Archive for January, 2017

An Effective Contraceptive

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Mental Health, Personal Thoughts, Self Doubt on January 17, 2017 by Neal

Depression results in a lack of energy to do things, which can be murder on a relationship. Libido gets buried 6ft under. Initiative and interest are smothered in their sleep. Intimacy is locked in the cupboard and frustration stalks the woods in a hockey mask. Going to set something straight here. Most people will probably assume that as a guy when I’m talking about relationship I mean sex, after all that’s all guys think about right? Partially yes but that’s only a portion of what makes a relationship work and depression gets it’s slimy little tentacles into every aspect of your life.

There are two sides to depression impacting on relationships. The first comes in the form of the person with depression. They can see that there’s a problem but can’t muster the brain power to do anything about it. The simple task of spending time around their significant other sounds like too much of a challenge. Without realizing it they start to hide from their partner, doing things that distract them from the outside world but allow a minimal amount of effort. Reading books all the time, watching or listening to music and movies, being at work or out in general, sleeping a lot. Anything that allows distance between themselves and their partner. The idea of sex and intimacy doesn’t even register and becomes sporadic or stops all together. It’s not done deliberately and they probably don’t notice it as the process is gradual until it’s almost a routine. 

The flip side is the effect on the partner. The lack of general interest can be dismissed for a while as the other being tired or worn out from their daily routines.  Over time a feeling of resentment can build as their partner would rather spend time doing other things than being with them. This leads to working late, going out every night, withdrawing into other activities away from home. Being the initiator of sex or any form of intimacy begins to take its toll as they feel ignored. The depression is no longer affecting one person but now trying to get its hooks into another.

It’s not always the case but this sort of situation can lead to people having affairs. The desire to be wanted or needed by another can over ride all logic at times. If depression hasn’t been diagnosed, it seems to others as a case of falling out of love. This can also lead to divorce as both try to lay blame on each other for something they had no control over. 

What’s the point of all this you may ask? I’m going to tell you about another aspect that plays havoc on a relationship and it’s from my own personal experiences. Both my wife and I suffer from depression and this has taken its toll over the years as we bounce back and forth between highs and lows. However recently I realised that I have another unwanted mental aspect that affects us. I’m sure others probably have the same issue but it all boils down to that little mess of stress, anxiety.

Anxiety makes you question everything you are about to do, no matter how routine. The annoying part is it can all run through your mind in a matter of seconds. So while you think “I’m going to give my partner a kiss”, anxiety has run through all the permutations and you stop as you realise a kiss is what causes the next ice age and the fall of human kind. Sounds stupid right? Well it can be. Initiating foreplay could almost be described as living through World War One as you make assumptions about your partner’s reactions to what you want, even more so if they suffer from depression as well. You find control of your relationship falling into the passenger seat as anxiety speeds down the mental highway.

Now it may seem funny that a lack of sex or any intimacy due to a corporeal entity is a bit far fetched, but I’m sure if you talked to a lot of people who suffer from depression and anxiety that a familiar trend will appear. I’m not saying that all relationships affected by depression are loveless and deserve to end. It just means it will take a little more work and understanding from both parties to find a balance that works. 

The traditional marriage vow could be considered as a way to live a relationship regardless of genders, religions, spousal status or nationalities. “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” Don’t allow a lack of intimacy in your relationship be the defining point of it. 


What an Epiphany Ā 

Posted in Anxiety, Coping Mechanisms, Depression, Personal Thoughts, Reasoning, Self Doubt on January 13, 2017 by Neal

I work as the site manager of a petrol station. Yeah I already know how funny some might see it that an introvert like myself works retail. Apparently I’m good at dealing with people on a work based relationship, terrible any other time. The trick I found is staying mentally motivated to get through the day, a little tricky when some treat you worse than muck on their shoes. What do I do you wonder. I make puns and jokes with my staff and customers. Most of these are word play or dad jokes but they tend to make customers smile and laugh which helps the day go just that little bit faster. 

Example 1. Older lady came in to the store and asked if we had ice? My response was “I’ve got some methamphetamine….oh you mean the water kind”. It took her a moment to register what I said then her face went from shock to laughter when she realised the connection.

Example 2. Customer comes in and says their pump number as “I’m 8” and I’ll respond with something like “Wow you don’t look a day over 7”. 

Yeah bad jokes I know but while I was pondering things this morning during a quiet spell I realised I have always used humour as a way to handle social situations. In high school I was always making bad puns and comments, sometimes quickly followed by an apology for not thinking before I spoke. I’m a big kid at heart. I enjoy computer games, toys, cartoons, being a fool at times and in the right situations I talk like there’s no tomorrow. I tell bad jokes and puns with the kids, much to their regret. 

The more I think it over the more I over analyse and then it dawned on me. This is one of my subconscious coping mechanisms. A kind of ‘fake it till you make it’ response to things. It also acts as a bit of a depression level reading for myself as well. When I feel down I don’t joke around and the level of mirth I muster can be obviously a lot lower than usual. 

