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Battling depression

A friend of mine was just talking to me. It was about depression and how a friend of his doesn’t want to get professional help.

Having been depressed for the vast majority of my life I can give a few thoughts here.

Getting professional help is scary:

  • It makes it official that you have a problem.
  • It puts a permanent mark in your file with health officials.
  • It labels you as a “crazy person”
  • You might not be the person that talks to strangers.
  • It looks weak.
  • It feels strange.
  • It is very exhausting to talk through your problems.

Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of great strength to address and fix your mental problems.

For me personally it was quite a journey. I went to therapy for a while but it didn’t help me at all. I am the type of person that wants to fix their problems themselves. I am not happy to sit in a room with a stranger and tell them my story and have them tell me stuff like “you know, you can’t change it anymore, it’s in the past.” blabla roll eyes. Right? I get that feeling. I knew the things the therapist said to me back then. I went through that phase of “I can’t change the past” long before I went to therapy.

What helped me was time, meditation, and writing. Those were my main factors in healing. And how long did it take? Well about 6 years. Yes. It took about 6 years for me, to fix my issues, to get back on track. The 12 years of depression before that could of course not be fixed over night. I had good reasons to be depressed and it just took time. But:

the things I recommend for people who do not want to go to therapy:

  • Practice to focus on one thing and one thing alone. Learn to turn everything else off in your mind and to focus on one thing.
  • Meditation. It’s probably the advanced way of focusing. With the right meditation techniques you can work on a lot of your problems.
  • Writing helps to release things that you want to say but you have no one you could say it to. You can even delete it when you feel better.
  • Writing letters. If you have been hurt or a person has caused you deep pain or trauma, it helps to write them a letter that you will never send. Just write it, and let it all out.
  • Hobbies help as well. For me it was music. Other people might have different hobbies, just do what you like to proof to yourself that there are enjoyable things on this planet.
  • Talk to people. Even if it is not face to face. Maybe you find a forum or an internet friend. Getting some feedback helps to put things into perspective and to see things from a different angle.

These things above helped me greatly and, without trying to sound dramatic, saved my live. Try it.

If you have no one to talk to, and you really need someone to listen or read your story, as part of your healing process / If you simply want to exchange etc, feel free to send me a message. I will read, I will not judge, and I will answer! clos3rlook<at>gmail<dot>com

Be well and love yourself. Live is so much more!

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Hormones: yes or no?

So here is the deal:

A few years ago I went to the gynecologist because I had stopped getting my period. Not that that’s a bad thing. I actually welcomed that fact but I had the doctor have a look anyway, just in case.

Back then I received an ultra sound and they checked out my blood. What the doctor told me was that I have a hormonal imbalance. In my case that meant that I produce too much testosterone and that the estrogen that I produce is not bound the way it should (whatever that means). It was then explained to me that my acne problems are caused by that. The ultra sound showed some things and I was told that it is scarring in my womb. I was told that I might never be able to carry a baby (especially if I don’t take the pill in order to get my period again) but if I ever wanted to try, I would probably have to take hormones.
So for the moment I started taking the pill so I could get the period and prevent my womb from further scarring. The pill that I had to take has since been taken off the market because apparently some women in some instances died from it? I am not sure. But I cannot get that or its counterparts anymore, nowhere. Any other pill will be likely to have me gain even more weight, and I already gain unnaturally fast (from eating a normal diet).

So recently my husband and I decided that we want to try for a baby. I went to the gynecologist and asked about what you just read above. She said that she knows the condition. And just from looking at me she knew that I have it. She said that my acne, weight gain for no reason, and cysts in the womb are very known to be caused by it.
She ordered another blood test to confirm and once she has the results we will talk about everything. If I can carry a baby and what hormones I need to take.

But he is the problem, and I am even scared to bring it up with her although she is my doctor. This is Ireland. People are pretty conservative when it comes to gender…. stuff

I am thinking that if I am the way I am (very male brain) because of this hormonal imbalance, I would not like to take hormones because that would change my me. I like myself the way I am and don’t want to change so that scares me like hell.

