Down Days Download

“A very personal journey and valuable for its candid honesty”

M.K.Wiseman, Author (@FaublesFables)

 

“Talented and brave”

Richard Pierce, Author (@tettig)

 

“A brave and worthy endeavour”

Mark Cantrell, Author (@Mark_ExcelHack)

 

Here it is, the download page.

Check out the About page for more information but, in short, Down Days is a point-of-view insight into what it feels like to live with depression, written by someone who deals with it every day.

It’s free to download, free to distribute. I would appreciate, however, if you could send people to download it for themselves wherever possible. Firstly, so that I can know how many people have read it, and secondly so that people can see the other information on this site and share their own stories if they would like to.

Here’s the introduction to the book:

I don’t want to miss-sell you this book, and so here’s a list of things that you won’t find between these pages. You won’t find any advice of the practical sort. I don’t think the purpose of this book is to be uplifting. I’m certainly not going to concern myself with technical terms and categories.

While we’re talking about what this book isn’t; it isn’t a cry for help, a request for advice, or the seeking of attention. I don’t want that. What I’m about to share with you is extremely personal and the reason I’m writing it down is that it’s easier. Behind this keyboard, it’s easier. I’m happy hiding back here thankyouverymuch. For now, try to understand that me seeking solace, comfort or support from you out there isn’t what this book is about. As you read, you’ll hopefully begin to understand why I feel that way.

What you will find is honesty. This is me, as I am; someone who is a fully functioning adult with aspirations and loved ones. I also have what I call “down days”. These are days when the world seems to peel away leaving me a shivering, naked fruity centre. I won’t be blinding you with science, but I will be telling you how it actually feels to have depression.  At least, I’ll try. Because, as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s a hard thing to describe.

There will be swear words. Swear words are expressive, beautiful things and I intend to use them.

I envisage that, if anyone reads this book at all, there might be two kinds of readers. One of them will be a lot like me. They deal with some of the issues that I deal with, albeit their reasons and experiences will vary wildly. The other kind will be The Interested. The kind of people who are striving to know more. Perhaps they have loved ones like us, or work with them, or they’re just curious. Whichever you are, person dangling over this page, I’m sorry if the words fail me. I’ll type words now that, at times, have the ability to make me cry if I say them out loud. I’m trying. Partly for you and partly for me.

For Those-Like-Me, I’m hoping I can find some words, some way of getting it across, that you can use yourself. I know how hard it is to start a conversation, or begin to describe to those who don’t understand how you’re feeling. If just one sentence of this book is useful to you, I’ll consider my bleeding fingers worthwhile. Hell, just hand that special person a copy of the book and let them read it for themselves. Some things are best said silently.

For The Interested, I hope that you might gain a little insight into how it feels for someone like us. You’ve had these feelings yourself. Everyone has. But there’s something extra about someone with depression isn’t there? Something that makes it all come crashing down around them in a way you can’t really understand. What is that thing? I have no idea. But, if I describe it to you just right, maybe you’ll figure it out for yourself and write your own book. Please do, because I really want to read that.

This book will be uneven.

There will be days that I sit here, switched on and fiery with words spilling out of me. There will be down days. I’m going to try my damnedest to still write on those days. Because maybe, just maybe, you’ll see something there that I can’t describe. That’s my hope.

For that reason, I won’t be changing anything when I edit later. If I add something, it will be in square brackets [like this] so that you can see what I’ve done. No secrets.

Here goes.

 

Now, here’s the file:

Down Days

If you want to share your own story on the Down Days blog, head over to the Contact page

The book is free. However, if you feel compelled to help out with a donation, here are some worthwhile charities:

MIND

Anxiety UK

No Panic – National Organisation for Panic, Anxiety Neuroses, Information and Care

And a list of others HERE

 

 

