‘Misjudged your limit, pushed you too far, took you for granted, I thought that you needed me more...’
I loved The Cure back in the day, back in the 1980s when I was a teenager; when it was more acceptable for me to be withdrawn and moody, but Robert Smith was wrong: boys do cry. This morning for instance, while driving on the motorway, I found myself crying. The Cure’s song, about a lad trying to stop his love from leaving struck a chord with me, and it was enough to set me off. I’m feeling incredibly emotional at the moment; more so than normal, because I’ve voluntarily stopped taking medication. I’ve only been using this particular prescription for a few weeks – but it’s not for me. The decision to stop was easily taken 72 hours ago after my boss, asked me about how I felt about a decision that had gone badly for me at work: ‘Well—,’ I replied to him, with plenty of venom in my voice: ‘How do you think I feel?’ Inside, in my head, I felt like grabbing the fancy leather conference room chair that I was sitting on, and smashing it over his head. I wanted to hurt him, to make him feel as bad as I do.
These thoughts of extreme, murderous violence and rage, have been one of the strange sideffects of the new anti-depressants that I have been taking. I know that I’ve been short with people, snapping at them, even being rude or inappropriately sarcastic: the words popping out of my mouth before I can stop them. I’ve been particularly nasty to my girlfriend – I really have - and I think that’s what started the tears today. After the violent episode at work, I decided to stop this course particular of meds before I either got the sack; or murdered some poor soul. One of my biggest problems with depression has been my inability to hide it: People can see and hear that something is wrong, but just think you’re weird. So here I am, three days later, feeling much calmer and more relaxed – if not a little tearful. I could even go as far as saying I feel normal, even mildly happy. The thought had crossed my mind this afternoon that maybe I can beat depression without medication or help. Maybe I can make myself be one of those normal folk: happy-go-lucky, cheerful souls that people want around them, rather than the melancholy miserablist that I am. But I know that won’t happen, because I’ve suffered from depression for the last 30 years and I know my body, my moods and my mind. If you add to the depression my anxiety issues, and my OCD, and you can appreciate there is a bundle of trouble simmering underneath.
If you were to ask me now, as I sit here writing this - How do you feel? – I could honestly, hand on my heart say ‘I’m ok, I’m good thanks.’ But the problem for me is; I know deep down that as soon as another minor crisis appears in my life, so will ‘The Black Dog.’ My hatred of feeling this way is becoming immense. I just want to feel happy and carefree in life, before my time here is over.
Lyrics to ‘Boys don’t cry’ by Dempsey, Smith, and Tolhurst (1979).