A lesson to learn from Robin Williams’ passing

This post originally appeared on my old site micksmusings.tumblr.com

http://shitleesays.tumblr.com/post/94527359918/what-did-he-have-to-be-depressed-about

I was planning on writing something around Robin’s passing and depression but I think this blog says it all and takes the words out of my mouth. I urge you to read the blog on the link.

I am currently fighting depression for the 2nd time in 5 years. The first time I had it I was 20, going on 21. I refused to take drugs because I thought it was the ‘easy way out’ and I constantly asked myself “what do I have to be depressed about?”.

Only when I was better did I see that, like it says here, that it wasn’t a case of feeling sorry for myself, or having a bad day. I couldn’t just shake it off and crack on. Depression isn’t that nice. On those days when I couldn’t get out of bed, didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to wash, eat, talk to anyone I wasn’t able to just ‘get over it’. Because I couldn’t, depression is that nice.

It took me almost 9 months to get better, I hid my diagnosis from everyone. Only one friend knew, and my doctor. Not even my mum knew. I was at uni, living away from home, and it’s easy to hide it when you are not around people who know you 100%. If depression has taught me one thing it is that it’s amazing what you can hide behind a smile. After I was better I told my close family. My mum, it turns out, had suspected all along but hadn’t wanted to push it because she knew it would make me run in the other direction and shut everyone out even more. She was just glad I’d got my ‘spark’ back.

Depression is isolating, it is lonely and, on the worse days, it makes you question the point of being alive anymore. Yes that might sound dramatic to you, but to a depressed mind it isn’t. It is a real question.

Depression defies sense. There is no logic with depression. This is what I, as a very logical person, struggled with, and still struggle to understand about my illness. If I stubbed my toe and then cried, I would know I was crying because I’d hurt my toe. When you’re depressed you wake up and burst into tears for no reason. It doesn’t make sense.

This time around I was able to catch my depression earlier, with the help of Audrey and Val at work (living angels, those two). They had noticed behaviours in me, and knowing I had suffered before, they urged me to visit my doctor, “fine, if it’ll shut you up” is what I replied. Turns out they were right, after bursting into tears at the doctors, we had a conversation about my options. This time she convinced me to try tablets, I told her my feelings about it being the ‘easy way out’. Her response was “if you had a chest infection, would taking antibiotics be the easy way out? No, it wouldn’t. All you’re doing is taking medicine to fix an illness, but this time the illness is in your brain”

She’s right. The tablets have worked wonders and I’m feeling back to myself. And I’m not ashamed to say that I take them, and that I suffer from depression. It is not something to be ashamed of.
Over 350 million people ( according to WHO) suffer from depression worldwide. Robin Williams was one of them.

If anything good can come from his passing, I hope it is that more people become educated about depression. That more people realise those that suffer from depression aren’t all ‘weirdos’ ‘attention seekers’ ‘nut jobs’. We are just unwell. And we can be fixed even if we think we are un fixable, it doesn’t have to end like it did for Robin.

Let’s break the stigma. Let’s talk about depression. Let’s help those who suffer get better.

Robin, thank you for bringing so much joy to so many people. You may not have been able to see your light but we all can, and always will. You will be remembered as one of the greatest comedic actors of all time. You will be missed.
Xoxo Micks

My bucket list

This blog originally appeared on my old blog site micksmusings.tumblr.com

Sitting at dinner with Dennis and little bean on Friday, Dennis and I were talking about our plans for the next while and I mentioned that I’m hoping my next adventure will be Peru and trekking the Inca Trail. I mentioned it was on my bucket list, to which Den replied “I’d like to read your bucket list, write it and put it on one of those ‘musing things’ you write. So here it it, and remember, if this is boring to you, you’ve only got Dennis to blame ; )

