Overcoming Loneliness as a Gay Man

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Loneliness can be a bitch at times, and for some people it can hit harder than for others. And regardless of how one might identify sexually, loneliness can sometimes overwhelm those within the LGBT+ community.

At least it does for me at times, though don’t know if it’s specific to me being gay.

For some, this loneliness can stem from sexual or gender identity discrimination, or even from rejection from their biological families.  Though some might say these feelings of loneliness is to be expected despite our community’s supposed mandate of love and inclusiveness, and trying to ‘choose’ our families.  Unfortunately not everyone can fit into the existing cliques or social circles.

I was reading an article about gay men battling loneliness and it got me thinking about my own life.  A lot of the time, I feel isolated from others but this is something that comes and goes in my life depending on what’s going on at that point.  One day I can feel great, loved, and on top of the world.. but the next I can be curled up in the ball staring at my phone thinking nobody even likes me enough to call.

Obviously, left unchecked this can lead to depression, anxiety, loss of confidence, and all sorts of other issues in my life.

When it’s really bad, I feel like I’m on a deserted island looking across to the mainland where everyone else is enjoying life, and I can only watch as there’s no way to get across to the others.  So in others words, I’m curled up on my sofa feeling sorry for myself, watching people’s posts on Facebook or Instagram of how fabulous their lives are.

Obviously social media isn’t an accurate depiction of people’s lives, but when you don’t hear from people sometimes that’s the only way to hear about what they are up to.

Anyway, the article I was reading (link is at the bottom of the page) listed several ‘tips’ on how to overcome this loneliness.  And although accurate with its advice, it was fairly generic if you ask me, with a focus on substance abuse and reaching out to a therapist.

Often people will tell me if I’m feeling lonely then I just need to get out and be around other people.  Because apparently (in their mind) it’s just that easy.  And for them it probably is.

What those who don’t suffer from feelings of loneliness don’t understand is that you could be standing in the middle of a crowd filled with people you know, and you’ll still feel alone.  It’s like there’s a disconnect from others around you.

When we were all first coming out or realising our sexual identities, we would isolate ourselves or pull away from those around us to ensure our ‘secret’ isn’t found out.  That proverbial closet prevented us from making meaningful connections with others (family included) because of how different we felt from them.  This was probably an emotionally stressful period for most.

After coming out, those feelings of isolation probably went away for most people as they started to meet other people like them and build new social circles.  But for others, that might have highlighted for them how they don’t fit into the groups around them.  Even when those groups are comprised of other people supposedly like them with similar interests.

When I first came out, I met an amazing group of people some of which I’m still in virtual contact with now over 20 years later.  We were mostly all new to being out and living in a small town, so we all came together to support each other.

But like anything in life, this only lasted for so long as people moved away, moved on, found relationships and so forth.  It’s a recurring situation through life, and sometimes it’s hit me harder than others, contributing to those feelings of loneliness as I would try to move past it all to find new friends all over again.  And again.

Most self-help articles advise the best thing to do is to join a social or interest group as a way to feel less lonely.  And for some people this works.

For me, this was only fleeting as I tried several different outlets over the years – gay softball or bowling groups, naturist social groups, gay geeks, cinema groups, etc – but nothing truly fit me.  Sure, I’d meet a few new people and start going out a bit more, but then as people broke off as they tend to do, I was still left in the same situation wondering where everyone went.

So where does that leave me?  Trying to meet guys through the ‘dating’ apps or nightclubs usually leads to failure as these are more for those looking for sex and they’re focused more on physical interactions.  And after all these years, I’m just so over the whole bar and club scene these days.

I try to reach out to people when I’m feeling lonely, but unfortunately that doesn’t always work out.  People (in London) are generally always busy or booked up well in advance, so there’s little room for last minute plans.  Or they are the type that only want to be around when things are going good, so will purposely avoid you when you’re down.

