Sunday, November 2, 2008

Movember – Understanding Depression – Beyond Blue



Today is the First of Movember and I am supporting the cause this year with a meaning and purpose that you cannot possibly believe. And this photo was taken on Halloween.So I have started clean shaven.

To donate please visit www.movember.com.au. My account is 1341061 - so please help.

It is just over twelve months since I was diagnosed with Depression – that is absolutely unbelievable, me who always considered himself indestructible, in control of any situation. Suddenly an understanding of those times when I felt alone, distressed and acting like a totally out of control idiot started to become clear. The pain I have caused is at times unbearable.

The sadness of that is the only people who ever saw that were my family, the people I loved the most. They became the victims, the people who were hurt the most, the people I let down the most. The even sillier part of this the way I drove myself into that depressive state thinking that I was doing the right thing working for them. Never really stopping – never taking the time to rest and actually enjoy the life I thought I was working so hard to achieve.

I have tried hard to rationalise all of this but that no longer matters I am moving forward and dealing with my life – I can only try to make up to those people that I love and pray for their forgiveness.

The most amazing part of this trip over the last twelve months is watching people and their reactions to the the big “D” word and realise the world does not have any idea about depression. Whilst it does not only happen to men, the comprehension of men that it can happen to them and the way they set up their actions leads them down a path of personal health denial. If we are to change the paradigms that set up this self denial then we need to get out there and start talking about it. Oganisations like “beyond blue” are working hard at trying to bring awareness to Mens Health Issues particularly in the area of mental health.

I have been told depression is just an excuse, it is normal tough it out, it is just stress, it will pass. The fact is the people close to me equally do not know what it is about or how to handle it. Yes, it is my responsibility but the feeling of rejection also has not helped in any way at all. If anything it has just made the whole deeper and blacker. The need to educate the community on this issue is enormous.

I write this openly and honestly and hope the community will get behind Movember this year. the community and organisations like “Beyond Blue' need help to get their message and support into the community. C'mmon give us a hand and support me or your friends in raising money for this wonderful cause.

4 comments:

Kat said...

It is beyond sad that most of the world is at a loss in their attempts to help a loved one as they struggle with any mental challenges. We are an earth filled with people who think that illness equates to upset stomach's and runny noses. They can then either offer you an Alka-Seltzer or a tissue and they have solved your problem.

If a friend or loved one tells us they are depressed however, it requires us to listen, ignore our sympathetic tendencies, and possibly sit in the solidarity of silence. There are sadly, too few, who are comfortable with silence.

I applaud you for sharing, Jim. And, I stand here in silent solidarity with you as you move on this journey.

JimBob51 said...

Thank you Kat. I am really fine now and well on the way to a recovery. Have made many changes to my life and feeling good.

Yes I am sad that the lack of knowledge and understanding allowed the fall.

I am very keen for the world to learn what this is all about and awareness alone is all the support we really need.

Charlie Robinson said...

lovely post Jim. as always... straight to the point. succinct. love you for it. and yes, i know you are on your way to a light at the end of the tunnel.

hey - but are we (as humans) just scared of this issue because we think we might have it too. and we don't want it? you know - the whole "don't breathe on me or i might get your germs"?

how many of us have our sad days? i bet we all do really. but we're not talking about that here are we. we're talking about people who have sad days for multiple days in a row / year. simply lost control of their life, can't make a rash decision, don't want to get out of bed - the list goes on. these are the people we need to worry about and support.

i agree Kat, it's beyond sad that we haven't come to grips with how to help yet. we can see a dripping nose and offer a tissue - and we know we are OK in doing that because our nose is dry.... but to extend a hand to someone who is sad - concerned (selfishly) that we might be tagged as the same... maybe that's where the barrier is.

it's just a thought - an idea.

i extend my hand. and i'm always here to listen and shoot the breeze. xc

JimBob51 said...

Charlie - thank you. I saw a statistic somewhere recently. It is said there are an extraordinarily large group of people who have Depression and do not know it.

I find that interesting. half of the cure is knowing why you feel sad, low whatever and having strategies to deal with those feelings.

Hence "MOVEMBER" we need to help people understand and we need to do that by supporting. I hope the initiative is very successful.