The term ‘Bucket List’ comes from the phrase ‘kicked the bucket’ so in normal words it means ‘the-things-I-wanna-do-before-I-die list’. They are normally associated with people who don’t have long left on earth, we hear through family, friends and the media of those who have been diagnosed with (very often) a terminal illness who decide to do all those things they always said they would do, these things become their bucket list. It becomes a race against the clock for those people to complete as much of their list as possible. The most recent example I can think of it Stephen Sutton, the lad was diagnosed with cancer aged 15 and then wrote a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to do before he lost his fight with the disease. One of the things he aimed to do was raise £1million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Unfortunately, Stephen lost his fight in May, but not before he had raised over £3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust (you can read more about the incredible Stephen here: www.stephensstory.co.uk )
I always wonder why does it take something like death and illness for us to sit and really think about those things that we want to do with our time?
We all know our time on earth is limited but we often take our tomorrows for granted. The average life expectancy in the UK according to the UN is 80 years old if you’re male, 83 if you’re female. When we are young, naive and impressionable becoming old and grey is the last thing on our minds (as it should be), we get caught up in day-to-day activities, lost in the rat race and before you know it you’re 75 and you never got any of those things you always wanted to do done. You never wrote that book, swam in that ocean, saw that band live, climbed that mountain. You were so caught up in making money for the machine, creating the life that you THOUGHT you should have, that everyone EXPECTED you to have, that you never got to live the life you always wanted, filled with adventure, silliness, creativity and imagination.
So, thanks to Dennis prompting me, I’ve got a list of 50 things I always wanted to do (some of them I’ve already done). I think you should do the same, I’d love to hear yours.

Xoxo Micks
Mick’s Bucket list: 2014

  1. Trek the Inca Trail
    2. Go on an African Safari
    3. Swim with Sharks
    4. Learn a new language
    5. Sky dive
    6. Road trip the USA (DONE: summer 2013)
    7. Sleep under the stars
    8. Complete a half marathon
    9. Meet a real, live penguin
    10. Attend a music festival (DONE: Glastonbury 2010, Wireless 2012 – I wanna do Benicassim next)
    11. Volunteer on a project close to my heart
    12. Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (DONE 2013)
    13. Celebrate Holi festival in India
    14. Visit the birthplace of The Beatles (DONE 2011/2013)
    15. Sleigh ride through the snow with huskies
    16. Toboggan down the Great Wall of China
    17. Visit the Tiger Temple in Thailand
    18. Ride an Elephant
    19. Go to an airport and get on the next plane outta there, no matter where it’s going
    20. Go on a ‘girls’ holiday. ‘Beeeeefa! Get in. Let’s get fuckin’ mortal!
    21. Donate blood
    22. Fly in a helicopter
    23. Take a gondola ride in Venice (DONE: July 2009)
    24: Visit Auschwitz
    25. See a show on Broadway – preferably West Side Story which is my fave
    26. See Ringo Starr and/or Paul McCartney in concert
    27. Learn to surf
    28. Find a career that makes me happy
    29. Visit the Amazon Rainforest
    30. Fly a kite on a beach
    31. Spend Christmas abroad – preferably somewhere like NYC
    32. Travel abroad alone – at least once
    33. Visit NASA! – I’m not actually sure if that’s allowed
    34. Throw a drink in someone’s face – just because!
    35. Get a tattoo for my bro (DONE 2013) RIP Martin ❤️
    36. Learn to fly a plane : ) be afraid, people!
    37. Go to an outdoor cinema (DONE, thanks to Rachpal. 2014)
    38. Toast marshmallows on a campfire (DONE, Cape Cod 2013. We weren’t camping but it was a campfire, so it does count. It does!)
    39. Genuinely surprise someone. Genuinely. Like a proper “OH MY GOD” surprise
    40. Get my palms read
    41. Chase a tornado/experience a tornado – no I don’t have a death wish, they just fascinate me. I blame my mother.
    42. Attend a ‘Murder Mystery’ party – such fun!
    43. Visit Old Trafford
    44. Complete a colour run
    45. Own my own home, complete with vegetable garden : )
    46. Visit Paris at Christmas (DONE, 2012 I think it was…)
    47. Go to the Opera
    48. Go to the Ballet
    49. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain
    50. Find my forever person