Like anything in life, this too will be a work in progress as I try to help myself.  Or maybe I’ll just wear out my Netflix subscription by spending another weekend at home alone on the sofa.

Who knows. 😉

Source: 5 Tips to Overcome Your Loneliness as a Gay Man

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Self-Help (Article) Overload

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Over the past couple of years, I’d gotten into the habit of posting re-hashed versions of self-help articles that others had written. I would read them, and then rewrite them from my perspective.

It works to an extent, as it allowed me to give my opinion on a wide range of topics, most of them being things I felt I was going through at the time. So in my mind, I was sort of doing a bit of self therapy by writing my version of these pieces.

I honestly can’t say if it was a good thing or not, or even it was anything remotely original. Sometimes it even felt like I was just rewording what had already been said instead of actually giving my option on the topic.

But as well, I noticed after awhile that I tended towards two main types of topics – gay dating tips and mental health issues.

And I’m by no means an expert in either subject.

It probably gave a contrasting and possibly confusing blend for those reading my site – one day I’d post about the joys of online dating profiles, and then the next about needing to build up self-esteem.

Or perhaps (to some) it gave them more of an insight into how I viewed the world.. and that’s the perspective I’m REALLY hoping people went for. 😉

For awhile I found myself constantly searching the internet for interesting articles about whatever idea had popped into my head, or whatever depressive or anxiety-ridden ‘symptom’ I’d convinced myself I had that day .. and then any links I didn’t use that day, I would save them in my blog drafts to use another day.

So today (or is it last night now..), I was scrolling through the saved drafts, and it’s a plethora of cheesy and almost ridiculous sounding articles. Though, some could be helpful…

  • 7 Obvious Signs He Wants to Hook Up and Not Date
  • The Thirst is Real (kinda don’t want to know about that…)
  • Secrets of Happily Single Gay Men.. Who Really Want a Boyfriend
  • Writing Your Way to Happiness (I still might read this one..)
  • What Your Friends with Social Anxiety Want You To Know
  • Table For One – The Rise of Solo Dining

And the list goes on and on.. over 100 saved article links or potential post ideas, some even ranging as far back as 2013!!

To be fair, when I was regularly ‘writing’ these posts, it was usually because I wasn’t happy about something in my life so wanted to get some perspective and help myself somehow.

But it was also usually because there really wasn’t much actually going on in my life at that moment (or day), and my own loneliness or insecurities drove me to the keyboard to ‘fix myself’.

I can’t honestly say if that was a good thing or not, if it even helped at the time, or even if I’ll never do it again if I continue to post regularly.

Though I do have to sometimes laugh at myself… posting tips on online dating or maintaining a relationship, when I was sitting home alone and still had never had a boyfriend.

Maybe I was self sabotaging my own personal life by over-thinking it all.

And maybe I still do.. while sitting at home alone. 😉

Nine Months Later…

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Nine months later…

That’s how long ago since I last posted on this site.  Since I decided I needed to take a break, especially as I hadn’t posted much over the course of last summer.

I figured it was the best thing to do.  I was clearly ‘too busy’ with life or work or whatever to keep things going regularly.  I’d felt that I needed to concentrate on other things at the time, instead of spending it writing on here.

Or perhaps I felt I didn’t need this platform any more, be it as an online journal of sorts to ‘talk’ my way through some issue I was having.  Or as a way to showcase my writing.

Or that I’d lost my ‘voice’.

And it was all a load of bullshit.  Excuses, the lot of them.

Yes, work had become a hell of a lot busier and exhausting, which just ended up being an excuse why I’d pulled away from the world.

Why I hadn’t spoken to or seen any of my friends in months.

Why I wasn’t writing anymore.

Why I hadn’t been getting through my (work authorised) online course.

Why I’d started smoking again and gained even more weight.

Why I started a downward spiral into loneliness and depressive behaviours that fed into my feelings of unworthiness.

Why, for all intents and purposes, it basically seemed like I was giving up on life.

