Green - Rainbow Touchstones

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride nz.com. When I'm sick, my depressive mind can make me feel bad about anything. I'm such a weirdo. I don't belong anywhere. If I wasn't queer, I'd be closer to my family. But when I'm not sec, none of those ideas enters my mind. It's funny because I've never had a problem with my sexuality. When I was 14, I fell in love with a girl and I just thought, Oh, I'm bisexual. Sweet. You know, it's ever been a huge trauma for me. I had my first episode of depression, when I was 14, my parents had split up, mom and me went to live in a new town where I developed a huge crush on a boy. He was my first sexual partner, but that first time wasn't consensual at all. And from there, things got really dark. It was the first time I'd experienced actually wanting to die. I remember walking through a nearby orchard and saying goodbye to things, nature, plants, foods, and I ended up trying to kill myself. My mother found me later, she tried to pretend it didn't happen. So Things just got worse. For me, the answer for that kind of pain was to become unmanageable and promiscuous, I wanted to forget everything and disappear into chaos. Depression isn't something that just happens in your head, it brings very physical reactions, I get a tightness in my chest and my throat, my limbs feel like lead. And even small things, take heaps more energy and things that I'd normally take pleasure and become really difficult. The negative thoughts start up to end the a pretty paralyzing, trying to get out of bed against the tide of pessimism. And self abuse is really hard. It wasn't until I was about 28, that I was actually diagnosed with depression, I'd gone to see a doctor about something else. And he wrote in my notes, it's not so much that overuse syndrome that I'm concerned about with this young woman, it's who depression. And I was like, Oh, hell, I didn't know I had it. And that was the first time I heard anyone name it. And I was so grateful that someone had noticed and cared about what was going on at a deep level. But it's interesting, because it still didn't really clicked for me, I still thought that I was just not a very worthy person, and that hating yourself, and occasionally wanting to die and not being able to get out of bed for a week or so I was actually quite normal. My next major bout of depression happened about 10 years later. And it was so frightening. It was so not me, it was like being stalked by a murderer. But the murderer was myself. And every time I walk past a set of stairs, I'd imagine throwing myself down them or walking past a window or imagine jumping out of it. So the doctor put me on medication which stabilized me. The great thing about Western medicine is that it's very good at giving things names, I actually had a really big suspicion of medication, you know, like, you must be really mad if you have to take a pill. Or maybe I just didn't want to acknowledge that it was as serious as it was. But then I'm not beyond asking for help. And actually being diagnosed and offered that treatment was empowering. The difficulty with depression is that it comes with its own sabotaging mechanisms. So the exact things that you know are good for you. The disease tells you that you can't do them or you shouldn't do them. It took me a long time before I could answer it back, I created a really rigorous and regular routine of self care. I have regular conversations with key people about how I'm going. For me medication isn't enough. I'm trying to use it as a support to change my life and to one that isn't so stressful and full of triggers. And the medication is just one of the tools in my toolbox. It's a toolbox that belongs to me, you know, I know myself and I know this condition. If I have a crap day, I have to say to myself, what can I do you know, have I been eating? Well? Do I need to stretch my day more? Do I need exercise or visit my doctor? Or do I need to spend time with friends? I remember a friend saying to me once when I was sick, don't believe what your heat is telling you. And I remember thinking that that wasn't very helpful at the time because it was my current reality and it felt so real and convincing. But these feelings and thoughts do pass and when they do it all seems as bizarre as it actually walls. So I just need to keep telling myself that each episode of depression doesn't last forever. It will pass and I have a whole toolbox to help me get through it.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.