This is going to be a more serious blog, where I’m going to open up and tell you all what’s been going on behind the uber-concrete exterior of Luke Clarke.
Now, anyone will tell you, when you suffer with any kind of depression, be it a minimal amount that lasts for a short amount of time, or if you suffer with manic/borderline bipolar depression, you have to force yourself out of bed every day, you have to force yourself out of the house to carry on with life, because it’s just one of those things, however, you learn to put on a mask, so to speak, to put on a facade and live a lie behind a shallow veil of a shit-eating grin and a thumbs up when people ask “How are you, mate?”
You learn to become an incredible actor, to not only convince other people that you’re ok, but after so long, it becomes hard to live behind that mask, because of how much effort it requires, and life becomes harder. Not only are you dealing with depression, but you’re on an uphill struggle to create a second personality you can wear out and about, when you’re at work or socializing with friends.
I suffer not only with depression (that I’ve managed quite well with until recently), most of my regular readers know that I suffer with photosensitive epilepsy, which I’m heavily medicated for. The problem with medication is that it always comes with side effects. I’ve been medicated for years, lived well enough with epilepsy for about 9 years now, however now, the struggle isn’t with the epilepsy, because I can deal with the seizures, and the recovery from said seizures, the struggle is with the side effects.
Now, I haven’t told anyone this, because I was kind of afraid to.
As most of my Twitter/Facebook people will know, I live a very active lifestyle, I eat well, I go to the gym several times a week, I bowl either on my own or with friends competitively, I do alot of running around and heavy lifting at work, I take my little bugger of a dog on walks, I don’t drink alcohol anymore, and I only smoke a fine cigar once in a while. But this last year, I’ve noticed myself slowing down and becoming more sluggish, and for a 23 year old, it doesn’t feel good at all.
From January to March I had alot of physio and some injections for newly developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then as that started to ease off, half way through April, I trapped a nerve, and tore a muscle in my back, which kept me out of work and off my feet for about a month. I don’t go to the gym anymore because I don’t have any of the movement I used to have, I can’t bowl anymore because my back hurts and my wrist just can’t do the hook technique I could do so well, and was known for. I’ve had to cut my hours down at work, because my legs hurt so much from being on my feet for more than a couple of hours.
My colleagues will tell you that I can’t move around like I used to, I’m short of breath a lot of the time, my outlook has changed, and because of all that, my income has been halved. I do 20 hours a week, and that small amount of hours really tires me out. I’m sleeping more than ever, I’m trying to get myself going again, but I can’t do it, and I wish I knew why.
My knees will feel weak, or I’ll get an odd, brief chest pain, or my vision will just go blurry, or I simply won’t be able to stand.
A lot of you may think I’m being a bit dramatic, and trust me, I wish I was, but when you’re used to living a certain way, and then think “Hang on, what’s happened to me?” it kind of hits home.
I’m on a smaller budget than ever (£120 a week, if you must know) and all of a sudden, everything that I had worked hard for is either in need of replacing, or in need of repair, and when you have to afford everything else in the house, such as food, electricity, gas, etc, I’ve reached a point where, like I mentioned in my last post, I’m having to sell all the guitar equipment I valued so highly.
I’m at a point where I truly feel helpless.
There we go,