The Best Thing About Having a Mental Illness Is….

…..Absolutely Fucking Nothing. Fuck you.


But I’ll Tell You What The Worst Things Are:

*Not knowing what is real and what is not

*Hating yourself

*Being unable to talk your own mind into being reasonable

*Not knowing if being sad is a real emotion or if you need to have your drugs changed/updated

*Wanting to kill yourself to make it stop (don’t PANIC. Feeling does not = doing)

*Failing at pretty much everything


*Caring less and less and less so you become a crazy recluse in the same pyjama pants every day

*No follow through, ever.

*Realising you’ve had a 20p coin on your bedroom floor for three weeks and you have made no attempt to move it

*Buying yoghurt and fruit and vegetables at the supermarket with lots of lovely intentions but then realising you will Not Make Soup, nor will you get up at 7.30am and have Yoghurt And Fucking Fruit because you are a disaster.

*Knowing everyone hates a crying, mental whinger and over the years you’ve probably spent your friends to their absolute limit.

*Knowing probably no one could make you feel better, ever, unless they have drugs or they are your Mum or your Dad and they would suspend all judgement for a while to just hold you while you cried it all out like a little fucking baby.

*Wondering how life turned out like this when you always thought as a kid you’d do something important, like write a book. But you can’t even do that, even though you’re a massive un(self)-employed loser with heaps of time.


Realise you can never have kids because a) you don’t like them so much b) because the responsibility scares you senseless c) because of your medication d) because you’re now 35 e) because even if you wanted them desperately (and sometimes I do, actually. Not often, but sometimes) that you are so fucked up you can barely care for yourself, despite being educated, middle class ra-ra fucking ra, that you can’t be responsible for another life like that. You want to, you’d like to, maybe, but you can’t. Also, f) have never found someone reasonable enough to have kids with.

Lastly: Everything. Managing a mental illness is like being on an unstable platform all the time. Despite medication, there are fluctuations. No one ever tells you this. Not the doctors or the psychs. You go back and you’re freaking the fuck out and they say “oh, ok, let’s just up the meds”. No one ever really tells you what’s happening to you or why.


When you are finally, FINALLY diagnosed, you learn to distrust your brain. Can you imagine? As Augusten Burroughs says; self affirmations are bullshit because the one person you can trust not to lie to you is yourself.

But what happens when your brain lies to you?

When it tells you that you are stupid, lazy, useless, better off dead, when it tells you everyone around you is judging you, at work, in the supermarket, on the street?

When you want to hide and make it all stop? We accept we see everything through our own prism. But what if that prism is so distorted and horrible and awful that you barely want to live?

You can’t make it stop. You can’t, through sheer willpower, make everything normal and clear.


I’m scared and I am afraid because I feel like it’s starting again. The doubt, the crushing defeat. The sleeping. The not leaving the house. I know I have to go back and see my doctor (almost at the end of my stupid pills anyway) and ask to be put on something else. These worked for a time but now I’ve been upped and upped and upped. My body is hating it and my mind is slipping back.

I had always thought to accept that I was less, damaged, could not be like other people. But I know I can if I have the right medication. My brain doesn’t regulate four different kinds of chemicals apparently. Right now it’s regulating fuck all apart from self-loathing and despair.

Anyway, fortuitously nor no, I got an email from a man I admire (but have never met in person) called Steven Baxter. He had a super awesome blog bagging out the DM, wrote a book, wrote for the New Statesman and The Guardian and we’ve somehow become friends.

He’s written a book about his depression and we had a bit of a chat on email tonight. Here’s some quotes from his new book and also details on where you can find it. Also, if you are a person, in the world, who has ever had doubts, grief, troubles, self-esteem issues, or just live, then read AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS: THIS IS HOW. You will not regret it.

Anyway, here be Steven Baxter’s stuff:

“Here’s another reason why the depression ‘black dog’ is misleading: dogs are loyal companions. Depression might be a companion, but it’s not loyal – not one bit. It talks about you behind your back. It gossips about other people. It gives you a false perception of the world around you.

It makes you think that things are worse than they actually are. It makes you doubt yourself when you’re right, and think you’re right when you’re wrong. It’s not your friend. It’s something you can never trust. It will make you hate yourself and the people you love the most. It will lie.”

here’s the info:

First I will apologise to you about the self-promotion. That done, I will self-promote. My new book, “Twelve things I’ve learned about depression”, is now available, for £7.99 from Lulu publishing. (It’ll also available from Amazon for £8.88 but I make more money from Lulu, so you know.)
There’s also a Kindle version, costing £3.31.
It’s not a self-help book. It’s not a Pity Party. It’s an attempt to try and explain what depression is like for me and how I’ve been able to cope (and not cope) with it through the past 10 years. I’ve tried to make it cheerful and readable, while still keeping it as honest as I can. It took me eight months to write and I’m really pleased with the end result. So please buy it if you can, and have a read. If you like it, please tell your friends.”

Peace out and shit like that. If I don’t respond to your texts, I’m probably asleep or have turned my phone on silent. DON’T PANIC. I’ll get through this. As will we all.


About ohhellwhatthehell

I like gin, mittens and otters, not necessarily in that order. Here's some stuff I felt like writing down when I'm not chained to a desk writing other things for a living. Please use caution when using this site; there may be sweary words, cute animals and general bullshit. Don't say I didn't fucking warn you.
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