And you know what?  I think I was in a way.

I’d convinced myself that nobody wanted to hang out with me, so why bother even trying to reach out to anyone.

That even less people would want to date me, so what was the point of trying to maintain any sort of positive self-image.

That I was going to continue to be stuck in my dead-end job until they forced me out or I died.. whichever came first.

Cheery thoughts, huh?

That’s where I’ve been over the past nine months, more or less.  Some days are better than others, but then there are the ones that just make me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

Or the days that make me hate the world and everyone in it for how I seem to feel like I’m ‘treated’.  But at the same time, I still wished there was just one person by myself willing to comfort me as I battled my way out of the darkness.

Life hasn’t been a complete barrage of doom and gloom for me these past none months.

I’ve gone on a few holidays (as usual), some better than others.  There’s been time spent with friends, and time spent alone.  There’s been laughs and tears.  There’s been lots (LOTS) of good food and some not so good food.

And through it all, I’d felt like something was missing from my life.  That there had to be something that could allow me to focus all this anger, sadness, joy, ennui, confusion, and a million other emotions.

That there was a passion missing from my life that everyone else (seemingly) all appeared to possess.

Was that this blog?  My writing?  My unfinished novel and story ideas that I haven’t touched in about a year?

I honestly don’t know.  And I don’t know if this is my return to my blog or not.

I just know that I felt like writing today for the first time in a very long time.

And it felt great.

Stepping Up to Mental Wellbeing

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Everyone deals with stress, anxiety or depression in different ways, and there’s no true set rule on how to deal with any of them.  We’ve all read countless online self-help articles touting themselves as being the ultimate list of how to do this or that.. when in reality, most are just rehashes of the same things over and over again.

One thing does ring true though regardless of which articles you read – If you don’t at least give them a shot, then you’ll never know if they truly make you feel more positive about your life, or even help move you down the road to your own happiness.

Side note – Happiness isn’t necessarily a destination, but more of a state of being.  And everyone’s ideal of happiness is different, so find your own happiness. 🙂

What is mental wellbeing?

Per the below NHS site, mental wellbeing is defined as such:

“Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are too.

“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.

“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”

Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at the University of Warwick

Like anything in life, the more you put into something like your own well being, the more you’re likely to get out of it.  And if you’re waiting on someone else to ‘give’ you happiness, you’ll be waiting for your entire life.

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Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Below are a few suggestions we could all take to boost how we’re doing.  As previously mentioned, this isn’t an exhaustive list and some may work better for some people than others.

Connect with others

All too often when we’re feeling down or a bit blue, we’ll find ourselves pulling away from our loved ones.  Instead reach out to the people around you, be them family, friends, colleagues or neighbours.  Just be willing to make that step to open up the lines of communication.

Be active

This isn’t necessarily about going to the gym or starting some massive work out regime.  It’s more about just finding an activity that you enjoy and incorporate into you daily life – take a walk, go for a bike ride, go for a swim, and so forth.

Keep learning

Sometimes all you might need is to boost your own wellbeing is to engage your mind in something constructive.  It could be learning a new skill, taking a hobby class , getting that certification you’ve been dreaming about.  Or maybe just read that book gathering dust on your bedside table.

Volunteering your time

Being a volunteer in any capacity can not only help you feel like you’re contributing more to your community, but it’s a goldmine for networking.  But you don’t even have to go so far as to actually volunteer – sometimes the smallest thing, like smiling at a stranger or giving a kind word to something, can make the world a difference.

Be in the present

This could be called ‘mindfulness’, but it’s mostly about being aware of what is going around you at any given moment.  This can include the world around you, local/national/international politics, your thoughts or feelings, and most importantly, your own body.  However, don’t allow yourself to get so immersed in this that you block out other parts of life, as that’ll have an averse affect.