Keep in my this is all in my head so it could be true if I just have way too many thoughts rolling around in here making a jumble of things. But for now I’ll do my shepherd impersonation and get the flock out of here. Later šŸ™‚   

Happy Jason Day

Posted in Movies, Personal Thoughts on January 13, 2017 by Neal

Figured I’d make a meme for day and enjoy some movies tonight when I finish work.

Sorry I’m Always AppologizingĀ 

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Personal Thoughts, Self Doubt on January 13, 2017 by Neal

I have a very bad habit that is constantly reenforced by my depression and anxiety. I say sorry for just about everything, even if I had no part in it. “Sorry I forgot to get milk. Sorry dinner doesn’t taste great (my own worse critic anyway when it comes to cooking). Sorry the global price of oil is down. Sorry you had a bad day.”  As you can see I’d also apologise for not having exciting blog posts. It drives my wife to distraction at times that I say sorry so much, yet there is a reason for my actions.

Anxiety has a lovely way of lowering my perception of my own self worth. I spend so much time internally dissecting myself that I can’t tell what is my responsibility and what is the anxiety. This results in my apology for all sorts of things, however it isn’t just a case of me saying sorry because I feel it’s my fault. There is also a level of sypmathy mixed in my apology as I offer uncertain support for the issue. Uncertain because the depression says ‘why bother doing anything’ while the anxiety says ‘you doomed us all’ and my own personality says ‘hey I feel for things’. Can be a very confusing mix at times. 

The Dastardly Duo and The Hero

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Personal Thoughts, Reasoning on January 5, 2017 by Neal

No I’m not talking about the Joker and Harley, though they do cause a lot of chaos. The duo I’m talking about, while not physically real, cause havoc and mayhem on a daily basis. They back each other up and are always ready to destroy any plans for peace you might have. Anxiety and depression. 

The way they operate will be different for everyone but they still can cause countless problems day to day. What do they do and how bad can it be you ask?

For example you need to go to a party in which you don’t know anyone. Anxiety sneaks up from behind and whispers all the things that could go wrong if you go. Things like “you’ll make a fool of yourself”, “people won’t like you or talk to you”, “they’ll start World War 3 due to your presence”. Most of it unreasonable and way out of proportion for the event and others. It takes the smallest of sand grains and builds a castle of issues out of them. 

While you are battling the onslaught of anxiety, depression slides up and gives you a few words of discouragement. “Why are we going anyway?”, “easier to just forget about going”, “no one will notice you missing if you don’t go” are some of the loving words it whispers. Now of course with depressions’ whispers it’s adding new ammunition for anxiety who then gives depression a wider range of topics to comment on. 

This merry go round ends up with the apocalypse destroying the world leaving you a blubbering mess for eating a chip at the party you haven’t even gone to yet. They really do play off each other and make things difficult, sapping your willpower to make a decision. Yet there is a lone hero who can battle this pair on their own terms. This hero is reason, follower of logic. 

It’s very tricky to have reason fight this pair as they are good at clouding your decisions. Reason is usually found sitting with a family member, loved one or close friend. With a logical approach to the comments and questions thrown at you, it pulls apart to web of deceit that binds you into inaction. 

It’s an epic struggle and some days reason is the victor while others it will be anxiety or depression or both that hold up the trophy of your life. 

Easily Distracted – Space Marine Side Project

Posted in Cosplay, Personal Thoughts, Space Marine, Warhammer 40K on January 3, 2017 by Neal

Now I tend to get easily distracted when it comes to costume building. I have several pepakura helmets laying around as well as several foam attempts at other costume parts. This will officially be the first thing I have built to a normal finish that I have completed.

Still needs some tweaking around the shape and structure. Few extra bits needing to be added to make it ready for heat sealing and shaping. But for now my goal to complete builds is finally under way.

I May Be Broken, But It Makes Me Unique

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Personal Thoughts, The World on January 2, 2017 by Neal

Kintsugi has a philosophy that I never truely comprehended. I just figured it looked lovely but as the picture below explains, it’s much more than art. There is something in it that people with physical or mental problems can embrace.

I have seen this around in various motivational posts and posters but never really understood it. As I get a better understanding of my anxiety and depression I’m starting to see how Kintsugi fits in my life. 

My depression has shattered who I was previously, kind of like smashing a plate with a hammer. I can try and put myself back together but I will never be the same again. I can’t go back to the complete, pristine state I was before hand. There will be pieces missing, parts too pulverised to use or gaps caused by warping. In a disposable society I’d be thrown away and replaced (no my dear wife you can’t get rid of me that easily šŸ˜¬) Being broken is seen as a bad thing and generally people have been shunned for being in such a state.

Confronting my depression and anxiety, I begin to put the pieces of myself back together. As parts come together I use my new coping mechanisms to join them together. I add my understanding into the gaps I can’t find bits for. I replace missing parts with new ideals and approaches. After a long process I will be finally back in the shape I once was but I will be different in appearance. I won’t have that pristine appearance I once had which some may find difficult to understand. After all when I am’better‘, people will expect me to be my normal old selves. I can never be ‘normal‘ again, not that I was to start with.

Being broken in life isn’t something to be ashamed about. We all face troubles that chip and crack at who we are. This makes us special and gives each of us a different story to tell. If we can all keep in mind the art of Kintsugi, we can have a world filled with unique pieces of art with us all.