You may or may not have noticed that I have posted bits of writings here and there on facebook concerning my recent troubles with depression, anxiety, and general mental health. Well, I decided to be open, come out, and put it all here in one place. Before I carry on though, please be aware that I am not writing this to garner any sympathy. I am simply trying a whole new approach of being honest, and open about my recent spot of bother, rather than dealing with everything in private. I am tired of putting on a brave face.

So… my old sparring partner depression, recently came back into my life, and knocked me on my arse a bit. Also, for the first time, I started getting panic and anxiety attacks, which are pretty much the same thing. Full on too, walls closing in, can’t breathe, tight chest, chest pain, blurred vision, the full collectors set. It’s Kinda worrying, especially the chest pain. Turns out, my heart is fine. I’m just more highly strung and hypersensitive than I thought, which is weird, cos I didn’t notice, until I started.. well… noticing.

Anyway, my mental state was getting pretty bad, and I ended up having to leave my job very suddenly. I found myself back on meds for the first time in close to eight years. Things had to change, and mostly myself and my lifestyle. I don’t take drugs, and even though I still enjoy a pint or two while cooking for my lovely, understanding and saintly patient wife, I am not much of a boozer anymore. So, that ruled that out. Quite simply, I just had to ride it out, and get to the other side.

Im still kinda getting there. I thought I had reached it, when I started a new job, only to quit the very same evening, in a whirlpool of panic, terror, and yep.. Chest pain and tightness. It became clear that my bother was now affecting others in ways I was not intending. My hypersensitivity and mental health was having knock on effects on friends, who did not deserve to be subject to any of it. Anyway.. Time to take another look at what was going on in my noisy head.

I decided to come off the meds, which is something I had usually advised people NOT to do. I was taking Zoloft and Buspirone for the depression, and zanax for the panic and insomnia. It seems I was still having panic attacks, and was still having really dark grey days. The meds were not doing a thing, except making me dizzy, wired and tired all at the same time. So, I am weaning myself off all of them. Im done with the Zoloft, and probably have a couple more days left to go on the buspirone. I guess it was a good experience to have the meds though, as I had to realize for myself that I did not have to be on them at all.

So, I am going back on herbal remedies, which always seemed to work in the past. I am also taking regular exercise, eating sensibly, (which basically means less cake and crisps, cos I already eat pretty sensibly. Apart from cake and crisps.) and quite simply, chasing happiness instead of security. I could go on for a few pages about this, maybe later.

To finish up, don’t worry. I am ok. Well, i'm not, but I am. (depression in a nutshell right there..) I shall not be hurting myself, or anyone else. I'm still big daft Jamie, who makes bleepy pop music, cooks hot sauce, plays yoyo and doesn’t take life too seriously. That’s not an act or a mask, that’s the real deal. How you choose to interact with me, knowing about my illness is entirely your call. I will treat you the same as I always have. I am always open to discussion about mental illness, having suffered from it myself, and had loved ones and good friends who have the same bother. You don’t have to pussyfoot around the subject with me. Say what you think. But be aware, I will answer honestly. You may not like it. But that’s how it is when openness and honesty take the drivers seat for a while. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

Thank you for your time.
Jamie

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