This post has been influenced by — Five steps to mental wellbeing – Stress, anxiety and depression – NHS choices

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Things That Happen When You Don’t Sleep Enough

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Everyone at some point in their lives will suffer from a lack a sleep.  It could be as simple as having trouble dropping off at night, or waking up in the middle of the night and not being back to get back to sleep, or even to the extreme – full blown insomnia.

It’s ok.  It happens to us all. But what matters is how you deal with the sleeplessness itself.. as well as the effects it can happen in your daily life if you don’t.

And it goes beyond just the feelings of being tired, cranky, hungry, and irritable. Or even just needing a good cup of coffee to wake you up.

Here are a few things that can happen when you’re not getting enough sleep.

You get yourself into trouble at work

annoyed-300x200When you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to become irritable at work and possibly engage in deviant behaviour that could leave you vulnerable to disciplinary action (in extreme circumstances).

You’re basically more likely to cut corners, find the easy way to complete your work, gossip unnecessarily about co-workers, be disrespectful to your bosses, or possibly even steal from your work place.

The best thing to do is to just give yourself a few moments to think about the situation before taking any actions.  You’ll thank yourself for it later on.

Slowly, you get depressed

The relationship is complex – depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorder. Lack of sleep or inability to get to sleep can be a red-flag for depression as it can lead to increased tension, irritability, fatigue, less exercise, and a lower level of vitality and fitness.

Best course of action is to ensure you maintain your daily routines, especially if it includes some sort of activity or exercise to get your blood pumping.  The endorphins it’ll release will help halt the onset of a depressive period, as well as help tire you out so you’ll have a better night’s sleep.

You overeat and get fat(ter)

When you’re not sleeping well, you can make some bad food choices, be it having a late night snack while still laying awake, or justifying allowing yourself that double cheeseburger for lunch the next day because you had such a horrible night.

Sleeplessness can actually affect your hormones, mostly an increase in ghrelin (tells you when to eat) and a decrease in leptin (tells you when to stop eating). The best thing to do is to eat healthy and normally when you’re not sleeping well.  Your waistline will appreciate it.

You’re a risk behind the wheel

Obviously when you’re not sleeping well, you can be a danger to yourself and others on the roads because your judgement can be impaired.

Sleepy driverWhen you’re driving and you’re sleep deprived, it can be the equivalent of driving while intoxicated. Your reactions and your ability to recognise dangers on the road are slower, and could potentially cause an accident.

If you can, take public transport or let someone else drive who’s had a good night’s sleep.  If that’s not possible, like your job involves a lot of driving, then do yourself and other drivers a favour and take your time on the roads.

Your testosterone dips (for men)

A lack of adequate sleep can affect a man’s testosterone levels, and in effect, affect their sex drive or their vitality for life.  A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that men who were only allowed 5 hours sleep a night had testosterone levels dip 10 to 15%.  This is because testosterone levels are generally replenished while sleeping.

Love sleep(Unfortunately the study mentioned above didn’t look at the effects of sleeplessness on women, so unsure if they would have the same reactions or not.)

So here are a couple simple tricks to help you on your way to a healthy night’s sleep on a regular basis:

  • Avoid too much caffeine, especially later in the day,as it can linger in your system up to 12 hours after consumption;
  • Ensure your bed is comfortable and is your ‘nest’. A dark, cool, ‘work-free’ environment is best;
  • Set yourself a nightly sleep routine to help you wind-down before heading off to sleep.

This post was inspired by the article – 5 Crazy & Weird Things That Happen When You Don’t Sleep Enough.

New Year, New Mentality

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Just like most people, I look forward to New Years as a way to put the previous twelve months behind me and hopefully move forward with my life.

Or at least that’s what I try to tell myself.

This year, more than any other, I find that I need to revitalise myself and my attitude towards life.  That I really need to put the past to bed, and try to move ahead with where I want my life to go.

Easier said (or written) than done to be honest.

