I'm coming out....I've got depression

For anyone who caught the first run of my solo show 'Sorry I'm A Lady' (which will be at the RVT 14 & 21st August and again at Vogue Fabrics in December), you'll know I suffer with depression. Over the brooding menace of SebastiAn - Walkman, I revealed my long term medical condition, the bullying that contributed to it and how I manage to function. Like prolific entertainers Stephen Fry and Ruby Wax, I'm coming out too.“I look at the history of mad and I'm in good company”.

When I dislocated my knee, buggered the cartilage and was out of action for eighteen months, it was easier. I had a wheelchair, crutches, walking stick and knee brace to signify my medical problem. However, having depression is invisible and isn't socially acceptable. You're not supposed to tell people via a Facebook status that you're feeling sad. Cheer up love, stiff upper lip and all that.
The reality is, I've had depression since the age of 8. I've had numerous breakdowns. I've spent time in a mental hospital. I genuinely don't want to be alive most of the time. This isn't a cry for help but my daily reality.

I have no fear of death. Most of the time, I'd rather not be here. I get irritated easily and therefore incredibly lonely, few people 'know' me.
You see I'm an oddity and have never fitted in. I get in the way. I'm opinionated, strange and loud. Regardless of social change in the west, society still prefers a woman who gets on with things quietly instead of loudly. I could adapt to fit in but then I'd be compromising myself.

I'm insecure. Most show-offs are but I often wonder why I bother to try and make any kind of difference when I'm frequently overlooked. Hell, the lesbian media have chosen to ignore me altogether. Trying to infiltrate the music and performance scene has been near on impossible. Then again, I don't make things easy for myself. I refuse to be put into a box regarding my sexuality, gender or practice. Too queer for cabaret, too camp for the underground. Perhaps it would be easier if I was a saucy jazz chanteuse or angry tampon wielding performance artist?
I'm fully aware I'll never be a mainstream performer but I do a pretty decent job whether I'm singing, performing or DJing. Some say I spread myself too thin. I have a vagina and can multi task.
I continue to do what I do because I know there are at least three people out there who appreciate it which means more than money or acceptance.

But I've still got depression and those negative and suicidal thoughts make waking up everyday a living hell. And it's bloody exhausting. Despite therapy helping to rewire parts of my brain and a life full of wigs and glamour, I'd still rather not be here. Isn't that weird?
“It's a part of who I am but doesn't define me”.

Despite the state of my mental health, I am a strong woman, not less human because of it. You can be fabulous and flawed. You can be bold and frail. You can be a mass of contradictions. You can be anything you bloody want to be darling. In my own tiny way, I'm testament to that.

I may never be 'well' but that's something I've learnt to live with and for those few people who get me and my parents, I plan to be around a little longer.


P.S. For anyone with depression and wants constructive help, I'd highly recommend C.A.T. (Cognitive Analytic Therapy). I've had hundreds of hours of therapy since the age of 15 and C.A.T. has been the most effective. It's less homework based that C.B.T. and less Freud than psychoanalysis. It opens up things that already exist in your subconscious and teaches you to nurture yourself positively. It feels like the uncorking of a bottle or gear changes when you start to unlock and things start to make sense. Of all the therapy I've had, I can't recommend it highly enough.

P.P.S. For those thinking “oh no, why are you doing this?” Well I did it in my show, so why not write it down? I'm not looking for sympathy, maybe a bit of understanding. Oh and don't be awkward when you see me next. I've got depression, not leprosy.

P.P.P.S. My show isn't about depression but a small part. It's actually quite fun so come and see it.