Even a popular comedian and public speaker can struggle with depression. Here, Melbourne man Danyal Diallo writes freely about the grip depression can have on a person - and how you can overcome it.
Hi there, it's me, depression. I came into your inner space about umm 3 months ago give or take?
Yeah! Uninvited of course but to my surprise, you didn’t kick me out. This made my job easier, some might even say breezier.
Usually, I have to fight your bodyguard Hope but I see as a special act Hope packed and left, left a note saying she's not coming back. It's okay, even though Hope left, we can still have some fun, aha you can’t run!
Over the next little while, YOU won’t be having a good time, so let me breakdown your schedule and begin a new ritual;
● You’ll feel tired, like a concerning amount of fatigue, heavy, rigid and metallic. You’ll get confused when people suggest to get some exercise, and drink water! Ha ha Put a bandaid on it and just walk it off!
● And because Hope is gone, you’ve got nothing to lean on, you’ll feel indifferent and disinterest in everything and… gradually…everyone so go ahead now and start shutting everyone out. We don’t need any hugging.
● I see you have a history of physical pain which you’ve been hiding, I’m going to loosen your grip and mental control over that lid and just let you feel that pain. Hmmm
● And just for fun, I’m going to make you overthink everything. Ahahaha LIKE EVERYTHING!! Like you’re just existing, stop persisting, No one loves you, and you’ve never amounted to anything worthwhile because you’re a useless good-for-nothing piece of off-brand cheese!
So, why try? There won’t be any blue sky, hey, come one, don’t cry because well, you’re a guy! You’re supposed to handle your cheese with ease!
Now imagine trying to function with this in mind, basically lifting boulders over your shoulders no doubt day in and day out just to get by.
For for me, the saving grace was thinking about my family, my little siblings, Hadia, Joy, Grace, and Janet and how much I get my energy from just thinking about their wellbeing.
Hope then came back and my lungs started to take in fresh air again expanding wider than they have in a long time.
Suddenly colour came back to my face, my cheeks and my world, it's like I got prescribed clearer glasses as everything stopped being hazy, I’m not going crazy my world started making sense again.
From there i was well adjusted and had the strength to open up to someone I knew and trusted.
Slow progress back on the horse is still progress don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Life can be going smoothly in one direction, and then something happens which derails it ruining the plan you’ve set but don’t fret yet, no need.
You’re a strong and capable individual that has climbed over various challenging walls.
I know you’re a rock climber or you wouldn't be reading this! Let us be flexible, change plans, redirect, explore an alternative mode of attack and bounce back!
The reason why I keep talking about this and will keep talking about it is because I never thought I would get stuck like this, I’m such an upbeat character ready to roll and party all of the 8 days of the week!
Remember to be kind to yourself during these tough times, everyone is living their own lives on their own clock and what you have to do is focus on you and the people you care about.
It's never you verse someone else, it's always you against yourself, aim for progress over time as that's attainable and sustainable.
Regardless of what the world throws at us, we keep going, we carry the baton from our parents, as they did from their parents.
Whether they improved on the baton or made it worse is a big factor that will contribute and have an impact on your ability to carry on. But whether you want it or not, YOU’VE GOT THE BATON NOW!
How do you wish to proceed with it? Lead with kindness as the next generation is watching you with wide eyes.
They are watching you climbing walks right now and looking intently for the techniques that you’re using to get over these walls as they know one day they will come across a similar challenge.
Mentorship is the most underrated service in our society today. I would highly encourage all readers to contact or get in contact with a mentor as soon as possible or by COB this Wednesday.
The knowledge, guidance and confidence you receive from mentors are like… instead of climbing through the walls, suddenly you have the power to absolutely SMASH through them and it gets easier, some might even say breezier!
Truth be told! You’re not alone!
Lifeline Australia here.
Beyond Blue here,
World Health Organisation article and fact sheets details on depression here.
Danyal is a Sudanese motivational public speaker and comedian based in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. See his comedy performance here.