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Hi my name is James

Hello and my name's James. I am a 29 year old man and I will be turning 30 soon. I am very bright and much brighter than I look. My favourite things are sleeping, eating, swimming laps, reading books, and playing computer games. I enjoy anything to do with art, and especially the high art stuff, like ballet and fine painting, because it is so much fun to discover and relate to all of the different ideas. More than anything, I love to be alone, but I do get lonely at times.

For most of my life, I had problems with depression, but nobody paid attention. By the time I was 15 I had become very obsessed with suicide. Still nobody listened to me and when I was 20 I was hospitalised as an emergency for depression. I had been crying uncontrollably for 6 weeks and I could not go on anymore, things were just getting worse, my life was just an endless headache of tears. I was intercepted in carrying out my suicide plan, and I initially refused to go to hospital, but my doctor told me that if I did not agree to admit myself, that she would call the police and they would escort me to hospital where I would be kept under surveillance for two days - so I gave up and agreed to go voluntarily. At that time I had become convinced that I was a fallen angel and was inadvertently causing chaos and destruction around myself to such an extent that it should be my duty to kill myself - which is a very strange thing to believe, as I am an atheist! I was in hospital over my 21st birthday! I was hospitalised twice more, when I was 23 and again when I was 25. those were difficult years for me and in retrospect it is all something of a blur.

My disorder was somewhat complicated and I had different problems at different times. Sometimes I was very underweight as I was convinced that I was in actuality very overweight and also had a belief related to my depression that all food was already decomposed by the time I was expected to eat it, and at the same time I exercised compulsively as I had a lot of nervous energy and I wanted to be strong. It was thought that I may have had arthritis as my joints had become so swollen but I was then told that my swollen joints were a symptom of acute depression; I also had excruciating muscular pain and fatigue that made it exhausting for me to move. At one time I was smoking around 40 cigarettes a day and it seemed like it was even easier to smoke than it was to breathe. I was self harming by abrading my skin until it bled with my fingernails or the edges of blades. I was very delusional and had discreet psychotic episodes. I found it very difficult to fall asleep but once I fell asleep I would regularly sleep for over 24 hours, unless I was very seriously depressed in which case I would sleep for only 3 hours and be woken up by extremely violent and terrifying nightmares. I developed an escapist habit of serious binge drinking until I blacked out but I did not develop any serious alcoholic problems. I was obsessed with being clean and at one of my hospital admissions I remember I had two bags full of different soaps and grooming products and how ridiculous I felt when the nurses went through it all to check that I could not kill myself with any of it, but until that point I had not even considered that it was silly to have so many different things to take care of my hygiene and appearance, it seemed like I needed all of them. My depression was the worst problem of them all and made everything difficult. I guess without all of those other problems it would have been considered fairly classical type depression. I was preoccupied with thoughts of suicide and evaluations of myself as worthless and my future as hopeless and everything else that goes along with depression, probably a little bit more extreme than what most people experience, but generally typical type symptoms. But my depression made everything difficult to do in so many different ways.

My recovery was hard work but the last time I was in hospital I promised myself I would never go back there again. I was very determined to recover and although courses of antipsychotics helped greatly I believe it was my determination more than anything that made me get better. I went back to University (I had dropped out when my concentration had become so poor that I thought I had a learning disability) and used it to get myself moving. My grades were very mediocre but I was achieving something and engaging with material that mattered to me. Most of the time I was very sad and I gave up trying to stop myself from thinking about suicide. I focused my suicidal energy on refining a perfect suicide plan rather than ideas of actually carrying out suicide so it became a sort of intellectual exercise rather than an emotional imperative and I also practised continually postponing my suicide plan indefinitely. Eventually I came to think of suicide in a very detached sort of way that bothers me much less as it is fairly easy to ignore, it is mostly in the background of my thoughts. I have been off medication for a long time now, I don't even know how long, but it has been years.

I work two days a week in a great retail job, which I hate for reasons mainly to do with being a very introverted and sensitive person, but as far as sales goes, it is an excellent job that many people desire. I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I do not smoke and I am trying to control my drinking which is sometimes difficult. Since I am fairly completely recovered from my depression I am trying to focus on all of the wonderful plans I have for the future but it is hard to stay motivated and keep the ball rolling. I have had a difficult and miserable life made of hard work and mistreatments and often I feel exhausted and overwhelmed by my past. I get blue and I feel worn out and sad. I feel alone in the world and I find it very difficult to trust others.

I am hoping to keep this blog of things that bother me in my life now but also thoughts about my past and also notes about achievements I make from day to day. I am not sure whether it will work or not but I need to experiment with different ways of moving forward with my life.

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