The past week between Christmas and New Years has been quite rough for me, and not just because of the sadness or loneliness I felt over the holidays.  Though it does play a big part in things.

don't chase peopleI’m not going to go into intricate details, but while feeling down last Saturday I had a blow-up with one of my mates.  Due to my own feelings of abandonment, I ended up lashing out about how I was feeling causing him to storm out of the coffee shop.  He then messaged that he no longer wanted to be my friend, and then blocked me from being able to contact him.

That really hurt.

But the more I thought about it, the more it was inevitable due to my pushing him with my anger and resentment towards my life and the world around me.  I let my emotions and insecurities get the better of me, and there was no way to change what happened (I tried to apologise obviously..).

All I really needed in that moment was someone to listen to how I was feeling, help me talk through the thoughts in my head.  And maybe a cuddle or two.

However, after it happened and I got over the initial shock of his response, I surprisingly felt quite calm.  As if that was exactly what I needed to vent the emotions I’d been bottling up over the holidays, and for the remainder of the weekend heading into New Year’s Eve, I didn’t feel as upset or angry as I was.

Ok, so the feelings didn’t completely go away overnight.  Was more that it was a wake up call about how I was reacting to things as they happened.  That I was kind of looking at the world as if it owed me something, like I had a sense of entitlement about how people should act towards me.

LifeIsPainful2And what this did was help me realise that it was all bullshit.  That the feelings themselves, although valid and real from my point of view, were stupid and only in my own head.  That I can’t expect people to be there for me when I’m feeling down if all I’m going to do is be angry about life.

And that the only person I can truly rely on to be there for me is ME, so I need to ensure I can approach my issues with a calm and level head.

Now do I still think I need to talk to a professional about everything I’ve been thinking and feeling over the past while?  Of course I do, but at least now it doesn’t feel like a life or death situation.

Don’t worry.  I haven’t necessarily been feeling suicidal, but I could easily see where certain thoughts could have lead down that path.  And that scared the shit out of me.

So now it’s a new year, and hopefully this means some new beginnings while putting the past behind me.  It’s not going to be an easy thing, but fingers crossed I can get where I need to be for me.

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Feeling Funky.. and Not in a Good Way

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Life can be hard at times for pretty much everyone, though it can be harder for some than others.

However I sometimes wonder if I’m subconsciously making my life harder than it really needs to be.  That I let my emotions and negative thoughts take over my active behaviours, which sometimes leads me to pushing people away when I don’t mean to.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit over the past few days as I spend the holidays alone.  A couple of close friends stayed in town this year as well, but instead of us getting together like I tried to suggest, they each chose to spend the day on their own.

This was not a great feeling, and although I tried not to, I took it as a personal affront that they (seemingly) couldn’t be bothered to just spend the day together. Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones, be it family or friends, and I actually felt abandoned.

It wasn’t about doing some massive Christmas dinner or whatever, but more about having some friendly company.  Or at least it was for me.

What I found though, as I spent the past two days completely alone, that my emotions were getting the better of me.  I was sad and angry at the same time, and anyone who sent me a cheery Christmas greeting got a response full of sadness and negativity.

I couldn’t help it.  All I could focus on over the past couple days was how everyone else was out there enjoying their loved ones while I sat at home alone.

One person messaged me that I should have told them I was going to be alone at Christmas.. to which I replied that if they’d wanted me at theirs for Christmas, then they should have invited me.  That I shouldn’t have to broadcast to the world that I’m alone at Christmas so I could end up with a pity invite.

Maybe that was the wrong response and reaction to their message, but it was a knee-jerk answer and the anger came out.  Of course this was the same person who said they were home alone as well.. with their husband.  That’s not being alone if you ask me.

Of course it didn’t help things whenever I’d log onto Facebook and saw all the happy families and groups of friends having fun with each other.  After awhile I just had to close the site, and couldn’t even bring myself to reply to messages from people I care about.

