Hey guys. I'm back after a short hiatus. Life has changed completely. Please read this and realize that while it doesn't apply to you, it may be very similar. It was August 2007 and somewhere over the hill a lonely boy lay on the lounge floor all day, massively hungover. Flashbacks went through his head of the night before... a mix of party pills, anti-depressants, marijuana, amyl nitrate and copious amounts of alcohol. These substances, still poisoning his body, happened to strike him in the face like a wet sloppy signpost as he realized that things had gone too far. It was probably lucky he was even alive at all, because being born premature meant that the boy's body couldn't handle as much as most ordinary people, and in the end, it is lucky, because for a moment in his life that night, he felt as though he didn't even want it. Some of you remember me dropping off the face of the earth just as the second trimester of university was beginning. Depression, it caught me at one of the most random times. After all, I had a boyfriend, I had just recently been employed in a better job, I'd been going well at uni-- and in general, life was pretty damn good. Being out of school and out of the closet pushed me over to the happy tree as 2006 came to a close, it was amazing and scary... it was daring and endearing all at once. Until something happened and suddenly the branches started to wilt. One of the reasons nobody understood how I was feeling was due to the fact that it wasn't a huge, life changing event or tragedy that transpired which compelled me to lose my zest for life. Rather, a multitude of things both internal and external that slowly (but quickly) ground my year to a screeching halt- while time on the outside still went on as usual. The end result, of course, was akin to the scene of a bloody train wreck. My advice to myself four months ago? Don't get too busy. Don't overload yourself in all aspects of your life. Don't let people unload unnescessary work on you when you are having a hard time. Be more communicative. Show some Initiative and let those around you know, strongly, how you are feeling. Trust your instincts, but don't listen to the little voice in your head screaming that you aren't good enough. Don't get too busy. That was the epitome of July and August. Not only was I studying Law full time (which is really, double full time, because law has a way of destroying any social life you hope to sustain)- but I was working random days a week (up to five at one point), and struggling to handle my first relationship where I actually cared about the person I was seeing. These were the three things I had to juggle at the time, and it was impossible. Be more communicative. Big word, easy meaning. Let those around you know, strongly, how you are feeling. I had attempted to talk to my manager about my working hours but it was too late and not effectively spoken enough for him to take notice and realize that I was heading towards breaking point by studying full time yet also working Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday. Trust your instincts. This one can be tricky to accomplish, because sometimes when you take a risk against your first natural reaction, you can end up with an awesome boyfriend, a better job, or a better life. But when something in your life sticks out like a sore thumb, I think, it's better, instead of throwing plasters to make it work-- to just cut the whole damn thumb off. This is what I should have done with LAWS 122 and LAWS 123. Even at the beginning of the second week of class I wasn't "feeling it" and a lot of the text books I was receiving seemed dull and pointless. Somewhere, whether it be in the courses or over the holidays my mindset had changed and I wasn't interested in this subject at all. But I tried. And kept trying, and kept trying, all through it being too busy to ever be prepared for class. Eventually, I became stressed, as we were asked questions on materials in front of a class of three hundred people. As the weeks flew by, so did my year's aspirations and my life's aspirations of being a University Graduate. After all, being a lawyer, a successful, rich man, was pushed on me as a kid. ...that's when the negative voices began to get softly louder. You can't complete your work. Therefore you are a failure. Your boyfriend is growing disconnected from you. It's your fault. You don't deserve a partner. You are nothing. I can't handle any of this. It's too much. I am selfish, lazy, and waste my Grandmothers money by not being able to go to class These negative thoughts, which are what start to cause depression in all of us, are the actual reason we can be dragged down and knocked out, and depending on how long you are out-- can have more and more of a damaging effect that becomes difficult to climb out of. Trust me I know. Thinking in only negatives will also make you look unhealthy on the outside and shatter confidence. In other words, for me, it wasn't the actual events that happened which caused me to feel locked in, but rather how I was perceiving and adding up in my head how horrible these things were. People who have never felt "down" about