The year which sometimes slips into my dreams and haunts me is 2009. That year was some year, at least for me. I was thrown a curve ball that kept curving and curving. In 2009 I was diagnosed with the ‘Curse of the Black Dog,’ more commonly known as depression. Despite all the medications, despite the high dosages, despite Electroconvulsive Therapy, nothing worked. Over the years, my depression became worse. The neurons in my brain had suddenly stopped talking to the neurotransmitters in my brain. Apparently, neurons connect through chemicals called neurotransmitters. Mine stopped connecting. How’s this happen to people?

‘Unlucky,’ I was told. Unlucky indeed.

When I informed the company I was working for at the time, that my medical team had advised me to take some time off work to deal with the illness, they sacked me within 24 hours.

Unlucky again.

I’m since been advised by those much smarter in the science of the brain than me – I’m Treatment Resistant.

My medical team insisted back in 2009, and still insist today, that I exercise my brain as much as possible – it’s good therapy for depression. Write they told me, write, and do things to tax your brain cells, like analysis (I have a background in it – real analysis that is). This may help to repair some of the burnt wiring and circuits in your grey matter. I took their advice, along with all the medications.

I thought, I’d better put a few things together, stop feeling sorry for myself, man up, accept my illness and do something positive. After all, I still had a heartbeat. I put that together with what brain cells hadn’t been turned to ash, and reinvented myself yet again, in an attempt to stop my depression’s black march forward.

This is What I Did  

I developed a way to analyse horse racing, and reinvest the profits into other investments, such as the share market. I also wrote a funny book titled ‘Travesty’. All to retrain my brain.

Today, I think I’m fortunate, not as fortunate as some, but more fortunate than others. I am supported by a wonderful wife, two great children, and a medical team that is second to none. I have some great mates too, although, some have disappeared since my diagnosis. It’s a stigma thing, friendship only goes so far.

Today I write some, invest some, and analyse some. It works the brain. I also palm off some of my winnings to good wholesome charities. Those that help others who are less fortunate than me.

Because, all in all, I’m doing ok, not as ok as some, but more ok than others.