My dad always said that he remembers when I used to smile all the time, it’s sad to see that he doesn’t think that I do anymore. I remember when the depression took hold in my head vividly, it was not like the signs weren’t there that I was going to take a turn for the worst and actually it was not until a long time after that I was actually diagnosed but that part is for a different blog. No names are mentioned in this blog as to protect identities.
After senior school I went to college and made some great friends those years were brilliant I’m happy to say that 11 years later I still have people from college who I still consider best friends who I would do anything for if they ask me too, even if it’s at short notice. However I will admit it was the same college where my spirit was finally broken it’s horribly vivid I think the lead up didn’t help.
I’ll go back a little, after a few short relationships that didn’t really go so well I met someone at work and the relationship grew serious quite quickly, we got engaged and I eventually moved in with her… that proved to be the worst decision of my life. The relationship was nothing but a series of arguments we often ended up sleeping in different rooms, I worked part time and studied full time along with the relationship I found the balancing act was getting increasingly difficult. I was on the phone with my dad he said something that echoed with my feelings and decided that I’d take his advice, I ended the relationship all together.
The brake up with my ex was not clear cut, I moved permanently into the spare room until a suitable person could take my place. The whole time it was awkward thankfully due to working and acting having to be out all the time helped a lot but stress was building all the time; I was about to take a tour of a couple of Sarah Kane plays 4:48 Psychosis and Crave, I had a monologue in Crave and for the life of me all that was going on I could not memorise the bloody thing this lead to me letting down the cast and I was, rightly so, berated.
I came home two days after the brake up I found that my ex had gotten with a guy, she assured me that they wouldn’t get up to anything that might get me upset, I stupidly believed her and went to work. It wasn’t going well at work I moved from a super store to a smaller store, and my new managers didn’t like me at the new place. I needed some breathing space but didn’t want to take the piss so after a month of working there including over time I asked them if I could take some time off citing that for the six years I worked for this particular company I had only had one two week holiday, I hated the smirk that came across the department managers face she went into her managers office (I later found out they were very good friends) and then both managers called me in and told me off for even contemplating taking time off.
I found myself in a situation where I had nowhere to turn, I was working in a shop where my managers liked watching me jump through hoops, I felt like my performing arts company was annoyed and hated me, I was stuck in a house where the girl that I loved was banging another bloke in my double bed and I had nowhere to go. I skipped work I couldn’t deal with it, I decided that enough was enough and the ex’s new bloke could take over my contract as he was basically living in the house and shagging her in my bed, I called the parents and told them to pick me, the bed and all my things up the whole house ended up with a long night of arguing but it had to happen, this leads up to the moment I broke and my smile ended.
I was becoming more and more distant, my parent’s patience with me was wearing thin and for myself adjusting to sleeping alone was difficult. My sleeping pattern was erratic so had taken to drinking in pubs and catching a taxi home with enough booze in my system to make the room spin when my head hit the pillow. Eventually I was able to get myself somewhat straight and got back on my feet. I went back into education on the regular but in class I had a few jibes thrown my way, I don’t know why but in that moment, all of a sudden, my face dropped that lump came into my throat and all the bad thoughts filled my head, I didn’t realise it at the time but I had my first full blown anxiety ridden panic attack, I couldn’t do it anymore.
I excused myself from the room I found one of my tutors by the theatre I had tears running down my face I lit a cigarette and told her that I was leaving the course and the college, to her credit she did try and talk me around but I felt like I was not liked by anyone anymore and that the time had run out. It was one of the lowest points but maybe the thing I needed most as a few weeks later I moved to Hampshire to start the new part of my life.
It took a while to start smiling again, but I did and that will be in my next blog.