Hello my name is Red Baron and I am a depressive.

I have in the last year or so sought to differentiate between the political and the personal. I enjoyed posting political vitriol here and enjoyed the interaction with others within that framework. Some time ago I found somewhere a little more anonymous to vent the personal. This was undoubtedly due to the shame of who I was when things are not going well and that is not easy to say least of all so publicly.

I was not going to post this sort of stuff here any more, but upon serious reflection I think it would be a disservice to many others that may suffer from similar things to me not to mention that it provides a false impression of who I am. Mental health is really the last great taboo, it’s the one thing you don’t talk about, cover it up behind closed doors and then re-emerge some day or two or five later when all is sunshine again. Except of course it is rarely sunshine again, not properly. So to blog somewhere else for the catharsis I gain from writing but somewhere that isn’t here is just the behind closed doors in a different way.

The principle reason why I haven’t been blogging recently is that I haven’t been able to write at all. After the crap of the first part of this year I was not having an especially good time of things and mentally I wasn’t really coping very well. I genuinely thought for a moment that this might be the one I don’t come out of it seemed to affect every fibre of my being and prevented me enjoying anything, literally life was devoid of pleasure. So I bit the bullet and went to the docs and was put on the happy pills. I have resisted this before but to be honest I wasn’t sure what the alternative was so it seemed an idea to give it a go. The side effects were savage and one of the things I lost was the passion and fire that made me write in addition to the impromptu teariness, panic attacks, raging paranoia and borderline agoraphobia. Under normal circumstances when minded to write it comes fairly naturally and doesn’t take much time I find that when I’ve finished I barely know I’ve done anything, it doesn’t take thought, calculation it just comes. In contrast, on the rare occasions recently I have written anything, it has been in the last couple of days and it is like having to pull every word out of a stone, it is kind of all there but it isn’t coming out without a fight, it’s a battle and every sentence, every paragraph has to be mulled over .

I have been on the medication for 3 months now and it has been something of a rollercoaster, unfortunately without wishing to appear to indulge in hyperbole it has been a rollercoaster that goes down with very little up. Usually with my depression I would see it coming, get what I used to call fuzzy head syndrome and shortly after I got the first signs I would have a period of productivity for a day or so and that is when I would get much of my writing done. Since going on the meds I have lost my early warning system and my period of activity, however the downsides have not gone away, so it has been like losing what little good parts there were with nothing in exchange.

This is not a grandstanding issue, I am looking neither for sympathy nor plaudits, it is merely a piece of information which may prove useful to the reader in assessing my subjectivity. I always stated that it was important to know a writer’s angle because there is no such thing as objectivity only different forms of subjectivity, and this is fine provided you know where the writer’s bias comes from. This allows the reader to make up their mind based on multiple sources rather than be indoctrinated by one source purporting to be an absolute truth, there is rarely, if ever, such a thing.

I am aware of the risks of putting this out there, there may well be people that know me who either think there is some agenda behind it or that I have somehow changed, far from changing this is in fact me merely accepting who I have always been. I do a good job of hiding it in the real world because it is not the sort of thing you want everyone to know but I do not see why I should have to here. You find out who your friends are when the shit hits the fan, I do not blame those that run per se, but they will have their own reasons maybe valid maybe not but it is of little use to me either way. Sometimes you need people to just keep pluging away and give you love unconditionally and occasionally kick you up the arse in a way you know is only because they care. I am lucky that I have more than just one person who has done that and whilst I am not going to name and fame because it would serve no purpose, I know who they are and that is what matters. As for other people in the online world that have sent little things now and again, the odd hello, or how are you doing, however insignificant it may have appeared it is always registered and appreciated, sometimes whilst you languish, you don’t want to feel alone even if you feel powerless or too wretched to communicate that.

I remember a joke which said 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness of some description so look around your 3 best mates, if they all seem fine then you’re the nutter!

So this really is me warts and all, a paranoid depressive with a view of myself in the world that ranges from me being the second coming of Marx to be worth no more than a mollusc and only half as intelligent. I like the cut of my own jib too much in the good times not to be back here writing again, all being well it will be soon and when I do stand well back I’m going to have some serious bile!

Song Of The Day ~ Muse – Knights Of Cydonia

Original Comments:

John made this comment,
Looking forward to it mate.
comment added :: 7th December 2006, 17:26 GMT+01 :: http://oldgit.wordpress.com/
kevin g made this comment,
This is your forum, so what you posted, belongs here. I felt like I was reading the narrative to my life at the moment. And I know where you’re coming from, as far as the “pills” taking the edge off your perception. You’re doing so much, your page is active, and you are active. Me, I’m just sittin’ here reading, also on “happy pills” that have started to wear off, and feeling that I’m being lazy, as I haven’t posted any entries on my page, for December. And thanks again for introducing me to Pandora. Now playing “The Twilight Hour” from The The. Appreciated your honesty, and I know I’m stranger to you, but I appreciate what you do. Apologies for the ramble.
comment added :: 12th December 2006, 03:38 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
i hope that you are ok mate.i know i havent really been around much, but i do think of you. im in the gang too. ive been in the gang since i was about 14. its a fun place isnt it? 🙂 if you need a chat or anything, email me or call me.xx
comment added :: 17th December 2006, 15:33 GMT+01
Haddock made this comment,
I think its probably more than 1 in 4 have mental health issues. I myself take St John Wort in the winter to ease my winter blues and I must admit it does take the edge of my personality. But it does keep me calmer in the winter months. Hope you find the up part of the rollercoaster soon and hope to see some posts from you soon. Take care.
comment added :: 17th December 2006, 23:45 GMT+01 :: http://greenhaddock2.blogspot.com/
Lynne made this comment,
Hello you 🙂 I’m back, after much ado with modems and life and all that annoying crap.
Sorry you’ve had such a rough time. Working in MH I hear a lot of this sort of thing, so I think I sometimes forget how difficult it can be to “come out” as it were and say “I’m struggling.” Anyhow, good on you – this is your blog, and you shouldn’t have to lurk about elsewhere. (((RB)))

Will get round to blogging soon L x

comment added :: 23rd December 2006, 00:33 GMT+01 :: http://www.raingoddess.blog-city.com
donna made this comment,
Elo so glad your back writing i know how youve struggled of late. I also know what a brave step you have taken writing that so well done proper proud of you!!!!!
comment added :: 29th December 2006, 19:48 GMT+01