Depression

No Complaints Fred

So I'm one week in to trying to give up complaining. It's hard. I don't just mean complaining out loud, but also on the inside, like basically getting angry at anything stupid that I can't do anything about. If I'm complaining about something, either in my head or out loud, then I'm wanting the the world to be different to how it is. But the world, the people, the places, the things, are all just how they are. It used to really drive me mad when people said "it is what it is mate". I'd be like "That doesn't fucking mean anything!!!". But is so true, that phrase. So clever. It is what it is. Deal with it.

If I want things to be different to how they are I'll always be in some kind of state of suffering. You can see that in toddlers when they go through that "terrible twos" stage. When they're told they can't have something they want in Sainsbury's they go mental and freak the fuck out and do shit like hold their breath until they go blue. It's like they're possessed. All because the world won't be how they want it to be. It's a tough time, because it's the first time they have to realise that there's other people in the world, and they want stuff too, which means the world doesn't revolve around them anymore and they can't have it all their own way. They struggle with that, understandably. They've been treated like some kind of ancient Egyptian queen up to that point. But then they have to adjust to being one of the common folk. Some adults struggle with that idea their whole lives and never really learn to cope with it. When you feel like that when you're an adult - like an angry toddler - it's the part of you that hasn't grown up yet who's taken control of you for a sec. Beware that part. The baby. Baby won't take you to good places. If I can learn to accept the world and people exactly how they are then I'll feel much better and will do less stupid shit. It's hard though. It takes practice. 

When I was young, on family holidays, my brother used to call me "No Complaints Fred". Obviously because I complained so much. I didn't think I complained. I thought I was right about stuff and was justifiably angry because things were wrong and it wasn't acceptable. But that's the story resentful people tell themselves. Complaints are born out of resentment. And resentment is the beginning of the decent into hell. Resentment is the most dangerous human emotion, both for the person who's resentful and those who come into contact with them. It starts as little gripes. Little complaints. But it grows over time. It feeds itself with supporting evidence. Before too long resentment can take people over altogether. Mass shootings are born out of resentment. Nazi Germany was born out of resentment, The Russian Revolution, revenge killings, drug addiction, domestic abuse, it's all from resentment. Left unchecked, or fuelled like a fire, resentment will always end badly. Sometimes in suicide. 

In some people resentment turns inwards. They turn it on themselves. That's what I think depression is. That's what happen to me. I hated myself. Sort of. Not all the time. But a lot of the time. A big part of me hated myself. I blamed myself for fucking my life up. I hadn't even fucked my life up. But resentment was in control by then. It had taken me. And it wanted me to die. But I kept going. And when I felt well enough someone helped me look at how resentment featured in my life. How it affected things without me knowing. I didn't think I was a resentful person, but we have no idea who we are really. But other people can help you learn about yourself. 

So now I try to deal with resentment as soon as it appears. I notice it. HA! I SEE YOU! UH UH UH. NOT THIS TIME BRO!  I feel it. I notice it. I watch it. Then let it go. And I don't do anything stoopid while it's there. It's really hard. I catch myself complaining all the time. But I'm practicing. And I'll get better. And soon I'll be No Complaints Fred for real. 

2017

It's easy to think "well not much happened this year....again. As usual. Well done. Ugh". But I'm slowly learning not to listen to my thoughts. I started Rebel Lectures and became a lecturer this year, without having to go to uni or anything. Boom. Just from listening to podcasts, watching youtube n that, and taking some risks. And it's gone pretty well so far. So that's pretty amazing really. And there's loads of other little things that have happened that are really positive. I've connected with my mum and dad more than ever. And I'm constantly getting better at managing myself, my emotions, my reactions, my perspective. There's been a couple of times when I nearly dragged myself back down into the darkness, but I managed to stop that from happening, using tools and techniques which I used to call "bollocks".

Of course I could paint myself a picture that it's been another terrible year and that I'm gonna die alone and nothing matters, but anyone can paint that picture. It doesn't matter if you're Richard Branson or Mother Theresa, if the part of you that wants to be miserable is in control, then it's very easy to make yourself miserable - anyone can do it. Misery doesn't like hearing that as everyone's misery thinks it's clever and unique. But it's not. Misery has been around for ages and the stories misery tells have been heard a million times by a million different people.

Someone asked a question at one of my depression lectures recently. She asked whether I thought that the reason people get depressed is because what they actually see is the truth - that the world is a dark and hopeless place and that anyone who doesn't think that is just kidding themselves. I think I used to think that. But I don't anymore. The world is lots of things. Sometimes it's evil. Sometimes it's awesome. But more than anything, it's whatever you experience it as at any given time. And you can change the way you experience it, in the moment or in general. Like you can experience exactly the same situation a million different ways. The outside world is a reflection of your inside world. You know that already if you've ever described yourself as being in a "good mood" or a "bad mood". What do we actually mean when we say that? When you're in a good mood the world seems like a much better place than it does when you're in a bad mood. All the silly worries you had yesterday aren't there anymore. Things you were angry about don't bother you anymore. But the world hasn't changed. You've changed. 

I can change my mood. It's hard work. But it's more than worth it. It doesn't always work. It's not an exact science. But I'm getting better at it. Next year I'm going to allocate a specific amount of time per week to changing my mood. Which usually just means thinking about other people and being nice to them. And I'll try to do it all day every day if I can, but that's hard.

My new year's resolution is to try to completely give up complaining, externally and internally. If I really think something should change then I have to do something about it, not complain about it. Complaining is for pussies and leads nowhere. Standing up for what you believe in isn't complaining. Complaining is complaining. 2018 is a year of action. Put up or shut up. That doesn't mean I'm going to run around trying to change the world all the time. Most of the time I'm just going to shut up, accept the world how it is, wait for my silly emotions to pass, then carry on with whatever I was doing. 

Happy New Year. x