Yesterday (the 12th) was the sixth anniversary (though Monday would be more precise in terms of weekday) of that day in 2011 when I felt so depressed, I actually planned to end it all on my 35th birthday, 300-odd days in the future, if I couldn’t turn my life around. All these years later, suicide is something I’m no longer willing to contemplate (terminal illnesses aside) — and all I had to do was change just about everything in my life!
It’s worth considering just what the prospect was back in 2011 of me actually taking my own life… I’d say no chance whatsoever — if anything, that melodramatic outburst (which I concealed from everyone at the time) was necessary, and dare I say it, cathartic? If I hadn’t gotten it out of my system, I might have been too satisfied with keeping my life just as it was (albeit in a different house, or possibly even back with my folks in Worthing) — but threating myself cajoled me into action.
How is my life in 2017 better than my life in 2011? Let me count the ways:
(It’s been a while since I did this… hasn’t it?)
- I now live a long way from Caledonian Road, in a relatively peaceful area on a reliable Tube line, and while this isn’t exactly the best house in the world, at least I’ve got housemates I get on with (well, since July this year), a heating system that works properly (well, since last month), and a landlord that actually cares about our problems (well, compared to the last two) — and being in Finchley Central, I can get a seat on the Northern Line when I commute. Speaking of which…
- I’ve finally got a job I actually enjoy, using my brain and IT skills to help people — professionals, not members of the public — with the computer side of their jobs, instead of tapping away at data entry all day. Not only am I the only IT Helpdesk employee in the world who’s happy to be doing his job, I get a lovely pay rate as well — the UK average!
- I’m physically healthier than I was even in my twenties, thanks to taking up climbing, seeing a personal trainer, eating better diet (well, slightly more vegetables), and generally feeling less stressed (aside from the occasional dizzy spells that I’m getting the NHS to look at in January), perhaps due to escaping the annoying woman. I’m even getting more sleep these days!
- I socialise a lot more — instead of just Japanese classes once a week (which had stopped by late 2011 anyway), and sitting at home by myself every other night, I go to Meetup events, meet people climbing, and act as the “face” of my IT team at work — if anything, I need to slow down and stay in more often, much as I did in 2013. However, I’ve more chance of finding someone special — and on that topic…
- After going on more dates in the past few years than I’d gone on in the entire rest of my life, I might finally have a couple of potential girlfriends — don’t worry, I’ll be loyal to one woman (at a time), but considering how my love life in the first 11 years of the 21st century was a whole lotta nuthin’, I’ve definitely made progress here, and no longer feel so pessimistic that I wish I could just give up on ever finding love.
- Although I still enjoy a lot of “childish things”, I’m taking more responsibility for my life, collecting my household’s bills on my housemates’ behalf, behaving myself in my job and getting things done (allegedly more than at least one of my teammates), taking care of my health (as per no.3 above), and even buying expensive presents for my folks, to thank them for all the years they’ve taken care of me!
This blog entry was inspired by one of the “possibilities” in no.5 above: when I told her I’m not religious (she’s a lapsed Catholic), she asked me, outright, why I hadn’t killed myself. She knew nothing of my former depression, and was genuinely intrigued (though she phrased it awkwardly, perhaps due to her Polish cultural heritage?); I told her that I’ve got too much good stuff in my life for me to even consider stopping living. She seems to have accepted this, and so should you — I’m not checking out any time soon!
On that basis, why am I still posting in this blog? If I’m over depression, and I’ve sorted my life out, what more do I have to say here? Well, how about the fact that I still seem to have anxiety, which might even be the source of the weird “brain fuzz” dizzy spells I’ve been getting — like a burst pipe spraying into an unrelated room, instead of piping its contents to the correct destination — and this could be partly because I have a good life now, and worry about losing it all and reverting to how things were in the bad old days. Going back into the dark after having seen the light is worse than never having left the dark, after all.
And yes, I fully intend to soapbox about the despicable behaviour of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic… stay tuned!