Alistair Campbell, Blair's old spin doctor turned depression campaigner said on the BBC's This Week last night that one in four people in this country have a mental health illness.
Really? That few? Or was that one in four MP's have a mental health illness?
I had an appointment at Jobs in Mind the other day. When I booked it with the guy, I really thought I'd be ready to go by the 1st February! Oh yeah!
I told my "adviser" jobs weren't really on my mind, that I was on antibiotics. He said it was only an assessment anyway, no pressure.
He made me cry you know, with his questions. He didn't mean to, it's just the conversation bought into view That Which Makes Me Want To Kill Myself - the fact that other than love, I cannot give my son the security he needs. His education is not "safe" with me. His home is not "safe" with me. I cannot offer him the kind of foundation that his father can for example. Don't make me talk about it; it makes me cry.
We, I, got talking about depressed people with him, people worse off than me and I know because I've been where those people are. Things are so Black you can't even recognise the comfort of it being a Dog.
Ruby Wax said it was an illness, like a physical illness, a chemical imbalance in the brain, and there is medication.
What I know of depression though, is only you can get yourself out of it, pills or no pills. The support, books, cd's, prayer groups, this that and the other, is all there but if you don't want it, you don't want it. You can drag that Dog to Water but you Cannot make it drink.
It is good depression's getting a media airing because there really are too many of us to help. My advisor admitted as much.
"You are very depressed," he said to me.
"Really? Am I?" I was quite surprised because I'd stopped crying and was talking about people on benefits with him in quite an empathetic 'them not me' kind of way.
"Yes you are."
"Am I really negative? Am I being really negative" (I try to control that in the outside world...)
"Yes, but you've got every cause to be."
I came out of the appointment and it was my son's school assembly. Gift. Thank you World.
I'll say this though, the worse your depression is, the closer you are to God
Seriously, I'm not being funny
It's when I got so low, so so so low, that I realised I could not escape myself. When I get so low I'm reminded of that. This is me.
It's been a long trip, my depression, I won't deny that. Some people's depressions can be a long trip. It's not been aided by the recurring evictions, job application rejects, I've got a bloody infection I've never had before that makes me think of nasty diseases I may have bought upon myself. I've kept wanting to escape myself; run away, run away die as you know if you've followed this blog for a long time.
Recognise that you are in the world. You are in this moment. You are meant to be here.
Take a very gentle step from there
With a deep breath