In the end, I had a marathon viewing of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix over the past several days (finished series 3 lol), as that was the most un-Christmasy thing I could think of to watch.  Plus I was hoping it would cheer me up somewhat.

Christmas-AloneSadly it didn’t.

Anyway, now there’s less than a week left of 2014 and I need to find a way to turn this frown upside down.  The last thing I want to do is start a new year in such a pissed off mood.

And I most definitely don’t want to spend NYE all alone.. again (had a bad flu last year, so couldn’t go out).  That was probably just as bad a feeling, if not worse.

So here’s hoping I can get myself out of this funk.. If not, maybe it’s time to speak to the doctor again for some help.  😦

Are You Feeling SAD?

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Well, here we are again. It’s that time of year where the days are continually grey and there’s barely enough sunshine to make you realise it’s not night anymore.

Not that most of us see much of the sun these days. If your commute is anything like mine, then you’re probably already part way to work (if not already there) when the sun finally rises. And forget about leaving work when it’s still light out.

That’s right. It’s time for the Winter Blues, or more commonly known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

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When I was younger I thought SAD meant someone was just feeling a bit down. I was clueless and couldn’t understand why someone would feel sad in the wintertime.

But once I started to suffer from it myself, that perception changed. I would yearn for sunshine and the warmth of the sun on my skin, but couldn’t drag my ass out of my warm, comfy bed to enjoy it. I’d rather curl up on the sofa watching crap movies and eating takeaway than go out in the world and enjoy it.

Oh wait. That’s not just a winter thing. Maybe I’m just lazy. 😉

Regardless of how you deal with the bleak winter weather, anyone could suffer from SAD, even if you don’t realise you are.

So for some helpful hints on how to deal with it all, head over to Huffington Post (click HERE) to read their suggestions.

And remember – spring is only a few short months away. 😃

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Understanding Depression Better

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Living in a state of depression is never a fun or easy thing to have to deal with.  It’s something that can truly take over your life and leave you feeling like an empty husk inside.

As many who’ve visited here before know, I’ve dealt with my own bouts of depression over the years, and have wrote about it several times in the past.

Although I’m not particularly feeling depressed these days, the shadow of it enveloping me once again is always on the edge of my consciousness, and is something I battle to prevent happening on almost a daily basis.

Too many are afraid to talk about what their going through, and many others are loath to be there to listen as if it was contagious.  Talking about it more will help de-stigmatise how others perceive those with depression, and will encourage those dealing with it to be more willing to open up about it or to seek treatment.

Here are some key facts about depression (ref – World Health Organisation):

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective treatments for depression.

Here are a few things to help all of us understand depression better, from the point of view of things someone with depression will understand.

‘Snap out of it!’

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This is probably the most useless and unsupportive thing you could say to someone with depression.  It’s not as if you could just wake up one morning and decide to not be depressed anymore.

Depression is not just emotional, but can also be physical, and saying something like this just shows a person’s lack of understanding of what depression actually is.

Sadness does NOT equal depression

Feeling down or sad is not the same as living in a state of depression, though some people do misconstrue one for the other.  Depression is a clinical term, and is caused by underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities that cause a person’s mental health to deteriorate.  Depression goes beyond just being sad or upset, and we need to stop confusing the two.

understanding-depression-5Little victories are really big ones

When you’re suffering from depression, sometimes something as simple and little as getting out of bed in the morning can be a huge victory.

Most tasks and activities become an ordeal, and just getting through a few of them can make someone with depression feel like they’ve conquered something.  Like they’ve accomplished something substantial, even if it’s something more people take for granted on a daily basis.

Beyond lack of motivation

Most of us feel that 3pm slump when you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the rest of the work day.  For someone who’s depressed, it’s like that pretty much all of the time.  Depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles doesn’t work anymore, and it’s difficult to maintain the focus we all need to get through the day.

