S is for...So proud
So, yesterday, Trace and I were sat watching TV. I forget exactly what, that’s not really important. It was just S is for...Something. But we got onto the topic of her anxiety and depression. Which to me, is important.
Now, the weird thing here is, I’m writing about my girlfriends situation with anxiety and depression, and then sharing it with all you lot on the internet. Loads of people might think that’s a little bit uncool. I shouldn’t do that, it’s not right, it’s inappropriate, and inconsiderate. And my general response to that is, genuinely, fuck off. Because that attitude, as far as I’m concerned is part of the problem with how anxiety and depression is dealt with.
Because to be quite honest with you, how the fuck would you know?
Naturally, I respect that my hostile and aggressive response perhaps isn’t the best response to that response; the one where people say I shouldn’t share this. But then again, I’d just like to point out, I have put my response into words. So, as much as I might seem angry and pissed off, the reality is I’m able to channel it. But I won’t channel it to such a degree that I totally remove how I genuinely feel and make it sterile and palatable for the masses. I’m still going to let you know how I feel. Because I believe so much in the importance of sincerity. (I think clearly watching that Tom Hanks film about Mr. Rogers has had an effect on me. But we all know I’d probably pretty much have written it like this without watching that film.)
I totally get that other people will have had their own experience with anxiety and depression. I think we all have, are, or will at some point. And yeah, maybe people that have had it didn’t share their story or talk about it in some shape or form. If you didn’t then cool. Like I always say, if you have something that works for you then wicked. This here though, this blog, this ‘S is for...’ thing, well this works for me. So, I’m not quite sure what we are going to do about that. Because I’ll be honest, I can’t ever really see myself S is for...Stopping doing it. And even if I do, I’ll just end up doing this in another S is for...Shape or form anyway. It will just manifest itself into S is for...Something else.
Anyway, yesterday we had a really cool moment. As far as I’m concerned it was a huge milestone. And that’s why I wanted to write about it, and that’s why I wanted to share it. And before anyone thinks maybe Trace and I are that independent of each other; that she does her thing and I do my thing, and we don’t speak to each other about what we are each doing. Well, I’ve asked her to read what I’ve written before I share it with anyone. I don’t always, but this is about her, and so personal, so I’m not going to be a prick about it. On this occasion she needs to give me the editorial nod.
Currently, it’s 7:08. (7:50 at the point of approximately proof read 5.) We‘re both still in bed, but she’s dozing and I’m sat writing this on my phone. So, as I’m writing, I’m already projecting the situation in my mind as a write it; about how later on I’ll ask her to read this article. And then she’ll get to this section about me asking her to read it before I share it. Yep, it’s all very weird, but that’s just how it is.
Trace, if you read this you smell! 😁
No, I can’t always take things that seriously. And I do always have to spoil them. Because that’s just how life works. You build it up, you knock it down. It’s literally part of the game. But when you rebuild it. You rebuild it better. So, I think having an S is for...Sense of humour is vital to being able to do that. As far as I’m concerned, having a sense of humour, and retaining it is crucial to getting through any situation. As soon as you lose that ability to see the funny side of things; be it hilarious or peculiar, then I think we are entering dangerous territory.
Now, here’s the thing. Trace has obviously been reading this article and probably thinking to herself. He doesn’t half chat some shit. (Cue - look at me, make some kind of comment, smile, or laugh.) I’ll confirm whether or not that happened in the edit before I publish it.
She might even be wondering what this article is about. But I know she’s knows what it is about, because obviously she was there yesterday when we had that conversation about her anxiety and depression and I told her how proud I was of her and we hugged. (Cue - getting slightly emotional. Possibly look at me and smile again. Maybe even give me a playful hit and call me a name.) I’m probably pushing my luck now and she’ll do none of these things that I’ve predicted.
OK, so the whole point was. YESTERDAY, we spoke about Trace’s relationship with anxiety and depression, and I asked her does she know how long she hasn’t been taking her medication for.
And she said, “No.”.
And that people is why I am proud. I am beyond proud. I am so fucking happy. Because that is the exact place we were aiming for. Did I consciously know and plan that? No. But did I know that? Yes. I’m not ‘qualified’ or smart enough to ‘know’ that’s what we are aiming for. But I am smart enough and driven enough to know that is exactly what we were aiming for.
A state of being that isn‘t supported by ‘medication’. It’s been stressful, it’s been emotional, it’s been tough, it’s been hard work. But we’ve made it. Somehow. Together.
But the fact she didn’t know how long she’d been off her medication is the significant moment. Because to me that signifies the burden and the weight of it all is no longer always at the forefront of her mind. It’s been lifted a little bit. It doesn’t mean it isn’t in there. It will always been in there in some capacity. It just isn’t so apparent and overwhelming anymore. Which, I know is a great feeling. (No I was never on anxiety and depression medication. But I used to smoke a bunch of weed when I was a teenager into my early twenties; to cope with everything I was going through. So, I basically self-medicated.)
Without question I’m part of the cause of some of her stress, anxiety, and depression. Not just because of writing articles like this. Just because of my manner. Because of my human nature. But without question I’m also part of helping her deal with it and come out the other side. Because she’s a best friend of mine and I don’t want to see her suffer. (Cue me welling up and getting emotional as I write this.).
It’s been really hard for me. Because I’ve had to indirectly battle with medical professionals. To convince Trace that she can exist without her medication. (This is a tricky section to write). But there‘s no other way for me to phrase it. It’s true. I was one of the only people, if not the only person, championing a life without ‘medication’. It‘s starting to make me a little anxious, nervous, and sick just thinking about sharing this. Because clearly I’m way out of my depth. But at the same time I’m not; because we’ve made it to this point.
At this point I just want her to know how proud I am of her. How much I love her. And how good she is.
Mental health we all know is a massive topic of conversation these days. It’s a sensitive and delicate subject with potentially disastrous consequences.
This is part of our experience with it. This is part of our story. Not everything will work the same for everyone.
But I do have one answer, and one solution that I know fits all. Because there is a solution and an answer out there for everybody. And that solution and answer is,
Don’t give up on trying to figure it out.
Tracey Hardy, will you marry m-...
But Tracey, I do fucking love you!!! xxxxxxxxx
(The time sponsored by the top left-hand corner of my phone is 8:05. Have a pleasant and wonderful day.)
Trace read it at 10:14, and....laughed first time when I said she’s probably thinking I don’t half chat some shit. And then didn’t do anything at the second thing I guessed at; but she was holding a hot cup of tea at the time, so probably best I didn’t get hit or anything.