Experiencing depression as a teenager

When I moved from primary school to secondary and was required to wear a blazer as part of the uniform, my mum purchased a blazer that was oversized and would last. Which meant by the time I was 13 or 14, and hitting puberty, it fitted a little snug. This was a common snag with my trousers too. I didn’t feel I could go to my mum and ask her to purchase me a uniform that was in a bigger size. There were a lot of things I felt that I could not go to my mum and talk to her about. And this was one of those things that became a problem that snowballed quickly.

I did not enjoy puberty. I hated my body. The clothes that I had to wear were uncomfortable and I felt did not give me protection. I felt vulnerable. I was only allowed in the winter to have a jumper on underneath my blazer and over my white shirt. It had to be removed in class. I didn’t wear a coat. Coats were not cool. Had to carry them around school all day. Not convenient either. That jumper fitted, it felt comfortable and it was a relief to have it.

I did not feel I could express myself. I grew frustrated that I had little control or choice. This was one strand of a whole bunch of balloons I was trying to keep a grip on. My depression grew and grew when I was a teenager. My anxiety caused me to overthink everything. Something as a small as a blazer was an issue. I didn’t understand this then. I thought I had to put up with discomfort.

A bigger issue was how depression was warping my thoughts. It became the default to look up at tall buildings and think of throwing myself off of the edge. I did not care for road safety. As far as I was concerned the car could see me and it had all the time in the world to stop. If it ran me over, who cared. I walked into school and every morning I wished a bomb would have been dropped onto it the night before. I could look at my reflection in the mirror and with no doubt in my mind be able to say to myself I hate you and mean it. I hated myself. I hated that I was every day waking up feeling like shit and then having to attend school, which compounded the feelings I had of feeling like shit. I became obsessed with little things like blazers because I could hang my hopes on in the future maybe being able to have something that would be perfect.

I could not talk to anyone. Everything in my mind became a secret. I had become so used to having the mickey taken out of me, I did not want to share any of my thoughts. I felt my voice did not matter. My social ineptitude became much worse as a teenager. I could not relate to those around me. It made me resent them. It became not about what was good about me, but what was I lacking that I could not have friends or relationships with the girls in my class. Why was I not interested in boys or make-up? What kind of freak was I that I was instead obsessed with Doctor Who and James Dean? (There’s nothing wrong with being different!)

I had a catchphrase as a teenager. It became something I said to everything. It was I don’t care. I didn’t care. Wow, you think not caring gives you freedom. It did not give me any. I fought everything because I did not care. I was an arsehole. You could have asked me if I was left-handed or right-handed and the answer would have been I don’t care. I wasn’t sure of anything.

I was fucking miserable as a teenager. I try to not think about it because if I do, it gives me bad dreams. Of walking those endless school corridors, my footsteps echoing. I try to remember I didn’t know what was going on then and my teachers and my parents did what the protocols were to protect me. They didn’t know what was going on either. I was in the wrong place, trying to connect with the wrong people. It was no one’s fault; I was ill, and it was what it was.

Poem. Old Head on Young Shoulders.

old head on young shoulders


in all but years

i was so much younger

than i appeared to be –

oft repeated an old head on young shoulders –

i did not understand the expectations placed upon me

based on people’s perceptions of my maturity.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

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Who else can relate to this? i used to think I was so smart growing up and superior to those my own age because I was apparently an old head on young shoulders. This was while I was completely confused by children my own age because I did not understand them or was unable to relate to them. My social skills were awful! Being naturally shy and anxious too I was terrified of being the centre of attention.


Book Review. Santorini set A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander.

I read one book by Tasha Alexander, which I loved and so I borrowed A Terrible Beauty before lockdown from my library.

It is an odd read. It isn’t a high-octane thriller. It has intrigue, crime and mystery – a dead man comes back to life!

I feel like the emotional depth of the story and its characters took centre stage. There were a couple of surprise moments and excitement towards the end. The build-up of the story is slow. I don’t mind slow. The setting of Santorini and Greek myths was a distraction. My best description of A Terrible Beauty can be found in the text, in this quote, ’High stakes but seemingly endless time in a prolonged state of expectancy’

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Jude’s Story. Pt 2.

CONTENT WARNING. Mentions alcohol.

The toilet flushes. The plumbing is sound. That’s good. I get diarrhoea. My poop is yellow.

I worry about it, but it’s faint now. I drink alcohol because of all my worries and that’s another one to toss into the big old bag of shit I carry around with me everywhere. You experience so much and then you find a way to cope and it numbs the pain. You might be a zombie but at least you can function.

I exist. I don’t live.

People were concerned, now I’m sure they think what an asshat, what a pain in the backside. Where is Jude going to reappear in my life next and will they even be sober, will I have to bail them out of a situation.

Depression makes you selfish. I think that is after so long neglecting yourself, depression moves in and it makes you into a vile person. A pity party of one. An angry, furious flaming ball of hate. It’s asking for help, for those needs to be met. But depression stinks and no-one wants to help someone who seems like they don’t even want to help themselves.

Addiction makes you selfish. All you want is that thing that will distract you, make you feel better.

The thing that is slowly destroying you. Destroying every opportunity. It will kill me. I don’t know if I care about that. I think about my funeral, and how many people will show. I think Steve would. I don’t think anyone else would. I wouldn’t even bet on them crying for me. If they did, that would be stupid. How dare they cry when they wouldn’t stick around. Sometimes I think I stay alive to spite them. Imagine if I rose out of the ashes, victorious. Imagine if I achieved happiness.

Depression AND addiction. It’s a good thing that I have my lighter moments.

Photo by Mat Reding on Pexels.com

Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds

Finding Henry Applebee is only 99p on Kindle at the moment! Set in past Blackpool, historical romance – an emotional read.

Poetic Insights

Waterstones

Foyles for books

The story of Henry Applebee is primarily narrated by the man himself, although characters Ariel and Travis do take parts in being protagonists. The timeline of the story switches between past and present. I was unsure of this book at first, until I got the gist of which path the story was going to take. Not that it is predictable. There is a huge build up, you have to wait for it though. I liked the setting of the train station in the present and loved being in Blackpool for the past. This is a story of lost love and once you discover how Henry met this woman and lost her because of his insecurities (and mobile phones hadn’t been invented) it did make my eyes mist over.

Unfortunately, the story lost its way in its conclusion. I felt like the author was trying to repeat…

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