I guess that’s why they call it the blues

First may I apologise for my tardiness in following up my last post. To be honest I wasn’t quite sure how to top that video, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I never expected to get the kind of response I did when I posted it and I certainly never expected it to go viral – 1.172m hits and still rising. Wow.

It has been a difficult few weeks. I’ll be honest here, I’ve been struggling with the black dog of depression. It comes and goes periodically, as it has throughout most of my life. And it tends to go hand in hand with Parkinson’s. Knowing that of course doesn’t actually make it any easier to deal with or rationalise.

I can’t understand why people still stigmatise those who suffer from some form of mental illness. Those who suffer didn’t ask for it and just because they might not be able to tell you why they feel the way they do in any way that makes sense to you doesn’t mean it is not real. Even I find it hard to articulate how I am feeling in a way that is understandable; and my whole working career as a lawyer was spent refining my skills at presenting complex ideas in a clear and meaningful way.

Depression is a tender subject for some. But I don’t buy into the whole staunch and silent attitude. To my mind that can only lead to further misery. So why do people have such a hard time talking about depression? What are we so afraid of that would lead us to hide away from others at a time when we actually could do with the support and comfort of friends. To not admit that you’ve been unsuccessful at avoiding the bite of the big black dog is like trying to hide a broken leg. Fairly pointless. Especially when your loved ones, friends and family can see you are a little bit broken, even if you won’t admit it to yourself.

Getting people to admit they may be depressed is a good first step. I have lost track of the number of times I’ve been down this path and I still find it hard to say “Help”. Part of it comes from thinking you can pull yourself out of the ever descending spiral of negative thinking. I suppose some part of it comes from the thought that people may not understand. My thought is that the more you talk about it the more understandable it is for other people.

I’m lucky. For any number of reasons but mainly because I have good friends who can tell when I’m feeling down and help me through it. And an amazing wife who is my rock, my champion and my greatest supporter. I know it isn’t easy, and I know that I don’t always make it easier either, but I couldn’t imagine doing it without Lynn by my side. So this is a very public thank you to her. She is an amazing woman who makes life better for everyone around her just by being in it. Much love sweetheart x

For further information on how you can help those with mental illnesses, check out http://www.likeminds.org.nz

3 Responses to “I guess that’s why they call it the blues”
  1. Vic says:

    Good on you AJ for putting this out there- we really need to be having these conversations more about depression, as dealing with a severely depressed person in my case is super challenging but we’ve got to talk about it.

  2. Such an insightful and meaningful post AJ. As always I applaud your openness, your excellent writing skills, and that beautiful acknowledgement of Lynn’s support.

  3. Such an insightful and meaningful post AJ. As always I applaud your openness, your excellent writing skills, and that beautiful acknowledgement of Lynn’s support.

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Parkinson's New Zealand has an amazing Field Officer service which provides education, information and helps people make informed decisions about living with Parkinson’s. I am proud to support their work.

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