How do I bring that up with my doctor without sounding like a freak? She doesn’t know that I am so queer that you could almost call me trans. My husband knows and I told him that I am scared of taking those hormones because of it. He told me that I should ask my doctor about it. But just how should I approach that topic really? It’s not a commonly known thing around here. And how freakish is it for the doctor to have a patient that looks like a woman, wants to make a baby, but tells her that in her brain she is not a she but a he…. Kind of weird isn’t it… I have no idea what to do…

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The big disappointment

So today I was reminded why I am so far away from my family.
You see, sometimes I see co-workers or friends and how happy they are and excited every time they get to see their family. They start telling me about all the nice things they like to do when they are with the family and I must admit that sometimes I do get a little jealous.

My family is a big disappointment and every time I have something to do with any of them, I get that reminder. They are one of the two main reasons why I left the country and am not intending to ever come back.
My family has caused more pain than happiness in my life and I don’t think that that’s how it should be.

Don’t get me wrong. I do have a few good memories about my family. Sadly they are very few and the bad ones are just too much. Until I was finally able to leave my mom’s house it was terrible most of the time.
Mental abuse, constant fighting, constant worries, my brothers getting into trouble with the law so much, my father never being there in the first place, my step mother…. well…., my mom completely not able to be reliable, my grand parents unwilling to help, my extended family ignoring us away…. I had almost no friends because I was poor and weird and didn’t really fit in. We moved so much that I never got the chance to make friends and keep in touch. (And yea, that is just the family part that went wrong… I had a pretty fucked up life)
I was kept on such a short leash that I was unable to form my own opinions, find out how the world works, make mistakes and learn from them. I had no computer and ridiculous rules when to be at home (even at 17 years old I was told that if I am not at home by 8pm the key will be in the whole and turned and I can see where I stay for the night). I got in touch with the internet, and therefore all the knowledge, at 21, after I left my mother’s house.
Leaving that place is it’s own story – probably the first time I stood up for something I wanted and just did it. It felt good!

Only after I left my mom’s house was I able to finally find my way. Finally there was access to everything, via the internet. The amount of things I read and learnt, and finally was able to build my own opinions on all the things in life… That was immense.

But this shaddow, my family, was always somehow somewhere…. To gain distance, I moved to the other side of the country. It was not enough. Not only my family was a problem. The whole country, the system, not being able to ever receive the help that I had a right to, because I was a tad too healthy…. Well being a tad to healthy almost killed me. And when I realized how bad it is for me to stay in that country, I left.

For a while I needed my mom because I had to pay back a bank loan. I had the money but I needed to pay in monthly at a certain time. As I had no job and therefore no bank account in the new country, I asked my mother to pay the money in every month. I sent it to her via Western Union every month far in advance. But she was so unreliable and did it late so many times that I received letters from the bank a lot.
The thing with my mother is, she is a nice person… in general I mean. but she does not behave like a mom. Ever. I cannot count on her when it comes to anything important. Ever.Not even un-important things.
Like today I asked her for a childhood picture of myself with one of my siblings. I needed it for a LARP I play and organize. I needed it now so I just told her to make a photo of it and send it to me via facebook.
Instead of doing it (take the folder with the pics out and make a photo and send it) she rather told me how it is night, and not a good time, and the light is bad, and it is blablablabla just so she doesn’t have to do it. And again… As she started to get pissed I started to care less and less until I told her that it’s ok, I don’t need the picture.

I shouldn’t even feel disappointed about these things anymore. After all. I am 30 now, I have known her for 30 years and she has always been that way…

But still. I kinda measure people by my own standards (which are pretty high) and that is how my family can still drag me down because obviously their standards too low to even see the bottom at times.

ah well *sigh*

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

And back

Hi guys,

So before I go back into my normal way of posting stuff, I just wanted to say sorry for just not posting at all for such a long time.

A lot of stuff has been going on, I was very busy.

