In an effort to clear my head I have taken to writing a few thoughts down. It might help those close to me to understand why I’m such a miserable bastard and why I’ve lost my mojo. It might also help others understand that when they feel that all is lost there is still good reason to carry on and fight for an amazing life. I will write this little by little. Please read it, share it if you will. Questions on the back of a postage stamp.
The Ramblings of a Mad Man
Living with anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis
What a mouthful! I have always been prone to the melancholy. Those dark times when all seems lost, the fog closes in and the duvet grafts to your brain. So it was no great surprise to me when it all came to a head in 2010, with a breakdown mid career. The roundabout was going way too fast and I stepped off and fell headlong onto the curly whirly slide. As I write about it now with improved clarity, it sounds almost fun. The then diagnosis of chronic depression wasn’t difficult to swallow. It made perfect sense. I’d been doing too much, working to hard. With a bit of rest I’d be back on my feet and smashing my targets all over again. It didn’t work out like that. My employer at the time was less than understanding and set their HR hatchet man (I will never forget you Paul) on me and eventually I “left” my job. I tried to take smaller less stressful jobs but even they took their toll on me as my general and mental health crumbled around me.
I eventually found calm, demonstrating magic in a toy store in London’s West End which took me to many great places and I met so many amazing and unusual friends. As with so many great things when you continue to ride the mental rollercoaster silly things like finances, exorbitant transport costs, relationships and families get in the way of a simple life. All of this culminated in me losing the family home and doing my best to drive my loved ones away.
Every anti-depressant I took worked it’s magic for a while and then seemed to have little or no effect. It must be said, I have tried them all. Pills in every shape, size and colour in ever increasing doses. As with most high dose medications you can’t just stop taking them with out withdrawal side effects so it takes a good month to come off one and start another. If you are fortunate to have a loving and understanding wife, which thankfully I do who can see when your wheels are falling off, you may continue to argue like stray cats but eventually you submit and do as your told. I swallowed what pride I had left and went back to my GP to admit that the pills weren’t working and could I try the big green ones. It was at this point the GP didn’t really know what else to do. I was sent to see a consultant neuropsychologist and that’s when the real fun started…
Tune in next time and I’ll tell you more about the inner workings of a mad man and winning my first rosette.