Today has been one of those odd days. Not in a bad way, instead the beginning of something good. Don’t worry, it’s nothing major or life threatening – thankfully. There isn’t an easy way to put this and I’ve spent a while wondering how to put this in words. Hell, I had the same problem when I went to see the doctor. Let’s just dive in eh? Depression. There’s a word that’s both easily banded about and, if the language experts are to be believed, overused too.
So over the last 2 years or so, I’ve been okay. I’ve had a few blips – doesn’t everyone? – and I put those down to being tired, stressed from work, not enough dressing up perhaps or the push & pull of modern family life; name the excuse. But in the last month or two, things have really come to a head. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones was worried and said that I wasn’t myself. Funny, but until May time I didn’t think there was really a problem, just me being a little overstretched. Looking back, I’ve been unusually tired (even for a layabout like me) and I just felt/acted as if I was disconnected. Very little seemed to engage me, not fun, friends, company, music or even shopping. (Ed: you know something’s wrong with a crossdresser when they’re off their shopping). But the worst of it was that things that wouldn’t normally raise a thin eyebrow, could send me in to pointless fits of rage. Clearly, there was trouble brewing in the state of Denmark. 🙂
Anyways, this week has had me feeling lower than I have done in many years. Finding myself parked up in a lay by, just looking out of the window and wondering why I kept going? Would it matter if I got out and just laid down, not to get up again. Looking in the warm light of day, they seem like silly thoughts, but emotions aren’t supposed to make sense aren’t they. While the emotional part of me was all over the place, cold logic provided the facial slap to say “You don’t feel right because something is wrong. You need help.” I finally got my sh** together to go and see the doctor. Why the delay? Well, I felt a bit of a fraud you see. Your mental health? Well, let’s look at it another way, if you got a bad back or a painful tooth, there are tests you can do to prove that it’s not just in your head.
So I sat down – as nervous as a MP in front of an expense’s enquiry – and said my piece. Obviously not a life story, the poor chap certainly didn’t deserve that. 🙂 He asked various questions: family history, home life, work and if I’d felt like this before. I said yes because I felt the honesty was important. That was way back in my teenage years. He asked why and I simply said gender issues. He asked if that was part of the issue and – hand on heart – I said no, it wasn’t. With the help of Mrs J and good friends, I don’t feel abnormal.
We talked a bit more and after a few more questions – including a multi-choice one from the computer, he said it was likely that my brain biochemistry is a little out of whack – I’m paraphrasing. So… I’m on the happy tablets and will be for the medium term. Did I want tablets? Not really, but then I didn’t know what I wanted, other than I just wanted to feel well again – to be my old self. If it’s tablets or talking that gets me through all of this, then so be it. I know people go through a lot worse than this.
Why am I telling you all of this? There’s a few factors. Firstly, this diary (although it doesn’t say all about my family) is pretty much wards and all – sorry, warts and all. 😉 I’m a bloke, despite the extra trans powers, the party’s, fancy clothes and all round gladraggery, real life goes on. Births, deaths, marriages, work, etc.
Why mention it at all? Well, it seems that there’s this look but don’t say vibe going on. I can think of 4 people within my social circle (extended family, friends, work mates) who’ve had similar issues and a dose of salts, so to speak, did them the world of good. I feel that there’s a stigma attached to the term ‘mental illness’ – it’s something that can make certain folk react as if you’re some type of nutter. I know I felt odd saying I was depressed to the doctor, yet saying I was a cross dresser was easy as pie. Go figure! 🙂 What’s that all about? Trans pride? I’ll be flying a rainbow flag trimmed with lace and sequins next. FFS 😉
But there was this little voice… not literally I hasten to add, I don’t actually hear voices. (Ed: Do we? No we don’t. Now sshh) 🙂 Where was I? Yes, a gentle tap of fear and it was this: What if I’m lying to myself? Not about being under a cloud, but that I’m happy being a chap. Can I say it? Transition. I think it’s right for some people and it’s up to them, but I don’t feel that way. I may not be a typical male, but I don’t feel like a woman either. Betwixt and between: best of both worlds I hope.
So, on to brighter news. On the way back from the doctor’s I flicked on the radio and Desert Island Discs was on. I won’t explain that to our overseas readers, that’s what Google’s for 😉 Off you go if you need to, I’m not going anywhere just yet. Back? Righto. So the guest was Tony Adams (I think I got that right) as tuned in he was saying that a particular Python song always made him smile and rethink no matter how bad things have got: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
How could I not listen to this? Weirdly, I seem powered by lyrics – this blog certainly is – and if you chuck in the daintily manicured hand of Fate to bring that particular station on the dial, it would be rude not to reference it in someway. So, yeah, maybe I was in danger of forgetting to laugh and dance and sing, but hopefully not now. Maybe it’ll be rocky road, but I’ll get there. Anyways, I did the last proverbial one in heels. Anything after that should be a doddle 😀
[ Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python ]