Here a shortened version of everything:

  1. My application at Riot Games went pretty far. In the end I didn’t make it but it took a lot of time to prepare and just keep myself sane because I was so nervous between interviews. I will tell you more about it, in one of the next posts.
  2. Wyrm Gnosis, the gaming community I lead with a friend: We decided to branch out into more games and servers. So we got really busy recruiting. Also we are revamping a lot of things (rules, staff structure, teamspeak, designs for shirts etc, new website design) so we are really working a lot on that.
  3. LoL season 4 is almost over. I am trying to improve and at least leave Bronze for once. But as things look, although I am not super bad, I don’t have the time to solo queue as much as I need to get out of bronze…
  4. After my adrenaline high which was present for about 2 months non-stop and then finally knowing that I didn’t make it any further for Riot, I was on… dunno, I guess something like a natural withdrawal or so… I was so tired all the time, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. So I went to work and after work and all the community stuff I just fell into bed.

But now, I am back. Await a lot of posts. I have a long waiting list of things I am going to talk about in the following days and weeks to come.

Cheers and cya soon

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Future of 20 years ago

I grew up watching Start Treck A LOT

I was always in aw of all the great futuristic devices that looked so impossible to realize EVER

  • Little hand-held screens that contained whole books that you could read on them.
  • The communicator
  • Injections that don’t hurt
  • A computer that you can speak to and it will do what you said / answer

What do we have nowadays?

  • Phones that work without a cord
  • TV that you don’t need cable for
  • Tablet TV with Internet connection
  • Cellphones that carry 16 GB of data (yes guys, that’s actually a lot)
  • Cars that run on vegetable oil or electricity

I am now 30 years old. I just got my first smart phone about 6 weeks ago. I am still amazed at all the things it can do that I did not even think about.

I have a fucking kitchen timer on my phone. I have an app that tells me when the bus comes, I have a flash light. My phone can make photos and videos better than the first digital camera I had. There are games, diet apps, books, everything you can imagine. My phone is connected to the internet no matter where I am (unless in a lift or so).

It’s interesting how far science got within only 20 years. Looking forward to the next 20 years.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Interview @ Riot

A while ago I mentioned that I applied for a job at Riot Games so I thought I’d give you guys an update.

For starters I already had two interviews on Skype.
Both interviews were very nice. I didn’t receive a lot of standard interview questions.

During the first interview we realized that a position in player support might be better for me than the one I initially applied for.
A second interview with one of the managers in player support was set up.
This interview was very interesting and I felt like we were just … well geeking around about the game. There were a few questions about my past experience, my current job, and how I would like work. Toward the end, he said that I seem to have a “rioty” workstyle already. He said he would pass on some feedback and until I hear back, I could ask him anything at any time if I liked.

A week went by and I didn’t hear back. I thought that it might be because Gamescom was coming up. I went to Gamescom myself and enjoyed it :)
A week after the gamescom (makes 2 weeks after the second interview) I hadn’t heard back. And since I am the type of person that likes a straight answer no matter if it’s a positive or negative, I wrote a quick email back. I simply asked if any feedback was received and if there were any news.

Two days later I received an email with an invitation to an onsite interview.
That’s how it is right now. I am trying to prepare but the more I read, the less I think that I can actually prepare. It seems like the on-site interviews with Riot Games are very pleasant but something I find in all the reviews I read > There is no pattern.

My friend referred me through her boyfriend who works there. The boyfriend told me to just enjoy that day because for him it was the nicest interview he ever had.

I guess that is what I should do for now. The interview is in a couple of weeks and I received some instructions and a lose schedule. I have to send back a form so they can do some background work as well.

So I am supposed to be there at about lunch time. And after signing a non-disclosure I will be taken out for lunch as first point of business. I was even asked for me preferences when it comes to food.
After that I am supposed to have 4 interviews.
The plan is that we are done at about 6m. Will see I guess.

I am super excited already and feel very honoured. Considering the amount of applications they get every day and I get an onsite interview… Too cool.

So far no surprises either. I read and heard before that the interview process at Riot Games takes very long and that it often takes a while to get a response to your emails. This is exactly what I am experiencing and the only reason why that doesn’t worry me is the fact that I knew about that beforehand.