anything in their lives love to spew bullshit, wondering why depressed people "can't just be happy" by changing their feelings from negative to positive. Let me tell any skeptics now, it's extremely and utterly amazingly easy for any one of us to transform our positive thoughts into negative, dark ones. It's human nature to be innately negative and on guard. But it's an uphill battle and a real struggle for most people to switch their negative feelings into positive, especially when their negative feelings managed to take control of their lives, utterly destroying their relationships and education. So, having lost my Boyfriend, and my degree, and almost my job, I began to wonder. Wondering, in the whimsical way I usually do, what I really had left? University was such a huge part of my year, and so was my partner, so losing them both around the same time just added and magnified to my mood and feelings of self-worth which were as cold as ice, unbreakable in the chilling lack of confidence I resonated. People got shitty. Why wasn't I replying to txts? Why wasn't I wanting to hang out when I'd agreed to be friends? Why was I not studying, why was I wasting my Grandmothers money on a course I wasn't even attending? Why was I not making target at work? Why was I not happy? Why had I changed? Why did I seem so cold? I couldn't handle all of the questions in the state I was in so I crawled under a rock. The rock consisted of me living at home with my Nan, only ever going out into the world once or twice a week to work and occasionally letting myself loose on drunken nights which included me doing out-of-character things that only served to further fuel and set fire to how I felt about myself as a person. I'm still reminded to this day of such nights. After some weeks, understandably, my grandma got extremely worried about me, because whenever she tried to console me I would retort with self defeating statements. I also understand and feel guilty, because seeing a loved one locked up in his room for over a month, not wanting to experience life in any way, must have been terrible. In early September I was forced by a distressed parent to go to the Doctor and explain all of my feelings. I couldn't explain my feelings to my doctor, and I can't comprehend how anybody feels comfortable expressing their inner most thoughts to successful businessmen who earn a myriad of money every single year. Anyway, he prescribed me some Citalopram. Citalopram were anti-depressants which I began to take in order to fight my negative feelings. ...They weren't without side effects. They made me feel tired, battered and useless. You see the way anti-depressants work is that they make you feel worse for the first two weeks before kicking in, in hopes of making you think you feel better then you did before you took the pills, thus compelling more positive thoughts. I remember the three long weeks I was on them, I slept 18 hours a day, and in day to day life I could barely even move. I remember going into work one Thursday feeling so dis-orientated that I couldn't handle conversation. I couldn't interact with anybody without shifting my eyes and stumbling awkwardly around. It was like I was one of those characters in a movie, shown in a shot where I am focus yet every other character are shown in fast paced blurs, as if to represent a disconnected and debilitated feeling. Around that time I was starting to feel completely hopeless, and having been under a rock for more than six weeks, others were beginning to get suspicious. I think it was one of the first days of October when I finally started to realize the extent to which I was a huge mess, and decided to do something about it, because something really amazing happened at work that day. I actually felt emotion. Happiness, somehow, despite all of my fears, and the drugs that were meant to supress them, flew out of me at lightspeed and it reminded me of how my days used to feel like. So I acted on it. "Hamish guess what. I'm not on anti-depressants anymore. I stopped taking them." I lied. I'd taken one that morning. However, and here's the silver lining-- saying that out loud while feeling good was like making a verbal contract with my subconscious. That night I went home and threw the pills away, completely disregarding medical assertions that you are supposed to slowly ween of pills in case of panic attacks or ultra-anxiety. It was as easy as that. As overwhelming and bizarre as my black spot was, all it took was one day of retrospective thought and a burst of joy, coupled with a conscious decision to sort out my own feelings without drugs (which were bad for me anyway), to change everything. It wasn't long before I started to become massively social again. And it wasn't long till I opened the dark curtains in my room that had kept me locked in a hole of self-pity to a bright and sunny rest of the year. It wasn't long till I started asking for more hours at work and it wasn't long till I began to make target every single week, ...then a few months later I fussed up the courage to get over any negative feelings and fix my relationship, fix my university woes, and finally move out.