Take control, for there are no exit signs on the highways of depression

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Shawn Peacock, aged 40, says he has spent the last two decades ‘on the road’ because keeping on moving is the only way he can feel safe…

I absolutely hate suffering from depression and anxiety, I can become the living embodiment of Rainman in a second… do you know, I could be a millionaire now if I hadn’t had to deal with this.

However the gods bequeathed it to me and I just have to deal with it – but, do you know what? I kind of like it too.

It helps that I’m a genius at hiding it well from people though… and only those who get close to me know how messed up or genius I can be at different times in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done some amazing things and been to some breathtaking places. Been a journo, festival promoter and worked in film. My life has been blessed and even the best educated, sharpest, best-looking hipsters couldn’t do a lot of what I’ve pulled off.

I’ve met some total dudes on my travels and some damn beautiful women.

But those dark days, when my illness kicks in, can kill me. It makes me push partners away, retreat from friends, leave places I like…

If you suffer from depression you can become insular and nomadic all at the same time, you  can become an outcast.

I revert to the bar, pub and club business to find work  because busy places always make me forget my condition. Don’t get me wrong though, I always needed calming drugs to get through it.

If you’ve got this too, you have a lot of love from ME – but when it hits, you wake up and feel like you’re the worst thing on earth…

And this is why I say I kind of like it … because you can be in charge by just ignoring it, dress yourself up and simply look great, then do something really creative…  do something that will drive you forward and give you a sense of accomplishment.

For instance, the gym is cool… but for God’s sake don’t do illegal drugs  ….all they do is open the doors to your soul and let bad spirits in to take over your body and personality.

This makes it doubly worse, believe me. It’s very dark in there, no ‘exit this way’ signs anywhere.

But stay busy and have aims, otherwise you are doomed. You always have to have an aim, a project  – or what about charity work?

Being weak and running to the council and the doctors and giving up and becoming one of those institutionalised people who constantly feels sorry for themselves, is not why someone as amazing as you was put on this planet.

YOUR LIFE MUST HAVE MEANING! You are God. When your eyes close and you die, all this ends. So you must be God, right?

So write your own Bible!

And if there are no inspirational people around – or nothing for YOU where you are –  then, yes,  save up and move, do what I did, get lost, travel the world….trust me travelling cures ALL wounds. But  don’t get addicted to travelling because before you know it 20 years will have gone by and you’ll have become an old nomadic man who’s mates are all settled with lovely families and your still single flying about, lonely.

Surround yourself with inspiring people, people who bring the best out of you, big you up, people who can teach you how to have a sense of humour about yourself. Avoid like the plague energy vampires, bullies, and those with no self-respect.

At the end of the day most mental illness is caused by some form of incarceration and, let’s face it, modern society is just mass incarceration. Why do you think so many people need to be medicated?

Finally, do you ever dream of flying or jumping really high? Well, that’s your subconscious telling you you’re trapped.

We incarcerate ourselves in many ways you see, bills, bad relationships, bad jobs. Think of it this way, repetitious reward means less life.

Mentally we incarcerate ourselves too – compare an animal in the wild to an animal in a zoo and you’ll see my point.

My message is simple, take control of your depression and you’ll get control of your life.


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2 thoughts on “Take control, for there are no exit signs on the highways of depression

  1. Wonderful, deeply insightful piece, to which so many can relate. Thank you, Shawn. Your honesty and strength will help others.

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