All posts tagged: depression

Bullied and teased to the point of despair

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Aaron Summers shares a snippet of his story. Throughout my school years, life was tough. I was teased and called many names; ugly, freak, you get the picture. I was a bully myself at times too. At the root of it was a constant struggle with self image. I didn’t feel I was good enough for anything or anyone. I felt that no one wanted to hang out with me, and that I was always on the outer. I remember tearing up my leavers dinner photos because I felt so ugly and down on myself. Depression got a hold of me and I was in a very dark place, in and out of church at Summerhill Baptist and Door of Hope. My mum encouraged me to keep coming along to church. It was a hard time for her, seeing me go through this, but she kept spurring me on. I was going home most days from school turning the lights off and going to bed. I’d just basically given up. …

Fit for Conversation

Gym for me looks like this… Lycra on, shoes on, grab drink bottle, towel. Buckle kids in car, drive fast, not too fast, park, unbuckle. Run, one on hip, other dangling on arm, through doors, hello, recite membership number. Childcare, sign-in, kiss, close kiddy gate. Late, sorry to instructor, find cross-trainer, calm heartbeat. Move as instructed, when instructed, as fast as instructed, silently, watching clock on wall, counting down. Leave. (Repeat twice a week.) So you can appreciate my shock when veteran gym instructor Jodie gave her Monday and Friday classes a good old kick up the behind – no push-ups involved. She did it like this: she made us talk. To each other. It’s been happening for weeks now. Every class, she rattles our phobia of mingling with other people by giving us five questions to ask – and remember – of the people on our left and right. She tests us at the end, so participation refusal would be embarrassing. Not an option. Between the usual fitness directions of “On your toes!”, “Activate!” and …

It Was Never Meant To Be Like This

“We got language so we can’t communicate Religion so I can love and hate Music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name”. You just read the second verse of The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone), the opening track on U2’s surprise new album Songs of Innocence. Which is free. Thank you Apple. The tune is a tribute to punk rock. Disinterested? Me too. But the catchy song is full of deeper hooks to lift a pensive stay-at-home mum from her reverie. I was thinking about death and loss. We said goodbye last week to Launceston deputy mayor Jeremy Ball, offering condolences to family including his wife and two young sons. What a shock. Images of the car wreck, family snaps published in the paper on subsequent days and the chalk sketches by children on the pavement of Prince’s Square during his wake have lodged in my mind. I “got language” but I “can’t communicate” the wrench this news has caused. I used to think grief was an indulgence reserved for nearest loved-ones. I know …

Permission to Grieve

The outpouring of grief following the death last week of television personality Charlotte Dawson has been immense.  The media has lamented the glamorous blonde’s tragic end, naming the causes of her death as depression stemming from a marriage breakdown, financial troubles and her well-documented battle with cyber bullies.  But few have named the root of Charlotte’s tragic struggle with depression. Truth is, she pinpointed it herself. In Charlotte’s 2012 memoir titled Air Kiss And Tell, she revealed that her depression began after she and then-husband and troubled Olympic swimmer Scott Miller chose to have an abortion. “I felt a shift,” she wrote. “Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression.” The circumstances around the couple’s decision were not unlike those faced by most women who will choose to terminate a pregnancy; the timing was all wrong.  Charlotte was thrilled, but Scott hesitated because baby was due at the same time as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. “Everything Scott had done was …

Beauty is More than a Sexy Selfie

I think we all know someone with a selfie obsession. They post photos of themselves on various social media sites in different mundane situations expecting us to like, share, favourite, retweet and even comment on such humdrum proclamations as: “New lipstick!” (photo: lips pouting, eyes bulging like a Bratz doll). “Having a fat day” (photo: sad face, skinny jeans proffering a lean little bum). “Lunch!” (photo: a smoothie, ‘nuff said). Er, why? Why oh why oh why do people waste their precious moments on this? I shall pause briefly here to accommodate the decreasing percentage of the populace who have not caught up with the social media craze (c’mon dad, it’s about time!) A ‘selfie’ is “a slang term used to describe a photo that is taken of oneself for the purpose of uploading it to social networking sites and image sharing websites… To take a selfie, the right or left arm is extended with the camera held backwards.” (webopedia.com) All us social media users are prone to the occasional selfie but it’s worth pondering the why …