6 Comments

  1. This was a very brave and transparent thing to do. It must have been hard to write. Considering the content, I find it almost insulting to admit that I found it a pleasure to read. But subject matter aside, you write in a wonderfully likeable and easy voice.
    I am what you term The Interested. Not in depression per-se, but in anything that affects people I have a lot of time or fondness for. The fact that you wanted to share it, made me want to read it. I would like to add a perspective from one of The Interested, I hope that’s ok.
    Knowing that you suffer from depression would not make me think any less of you, or anybody. It would make me think differently about you, but only in the way one’s perspective shifts when you find out any new information about a person.
    I think your honesty in this piece is extremely valuable. Both to help People-Like-You feel less alone, and to help People-Like-Me to understand what you go through.
    You said you have stopped assuming people without depression would not understand. Thank you. Social media has begun to forge a them-us divide between people with [insert condition here] and those without. I’m sure it wasn’t the intention, but a seemingly constant barrage of memes now suggest that if you don’t have [insert condition here], you won’t understand, and by the way, here are a million ways in which you must not speak to ‘us’ because that would make you an insensitive shit. You insensitive shit.
    Those memes don’t encourage openness and communication about mental health, they make people wary of saying anything at all. An honest dialogue such as yours is much more likely to open up discussion and thought. And again, it’s very brave of you to share.
    I would like you to know that you are not alone in some of the feelings you have. I am fortunate to not suffer from depression, but I have suffered debilitating stress, and ptsd, and – like you – I am quite affected by the depressing state of the world, as well as many other factors which I won’t bore you with, but which often make me cry. I, too, get the landslide of events-past tumbling into my mind whenever I get down. I have also just become a mother, and although I love my child very much and there are countless moments of joy, it has been the single most difficult and desperately lonely time of my life. Everyone has something, I guess.
    I feel very lucky that despite these things, my brain is not wired to shut down or cause the kind of pain yours causes you. I get crushed, but I can still function. I just get really sad and cry a lot. But as with you, no one notices except my partner.
    The point I’m making is that there are some of us who are not depressives, but who feel, or have felt, similar emotions, and who are capable of understanding *some* of what you go through. I wouldn’t dream of suggesting *all*. Kind of like a Ven diagram: we have that little overlap of shittiness.
    By trusting us with your thoughts and feelings, you are enabling us to evolve our own, so as to be better equipped to understand and support people in similar circumstances. Thank you for making that leap of faith.

    Like

    1. That was A truly heartwarming comment, Kate. And you’re the first of The Interested to post, so thank you so very much for sharing. I also hate those damned memes. Such blather from faceless entities who don’t realise the damage they’re doing.
      As you say, it’s only by being open and seeing our similarities that anything will improve, not by isolating ourselves further. That goes for so many things in the world.
      Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it and I’m sure that Those-Like-Me will as well 😊

      Like

  2. Wow. How honest was that. This guy has balls. The following are things that popped in my head as I read it. I am not literate so please forgive the lack of cohesion.

    1.Head full of cotton wool – fantastic analogy (don’t go mad if analogy is wrong)

    2.Empathy vs sympathy. I didn’t get it until late in my life. My main go-to stance was sympathy and only recently have I realised the power of empathy – both for me and by me.

    3.Crying: so wrong and yet so right. I say go for it. If people can’t deal then they are the ones that have a problem. It was crying that was a catalyst for me admitting I had a problem a number of years ago. I just didn’t do it, I was stoic. The fact that I was sat there on the end of the bed with my partner and I was crying my eyes out was clearly a sign that something wasn’t right. I’m not going into it, I just wanted to make the point about how cathartic crying is – nuff said (thanks Stan Lee).

    4.I personally have been unable to forge and keep new relationships for many years now. The friends from school, college, workplace, mutual friendships have slipped away – and I feel so guilty that me being a shit has done it. I don’t put up with people’s shit and for that I think I am flawed. Where are the friends that will except that, give me a rib punch and then immediately start talking about other useless shit – gone to better friendships that’s where. And so, I am mostly friendless but happier (possibly). The thought of trying to make a new friend now makes me anxious. I guess it’s a mixture of craving the attention that a friend will give versus not wanting to be rejected – something that has happened more times than I care to remember.

    5.In my view, people are generally selfish, insular. If there’s nothing in it for them or they can’t post photos about in on bloody Facebook then why bother. Facebook – there’s a devil in a hat. A constant intubation of other peoples’ lives, the need to see things and then an instant loathing that you’ve let yourself be sucked in.

    And finally, I love the references to songs/poetry at the start of each chapter. To finish my load of bollocks, these are two songs leapt into my head whilst reading this. Radiohead – Just. Only because of the overriding nature of people to want to know. The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again. How amazing is that first verse and the thought of it!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Tony. I really appreciate it. Seems like we’ve had some crossover in our experiences. Keep forging on, and never give up on making new relationships. I’ve found that there are some folks out there who are understanding enough to put up with us 😁

      As for those songs…great suggestions! Kind of annoyed doth myself for not coming up with Just, actually. And I was soooo close to using Bigmouth Strikes Again! Great minds!

      Like

      1. I think feedback is important, it shows us that someone is there which, in this ever digital world, is soooo important. But, like I said in my post, social media is both a necessity and drain. I can’t tell you how many times my ‘friends’ list has yo-yo’ed (yeah that probably is spelt wrong) up and down. I’m at a point now where I am happy with who I am connected to and that’s that.

        I’d love to have the nerve to keep on trying to make new friendships, it just doesn’t happen for exactly the point I make in 4. Added to that is my length of tooth – 44 – feels a bit wrong to call for someone to ask them out to laik right? (Oh my god it hasn’t just said that laik is spelt wrong).

        Sorry for taking so long. I keep dipping in and out as The-Interested-who-has-issues-with-time-management.

        So long, T

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s all so very true. I find the same problem being 33. I am actually very lucky to have good friends. And those spellings all looked fine to me, regardless 😊

        Like

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