Sunday, 4 November 2012
Here goes another fabulous analogy.
Getting help is like the process of finding your favourite band.
First of all, you look at all the people around you and see what they like. Most of the time people like to fit in somehow, and music taste can be one such way. We compare our tastes to everyone else's and then determine the best path to musical popularity. Perhaps rock music is in, so you listen to rock. But sometimes it's cool to not listen to what everyone is listening to, so you find a group of people that do that and follow them instead. Either way, you will most likely find a particular band or artist that you come to really like.
You might then decide to go and purchase some of their music, watch their music videos and maybe follow their personal lives too via television and the Internet. You get the know them a bit and learn more about what they are like.
After that, you may have come to like them so much that it's time to take another step forward: face to face meeting. Well, that's difficult with famous types, so a concert will have to do. You find out the date of the concert and anxiously wait by your computer for the ticket sales to go live - gotta get in there before they sell out!
Finally the tickets are out and the mad rush begins. You battle through the slow-loading pages on the ticket site, waiting in queues of other people who are also trying to get their hands on those much coveted tickets. One ridiculously large booking fee later and you're in; you have the tickets.
The wild excitement and thrill: you are finally going to see 'insert band name here' live!
Next you begin the long wait for the actual date, fantasising about what the concert will be like. Which songs will they play? What will their outfits be like? Will there be any surprises?
You might even keep up with the speculations about the event in music magazines and online.
It's the day of the concert.
You get dressed in the appropriate genre for your chosen band.
You set off early because you simply cannot wait any longer.
You arrive at the venue; you can barely contain your excitement.
There's a massive queue to get in but that doesn't phase you. You will get to this concert and all your dreams will be fulfilled. At the door you are examined for any disallowed objects (i.e. booze you haven't bought there so they make maximum profit) and finally you are in! You're here! You can see the stage, the actual stage, that 'band name here' will perform on.
Determined to get the best possible view, you begin making your way through the crowd. Everyone is restless waiting for the concert to begin, so you find you have to push and force your way through. For some reason you seem to be the shortest and most delicate person there, and your choice of ballet pumps now seems foolish and your toes get repeatedly stood on. But never mind that you're halfway there! Just a bit further and you will be right next to the stage.
The concert begins and you are still stuck behind some six-foot-and-quite-a-bit guy, who must do rugby or something because he's the width of a bus. You shove your way through. You must see this band.
More pushing, a bit of bruising, a broken bag from it getting caught on someone and a lost earring later and you're there at the front. The band is right in front of you. Living the dream, eh?
Well, yes - even though you're being crushed to death by the excited crowd behind you and some girl is screaming so loud you can't hear those vocal harmonies you love so much. No,wait, it's not good. You've been fooled by excitement and agitation and you realise that this you feel awful being crushed and screamed to death.
It's not what you expected. You are distressed and you don't feel safe. You try to clutch your possessions close and keep all limbs tucked in to avoid more serious injury.
Just as you think you will have to leave because it's all too much, you look up, and your favourite band member is kneeling in right front of you on the stage. They hold out their hand. You can't believe it. You are pulled up on stage and meet every band member and dance with them and you are overwhelmed and happy and all those good emotions. The adrenaline rush is incredible; they picked you! But you can't really stay there for the full gig so you take the only possible route back into the crowd: jump and surf.
Hands reach up and catch you and you float along feeling free and weightless with your favourite song playing. You have had the best night of your life.
The next day or week or even month you are still buzzing from that night, and for the rest of your life you always remember that night when you saw that band playing. Or if you're feeling down you remember how good you felt jumping from the stage and being caught instead of falling.
That concert changed your life.
Comparing this to getting help, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really. It takes fecking ages but when you do get it's bloody fantastic.
You need determination, drive, strength, will and all those sorts of things to get through all the complex systems and see the right people. All those things people with depression don't have. How convenient.
Right now I've got my ticket but I haven't been to the concert yet. I'm in for the long haul and the queues and crowds in front of me are bigger and more daunting than you can ever imagine.
But (there's always a but isn't there?) it's not that scary for me. And for a good reason.
This is a shout out to everyone who has helped me so far. I can't name you because I haven't asked, but to my family: your endless love and support, even though you are so far away, is felt deep in my heart and I love you all to the moon and back a thousand million times; to my close friends, who are there for me physically and emotionally everyday; and to everyone who has said something supportive, asked me how I am and meant it or even smiled at me: thank you. You are my crowd. Instead of pushing through, you are allowing me to surf to that stage and meet the band. And I know that when I need to leave the stage, you will all be there waiting to catch me.
One final mention. This person has done more for me than I deserve. She is the best friend I have ever known, and she can't even imagine how much she means to me. Without her, I would be lost in the depths of depression. One smile and I know everything is going to be fine. One word and all my troubles are lifted off my shoulders.
To Katy, thank you is not enough.