Teaching and moving on
In the latter half of my second year of university, I was approached by my course controller to run the tutorial sessions for his first year unit, something I had done previously as a student. It was Paid work, so I said yes. This was the precursor to bigger things.I enjoyed it, and was apparently quite good at it.
In the following years, I took on other tutorial and practical sessions, and was even coordinated trainers by the end of my degree. In fact, my work load became so much, that I switched to part-time studies so that I could handle it all.
I also switched courses along the way. I converted to a Multi-Disciplinary degree, which basically meant I was still doing my Computing Science Major, but now had a lot more flexibility with my electives. I took up Theatre Arts, Creative Writing, Philosophy, Psychology, and even a unit in Ergonomic Office design. My three-year degree took five and a half to complete.
I moved out of home, made a large community of friends and networking associates. Join with groups that shared many of my interests, and of course, did a lot of theatre in the evenings. Things were great, but I was very lonely.
I even started dating. Clumsily, and hesitantly. I still had a lot of respect for the girls, who had shown me more genuine friendship than men in general, so seeing them as romantic interests was rather difficult for me. I made a lot of mistakes, some which make me laugh to think of now, and many that make me cringe. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, because I don’t think anyone really knows how to be cool and suave when your stomach is attending the Summer Olympics.
I became friends with role-players, board-gamers, fandom and cosplayers. I was still friends with a couple of guys from high school, and we often met to play Table-Top games like Warhammer 40K. The games of imagination were absolutely thrilling. Out of this, I made one particular friendship which has remained, I believe, very strong.
And that brings us to a story to end this series…
The good friend I mentioned above, started seeing a lovely young lady, who became an enthusiastic part of our regular role-playing group. We were all very good friends, and I enjoyed that time we shared immensely, but sadly, as these things go, their relationship didn’t last, but the three-way friendship remained.
The young lady and I grew closer, but I always felt uncomfortable with it because of the friendship I had with here ex-boyfriend. So it quickly fizzled. I felt bad about it, and torn. It was about a year or two later when I got a phone call from said lady asking me to be a part of musical production. I agreed and had a great time. It seemed like our friendship had re-established itself. We did a few shows together.
Then something changed. She had started seeing someone, which I thought was great, but it changed her. Rather drastically. Keep in mind one very important thing; this is how I saw it at the time. Rest assured, I still consider her a friend. Everyone has their reasons for what they do, and it is only we when start believing that it is our fault, that it plays with our minds.
To my mind, suddenly the friendship we had had was as if it had never been. I felt like a stranger to her. Now, this was not the first time that someone had shut-down on me for no immediate, and obvious reason, but it was the first with, I believed, a very good friend. Someone I trusted.
Then I remembered, it was not.
It was the first time since my last good friend shut down on me. In the last days of primary school. It had taken me years to trust anyone like that again, and while I had now established many good friends, this still took me down hard.
Unfamiliar, and forgotten feelings swarmed through me; confusion, loss, frustration, hurt, paranoia. I found myself standing over the green-room kitchen sink, with a knife in my hand, hovering blade down over my wrists. This was not even a conscious act! I did it without full awareness, and happened to look down to find it in time. It utterly freaked me out. Luckily, no-one was around to see.
I threw the knife away, staring at my hands, mentally cursing them for being so pathetic. I couldn’t kill myself here. I had a show to do! Seriously, the fact that I had to go on stage that night stopped me.
And that was it. That was the moment when I realised I needed to do something about the 12-year-old boy screaming inside; vulnerable, lonely, confused, and very scared. I could not ignore and avoid it any more. All those years, and many happy moments, he was still there crying in the darkness.
Yes, through all these posts, the cold darkness was always there. Lurking.
Depression is something that we all have. It is a part of the human condition. It becomes a sickness when it is allowed to rage uncontrolled. Once it has you in its grip, it can be incredibly hard to shake it. Even the most happy, comedic, controlled person in the world can be holding a deep, dark secret within. They may not even know it themselves.
It is not something that can be cured, or removed. How can you cure something that is a part of who you are. It can be managed, trained, and worked with however.
Along with all the other emotional states of the human psychosis, one must work with depression in order to manage it. Ignoring something raw and natural, like depression, allows it to work away at you, like an ignored child will get gradually louder and louder unless the parent can work with them. Sooth them.
This image, posted on my Photographic Blog site is a dedication to the struggle with Depression. – Signs of Depression
This marks the end of my struggle with depression, and the beginning of learning how to live with it instead.