Depression is a debilitating disease. It removes motivation. It produces anxiety attacks that can stop the sufferer from leaving the house. Depression also destroys concentration. It does a lot more like make the sufferer hell to live with. Medication is there to help but, as I have found finding the right medication and the right dose can be trial and error.
HMRC and Me
What does not help is being into a stressful situation where the anticipation is often worse than the reality. So, when I had a visit from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to talk about my failure to pay the right amount of tax over a number of years you can imagine what sort of state I was in. My medication makes me tired, but the anxiety of the upcoming visit made it hard to sleep. Coupled with my medication producing very vivid dreams the results were not pleasant.
It is my own fault that I owe income tax. The story as to why I am in the position of owing income tax is one of my own making. I started selling bits and bobs on eBay and Amazon years ago. As time went on I began buying items at car boot sales, charity shops and re-selling them. Then I bought items to sell off the internet. Along the way I crossed the line between selling my own stuff as a hobby and selling items as a business as defined by HMRC. The outcome is that I have tax liability.
All this would be stressful enough without depression raising its ugly and malevolent head. When they arrived the ladies from HMRC were pleasant, friendly and very professional. Being friendly did not stop them from asking hard questions. They were very thorough. Another thing that my depression does is to stop me talking properly. In my head the sentences are ordered and make sense. What comes out of my mouth is stilted, full of pauses, and deep breaths. I hear myself sounding like someone who is not confident, someone who’s grasp on reality is failing. Of course those are both true when I am under the black cloud but it is unnerving none the less.
I Hate Depression
I know that I have been suffering from depression for years, many years before I acknowledged that I had a problem and went to the doctor. It is my guess is that being so explains why I made bad choices when selling. What I mean is that I did not understand that with selling more I should have thought about consequences, taken advice, kept records, tracked trends.
It is right that I should pay the correct amount of tax, there is no disputing that. However, under their probing questioning (there was nothing aggressive about it) I was amazed how many times I said “I do not know”, about things that anyone who is in a good mental state would have been aware of.
I hate depression. I hate what it has done for me in the past. Also I hate the fact that I feel obliged to excuse my failings by saying “I have been diagnosed with clinical depression”.
What I hate most about depression is that last sentence. If only it was like a broken arm that everyone could see. More than that, one of the worse things about it being invisible is that I did not know I had it, until it was almost impossible for me to function.