Week two of work is over, and Noah is still pissing on us to keep his nappy dry and Mabli laughs her head off whenever Noah is crying, which is a bit scary.
I’ll stop pretending that I’m not depressed.
TODAY I AM FUCKING MISERABLE. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.
My head has been completely taken over by a ‘fog’ that has come out of nowhere. No outgoing flights, everything is cancelled, no refunds. Not going to punch in some humour, because having your smile taken away almost immediately after having a good day with your family is shit. Plus I can’t think of anything funny right now and I’m sick of saying “I’m tired” whenever someone asks me how I am.
Imagine having a proper laugh with your children, feeling like a decent dad, making them laugh and all that stuff, then you get home, look at yourself in the mirror and the colours of the world get sucked into the eyes you’re looking into and you feel worthless for no reason. Kind of like #Mondays.
I have never contemplated suicide, ever. I am PETRIFIED of death. I’d happily be a vampire in The Originals and party forever. Or be an immortal Morrissey, forever making miserable SOUND SO GOOD for generations to come. No, death scares the shit out of me. I have though, tried to put myself in the shoes of those who have attempted, or committed suicide, to try and understand what they were feeling and thinking, as I’m assuming some of you have done. How low must someone be to accept that they’re going to go through with it? How down must a person feel if their family, wealth and whatever else a person may have can’t stop it?
After Chester Bennington’s suicide, that really hit me hard. The man had everything, a gorgeous family, money, adulation, loved by millions through his creativity, and it wasn’t enough. So through that reflection, I realised that I don’t get enthusiastic about many things at all. I’m in physical pain trying to give a shit about someone talking to me about religion or something during general day to day conversation.
If God really did make us in his image, he (or she) would get a very bad review on Amazon by the person he sent me out to. “DON’T TRUST THIS SELLER, SOLD ME A HUMAN THAT DOESN’T WORK AND WILL NOT GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK. AVOID.”
I obviously get excited and the warm buzz when I see my family or when I’m nearly home to see them. I cry when Mufasa dies, (who doesn’t?) but other than that? My stupid brain switched off that feeling long ago.
For those who are severely depressed, the notion of having nothing at all to look forward to in their life, for the rest of their life, is a really scary thought.
My family and closest friends have always and will keep me from reaching that degree of ‘darkness’, but it can make you sad trying to understand just what people with depression have to think through from day to day. I am fortunate that I have never gotten to the place that, unfortunately, other people have.
Earlier this week, it was great to see Ben Bennett off of ‘Gypsy Kids’ given a huge platform to talk about his experiences with racism and discrimination in schools and communities. His story is easily a template for hundreds of us when we were children, and even worse so nowadays. This leads to bullying and discrimination, violence and self-defense and unfortunately, protecting yourself and your family gets you branded a “thug”. It is a nasty vicious cycle. Pretty much like every Liverpool FC game this season. We are taught how to box for the reason that we need to look after ourselves and our family, we also have a competitive nature that makes boxing addictive.
Something that I have thought about since looking at Mind UK’s statistic of 1 in 4 people has mental health issues, is that a lot of the UK population aren’t included in that sample, but also even more of the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller community wouldn’t be either. Now linking this to another statistic that GRT males are six times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the UK population, and females seven times more likely, how would the “1 in 4” change if we take that into account, and also the fact that GRT young people have the same pressures that other young people have, (appearance, reputation, ‘fitting in etc), but also have to prepare themselves for daily racism and discrimination from teachers, students and other institutions and the communities they live in. Then having to react to having race and ethnicity challenged, despite legislation and policy that protects us. Then after that, having to deal with violence coming your way. Like when police set their dogs on a person without provocation, or Johnny Delaney, who was murdered “because he was a Gypsy”. My kids will have to know how to protect themselves if this attitude is still accepted, which I am fearful it may be.
My own brain shit probably could have originated from going through this as I grew up, but depression was only something you heard of when talking about suicide. I’ve had people walking out of a pub announcing out loud, “I’m not drinking here, there are gyppos on the pool table” to a reception of the whole pub who turned to laugh at us. We were a group of two 16-year-olds, and our 14-year-old brothers just playing some pool, watching some football. We did follow that guy into another pub and challenged him, (not like the videos you see on Facebook), but through conversation. No macho story here, I shit myself. The guy was a very, very tall, fat man, who had to crane his neck like a dinosaur would have so he could shove his face into mine as I asked him if he would not say stuff like that again, as there was no need for it, and if adults were there, we wouldn’t know what would have happened but we definitely know who was getting the blame.
There I was, looking like a 58kg Hercules, (the skinny one from the Disney movie) standing up to one of the Titans who wanted to smell my face before he ate it. To be fair to that guy, he apologised and shook my hand and said something about ‘respect’ that I didn’t hear because I was figuring out how the fuck I would fight this dude without it looking like Andre the Giant vs Mr. Bean at Wrestlemania 3. But, that conversation did mean that it didn’t happen again, (in front of us anyway).
With stories like these, that statistic from Mind UK looks like it could be a little bit lower, doesn’t it?
As many human rights campaigners have said, educating the people who are happy to discriminate and persecute will be one of the ways to change their mentality, not all I know, but I am hoping that I get to see a world where I see positive change for us before I die, but I’m not sure that I will get to see it.