|PROOF - Sam Phripp. Quite good company |
on a night out.
Like most other people, I didn't wake up one day and think 'Jesus, I'm depressed' - it was far more gradual.
To start with, I'm not a depressive person. Even now, if you saw me in the street, I'd be just as LOL as I've ever been. I can still be funny, and I think I'm still quite good company on a night out. I didn't even recognise the hallmarks of depression either, which is difficult. Nowadays I'm learning to. Way back when, I didn't even notice that I was laughing at things but not actually connecting with what funny felt like. I didn't notice how odd it was that I was talking to people in the street and planning what platitude I'd come up with next. I also didn't notice that I'd stopped carrying out pretty basic functions.
Nowadays, I notice if I haven't cleaned my teeth, or if I've been shlupping around the house a bit too much. I realise that I've been asked to do the dishes while my partner is at work, and I still haven't talked myself into doing it when he comes home eight hours later. It doesn't mean that those things have stopped happening, it just means that I see it happening, and I think that's probably part of the fight.
Perhaps the most poignant example of this was brought to my attention by my sister the other day. We were talking about how we used to drive places together and belt out Celine Dion classix, and she mentioned how it seemed as though since I'd stopped singing I'd become progressively more sad. Not only was this an absolutely spot on comment for her to make, it also made me realise that it was another aspect of myself that I'd lost. That isn't to say that her saying it was devastating, but it reminded me of a version of myself that I hadn't seen in a while. It all comes down to the same thing - I can tell that I'm getting better, because it feels like I'm learning to be who I am again. Not the person who only sings when he's doing an impression of Heather Small, but a person who sings because he's happy.
|Hooking into the early hours...|
|'Yet still, I rise'|
All of these things feel to me like signs that I'm getting better. No, I won't be getting a tattoo a week until I feel that I'm on tip top form. No, I don't think that I'm quite out of the woods yet, but, I think I'm definitely turning a corner. The blanket will continue to grow, and undoubtedly it will tell a story. Too often when discussing depression cliches are used - I don't feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, because I don't feel like I'm in a tunnel. I'm in Frome. What it does feel like, is that there are fewer clouds, and that the sun is making me stronger.
I've also realised that my sister was absolutely right, and I sang earlier on for the first time in ages. Properly sang - not singing in the voice of Cher - but singing like I meant it and, let me tell you, it was like a bird taking flight.
Anyway, that's enough mushy stuff for a while.
Find below :
1. A picture of my dog Bentley with a comedy hat on to cheer you up
2. The text of my favourite stanza from 'Still I Rise' by Dr Maya Angelou
3. 'Silenced by the night' by Keane, which feels like the most hopeful song ever.
|Not actually his birthday, he was just seeking attention.|
'You may write me down in history,
with your bitter, twisted lies,
you may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.'
Dr Maya Angelou