ve known him he hasn’t had a relationship, he doesn’t have any family and lives quite an insular life. On his day off he cycles on his own not with friends, doesn’t go on holiday and I’ve even bumped into him at concerts where he is on his own.
How he lives his life is his choice, he is choosing to fly solo. That’s fine by me.
But there are consequences in living an insular life.
It used to be the domain of the spinster .. or the old lady who’s husband had passed.
But not any longer and it’s not really a surprise that in todays world, were there are more people living in single-person households that there is also an increased number of people feeling lonely.
Living alone doesn’t make you lonely or depressed, but no man is an island. We are social beings, its lack of social contact whch makes you feel lonely and inadequate.
If that feeling comes along now and again then it passes, but if its every day, then it hangs around like a black cloud, overwhelming your thoughts, impacting on your health and can be self-fulfilling and who wants to hang around with people who suck the life out of you?
Sometimes I get lonely, even with my 18 year old daughter upstairs, I barely see her except for dinner times, or when she wants to talk about something, or borrow money!
But then she disappears upstairs into her lair of online games and onlne friends and I don’t see her for the rest of the night. They are obviously far more interesting than I am!
At times, I’m wired to the moon and I prowl the downstairs of the house in darkness, maybe sit at the piano, play a bit of a tune then close the lid in frustration at the futility of it all.
At these times, I ask myself, is this it?
How did my life turn out this way and could I have done anything better?
What I have learned is not to dwell on the past, it is what it is and you can’t change it.
You have to appreciate what you have, treat the past as a lesson, move on and change the future for the better.
To help with this, the two question I always ask myself are ..
1 – What is it that I want?
2 – How do I get there from where I am now?
If you happen to find yourself somewhere that you don’t want to be then don’t wallow in it, speak to your close friends and gather their support and change your life.
Life is a process of change and self-improvement, sometimes you are in a transient state between the old and the new, that uncertainty can cause anxiety, but it’s worth it.
Be brave but take small steps and you will get there.
I’ve always loved that song Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, it speaks of the vulnerability we sometimes feel inside or that we recognise in others.
If you happen to have read this far and like me you get down sometimes, then I hope you like my version from soundcloud below, I hope it lifts you the way that it lifts me.
Linda Perry who wrote the song for Christina was recently on the series Sound Breaking on Sky Arts speaking about the perfectionism of Christina and how she wanted to do the song again to improve on the vocal.
But Linda refused to record it as the first-take captured that vulnerability.
I agree with her, its the believable vulnerability that makes it endearing.