As a man afflicted by recurring depressive episodes in adulthood, it felt remiss not to reference yesterday’s World Mental Health Day. An event aimed at addressing inequalities in support and awareness surrounding the debilitating illnesses fitting under the cognitive impairment umbrella.
The Mental Health Foundation mooting mental health is a universal human right. Amongst events they facilitated on 10thOctober 2023, over 7,000 Tea and Talk events; clambakes attracting over 260,000 participants.
Yesterday an occasion highlighting how these visibly transparent afflictions cause sufferers genuine distress, in some cases evisceratingly so. Cognitive impairment which cannot be cured by unhelpful advocacies of “Snap out of it!!” by the unenlightened.
Below (in bold), I enclose a post original penned earlier this year. A time when my brio levels resided at a significantly lower plateau than my current cerebral welfare, which at this juncture I am happy to report is stable.
The prose escribed with a view of dragging me from a depressive ditch. A self-help strategy, I am also happy to report, which proved successful…
“For a variety of reasons my literary output has diminished of late. Because of this tardiness my mental health has tumbled like a latter-day Humpty Dumpty. With my penmanship habitually acting as an anti-depressant, it has proved a foolish self-care strategy if ever there was one!
As a result, from today I’ve set myself a project of producing three blogs a week, with a minimum count of 500 words. Essays which will hopefully drag me from the depressive ditch where I currently reside. A domain where, on rare occasions, I inexplicably adopt a self-destructive persona; this corrosive personality seemingly determined to trash all I hold dear.
From experience, returning to the laptop keyboard ordinarily drags me from mental health moats. In the process imparting much needed spiritual catharsis… Unlike poor old Humpty who, despite their valiant efforts, all the king’s horses and king’s men couldn’t put together again.
I’ve written on numerous occasions about my struggles with mental health issues. Through fear of the stigma surrounding depressive disorders, demons I hid for many years; episodes which, at their zenith, drove me into incredibly dark areas…. And I’m not talking about my 2019 journey to Hull!!
However, for the last few years, as previously recorded on this website, I find being open about a depression diagnosis, along with its associated symptoms, a key ally in purging those starker occasions. Hence today’s trip down Abasement Avenue.
Now regular visitors to my various social media timelines, who are frequently subjected to photos of me enjoying myself in various locations, maybe scratching their heads at today’s revelations of GJ Strachan’s current bleak mood…. Or you might just be scratching your head for other reasons, such as a nit affliction… If it is the latter, don’t come blaming me for your lax hair cleaning regime!
My announcement may even elicit accusations of “You speak with fork tongue, Monsieur Strachan!”… A slight to which I’d retort “Have you not heard the lyrics of Smokie Robinson’s song Tears of a Clown?… Oh, and what is with the French pronunciation you pretentious so and so?!”
Hopefully, the fact I’ve labelled myself as a clown doesn’t appear overly vain. I included it as I’d like to think I’ve got a reasonable sense of humour… No more, no less.
Anyhow, I held back from utilising a much more hubristic query of “Have you not heard the lyrics of the song Tears of a Really F***ing Funny Bloke?!”… Actually, the reason I didn’t include the latter was more down to the fact a lament of that name doesn’t exist… Oh, and that I’m not really f***ing funny!
I guess possessing a mind which indulges in a never-ending pursuit of verbal or written quips is a big part of the root cause. I’m no scholar of brain behaviour; however, it seems to me that the whirring grey matter daemon which retrieves whimsical responses sadly also has the penchant for returning with starker notions.
The latter a capricious imposter who spreads doubt where previously laid surety and calm once resided. These relatively infrequent incidents manifesting when (like recently) I’m lax with meds and/or neglect partaking in cathartic creative practises.
In another move to improve my mood I’ve booked a break away next week to Fuerteventura. A vacation to a sunnier clime which I’m hoping will afford me exposure to recuperative vitamin D, along with catharsis from time spent metaphorically quilling on parchment.
I intend to utilise the daytime penning a novel your truly started at the end of 2022…. Incidentally, that’s the year, not prose I commenced writing as 8.22pm clicked to 8.23pm yesterday evening.
This a tale of the life and times of an emotional support team (similar to The Samaritans). Like life itself, the storyline a heady mix of humour and turmoil, laughter and tears, Richard and Judy… Well, maybe not the latter!
To be honest, just writing this has made me feel slightly better already.”