Will keep you guys posted!

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Just smile!

Recently I saw a video of a guy I am subscribed to on youtube. He usually makes something gaming related but he also vlogs from time to time. Over all great guy and very funny. I was very surprised when he made a very serious vlog about depression. I was surprised because it is very difficult to make other people understand how it feels and that it is nothing against them.

I don’t want to rephrase what he said, I would rather add some stuff.

When people try to help, they really mean well. The problem is the approach. A lot of times they will say things like:

  • Just smile!
  • Just do something fun!
  • Just go out with me!
  • Just do something you like!

Yes, for you it might sound like a “just this”. In reality you can’t feel happiness. When you are depressed, the feeling of happiness is nowhere to be found. You stare at your favourite book, at the instrument that you usually enjoy playing, at the whatever your hobby is, and you feel nothing but sadness. You can’t do something fun because nothing is fun. You can’t go out because you feel too weak. You can’t do something you like because you like nothing.

Someone who is clinically depressed (meaning that a doctor diagnosed you) can’t just simply snap out of it. It feels like there is no colour in the world. Everything is just grey and black. Everybody else seems to be happy. No matter what effort you make, you can’t be happy like them. This depresses you more. You question yourself and every bad choice you ever made. You, unconsciously, block out everything that you have ever done right and if you don’t block it out you know that it was not your own effort (even if that’s not true). Things that usually make you smile are now not interesting. Food doesn’t taste good and you don’t have an appetite anyways. You forget to eat or you use the feeling of hunger to prove to yourself that you are still alive and that you can still feel *something*. You try to force your body to feel things because your have no emotions. You don’t care about hygiene and order anymore. You stink and your place looks like a trash depot. Nothing is interesting and all your problems seem impossible to solve. You are forgetful and tired and people get annoyed at you for it. In return you hate yourself even more.

It is not a choice to feel depressed and it is not simply being sad.

Simply said, if you are depressed, there is nothing that can lift your spirits.

I was depressed for the majority of my life (20 years) and just recently (about two years ago) found ways to detect when I am slipping and to do something against it. Why not earlier? Therapy doesn’t work on me so I needed to work everything out on my own. I had to find my own techniques and I had to study myself a lot.
The first step of this was realizing that depressed is not a state that I want to keep. I didn’t know that I was depressed. I knew I didn’t like how I felt and that not everybody felt that way but I did not know that this can be changed.

If you care deeply about someone who is sincerely depressed:
Try not to force anything on them. Just be available and make clear that you are available. Be there physically. Bring a cake or a book. Offer to listen, to talk, or just to be company. Don’t say “I know what you feel” because it is likely you don’t. Don’t feel sorry for them, just be there. Being there is usually the only thing that you can do. If it is not possible to be there in person, send them a text, call them. Anything, just make yourself available.

If you are depressed:
I know how difficult it is to open up even to your best friend. Just let them be with you, it’s for your own good. Make sure you have someone to talk. And if you don’t feel like talking about the cause of your depression, talk about something else. Or just sit there in silence and know that someone is there for you. Don’t be alone in this difficult time, you need someone by your side, even if you are telling yourself that you are strong and you can do it alone. It’s not about being strong or weak. You feel this way and it can go away but you need to be the one working on it to go away.

If you need to talk and you have no one to talk to, you can do one of the following:

  1. Call a help line, for example:
    * AwarenessHelpline in Ireland 1890 303 302
    * Breathing Space in Scotland 0800 83 85 87
    * Childline in the UK 0800 1111
    * Get connected in the UK (young people / free) 0808 808 4994
  2. Get in touch with me:
    If you don’t like to call somewhere, you may send me a message and I will offer you an open and non-judgmental ear.
    * Comment here and mention your mail address (I will not publish that comment but simply write back to the mail address you provided)
    * Send me a message to clos3rlook <at> gmail <dot> com
    If you don’t know what to write, in case you decide to send a message my way, don’t sweat it. A simple “hi” is a great conversation starter ;) I won’t force you to say anything.

Here is the video I was talking about in the beginning:

 

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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