There’s physical symptoms as well

Most people think depression as just an emotional or mental problem, but to help dispel this misconception, you also need to understand the physical symptoms.  And these physical symptoms can sometimes lead people to misunderstand what is going wrong with their body, and pre-existing issues could be made worse.  Other physical symptoms can include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue to name a few.

Life just isn’t fun anymore

shutterstock_94195759Depression can make your life dramatically different, as you can lose interest in those activities you’ve always enjoyed – hanging with friends, reading your favourite book, enjoying a night out, or even romantic activities all seem less exciting.

This lack of interest can be a major red-flag when identifying the condition, and it something to look out for in yourself and others.  Be supportive and approach them with an open mind.

It’s hard to put into words

Some people think that those with depression can talk about how their feeling until the cows come home, but in reality it’s much different.  For a lot of people dealing with depression, it can be agony to describe to someone else how their feeling – especially when there’s a stigma around your illness.  When you’re looking at life through dark-coloured glasses, it can be hard to put that into words and believe that someone else can understand what you’re going through.

It’s different for everyone

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ experience or approach when it comes to depression.  Everyone’s experiences and ordeals are unique to them, and there’s no one method to help fight the illness.  That’s what makes depression so difficult to deal with because everyone’s journey is different.

Understanding-Depression-666x372Everyone needs to take their own path to healing and getting past the depression in order to continue on with life.  The important thing is to make sure you’re getting the help you need if you’re depressed, and you’re being supportive of those suffering from it.

Be open.  Be understanding.  Be there for each other.

This post was inspired by ‘9 Things Only People With Depression Can Truly Understand‘ over on The Huffington Post.

Feeling the Pressure

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Ok, so I’ve only been looking for a new job for a week now, but already I’m starting to feel the pressure of it all and feeling very stressed about it all.  I know in my head that it’s probably too soon to start freaking out or whatever, but I can’t seem to stop myself.

All last week I was feeling fairly confident, energetic, and quietly optimistic about finding a new job quickly.  In fact, I had 2 calls from recruiters in the first 2 days, so this definitely gave me quite the boost going into the weekend.

But for whatever reason I woke up today feeling stressed about it all and started to worry about what’s going to happen next.  There are other worries as well surrounding this, but I’ve promised not to discuss them on here.

One part of me feels like I’ve been doing tons to try and find a new job.  I’ve signed up for multiple online agencies and registered my details on too many job sites to count, not to mention sent my cv in response to close to 20 job listings today alone.

interview-jobI’ve lost track of how many applications I’ve sent off in the past week.

But somehow I can’t shake the feeling that I’m not doing enough to get a job.  That there should be something else I should be doing to get those recruiters to call and say ‘You’re hired’.  That maybe I need to do something different in my job search.. If I only knew what it was.

For whatever reason today I’ve been feeling the pressure so much that it feels like someone is standing on my chest.  And it fucking hurts.

But I think mostly the situation has just finally sunk in.  That I’ve lost my job, and I’ve reverted back to where I was last year before I found the last job.

And yeah, I’m scared that I’ll end up going through the same year-long unemployment I went through last year.  Really scared, because I barely made it through that the first time.  I don’t think I could stand another bout of that again.  Especially don’t want to go through the depression again.

Several friends have told me to just stay strong and keep applying for jobs, and to not let myself get down about it all.  I’m trying, really really trying.. but it’s not easy to stay positive right now.

I suppose it’s to be expected to feel down about the situation, especially since I had barely allowed myself a moment to feel bad about the situation when it first happened, regardless if I hated the job..

And I can’t help thinking that possibly secretly, deep down, I wanted to get fired.  That subconsciously I thought if I was forced to look for a new job, then that might give me a kick in the ass to get moving.

stress2Well, now here I am and I’ve been given that kick in the ass.. I’m motivated to find a new job, and I’ve been looking as hard as I can, but it doesn’t alleviate that feeling of dread or the tightness in my chest.

Of course maybe I’m just having a bad day.  I’m allowed (I think) one once in awhile, right?