Home > Uncategorized > Flaws Do Not Make Something Worthless

Flaws Do Not Make Something Worthless

Normally, I’d like to keep personal issues away from this blog. It’s an extension of my YouTube channel and other projects, and as such I tend to stick to issues in the news, or I talk about video games. But after a series of tweets over the weekend, I considered expanding it, and that’s what this blog post is about. It’s a little sad in places, so be warned.

On Saturday I became aware of a statement made by Nigel Farage, the eternally-present dangerous idiot of politics, where he tried to shun the entire NHS over a misdiagnosis he received 20-30 years ago, with a strong implication that it’d be better if we have a private healthcare system and market forces governed everything because that’s never gone wrong ever, of course. Pay no heed to the rising inequality or the fact that the US healthcare system forces everyone to pay obscene costs. The NHS is bad, mkay. It “almost killed” him, after all.

This prompted a series of angry tweets from me, where I pointed out the ludicrousness of his argument. And I spoke from a position of someone who was similarly let down by NHS services and ended up going private. He used his story to justify wanting to dismantle the entire service, I prefer to use my story to suggest where the service needs more investment and care.

The problem is, in posting this, I admitted publicly, for the first time, that I suffer from something that is often stigmatised. Nigel Farage’s issue with the NHS came with a physical misdiagnosis, but my problem is in my head. And I feel I brushed aside the issue somewhat on Twitter, so I think the time is right to share my story.

I have a YouTube channel with 3,000 subscribers that is notably full of Let’s Plays where I have a tendency to crack bad jokes over games I like. Many find me amusing for arguing with Lara Croft or putting a silly voice on to represent a tiny man travelling on the back of a wolf. I’ve used this blog to write slightly comedic pieces from time to time and many of my tweets are comic in nature (when I’m not ranting about politics). But something that isn’t apparent in all of this is that I’m not always as cheerful as this might make me appear.

Let’s start at the beginning. I was bullied from a very young age, to the point where my schooldays were like walking into a warzone and wondering if I’d make it through that day without gaining new bruises, either physical or mental. Yes, I kind of hit you with that, but I want this to have an impact, so please stick with me.

The physical bruises healed, as bruises are known to do, but the mental ones were not so quick to go away, and they still exist to some degree. I don’t do well around people, and constantly feel that I have to prove I’m not all the terrible things I was told I was as a child. The healing process was made worse by the fact that to this day I still don’t know what so many other kids had against aside from me wearing glasses or being quiet or actually GASP getting enjoyment out of reading. Without knowing what it was that was so supposedly awful about me, I couldn’t improve.

Of course, it was kids being shits, and chances are many who treated me like crap back in the day might feel bad about it now. But it’s subconscious. Under everything, I have a tendency to believe I’m worthless, incapable of doing anything well, and uninteresting. Consciously I know that all sounds silly but it seeps up from time to time.

My experiences with the NHS, the ones I tweeted about, involved suffering with social anxiety and depression for years before finally crashing. My teen years were exceptionally awkward, university was incredibly difficult, and adulthood hasn’t proven much easier, and when I had the double whammy of losing a job and a girlfriend within the space of mere days a few years back, I sank into a deep depression.

The NHS did not help me. I was bounced from place to place, but because I wasn’t a danger to myself or others, no one was interested. Despite everything, I’ve never been suicidal, but I still felt low and I wanted help. Ultimately I went to a rather amazing private counsellor who helped me out massively. This does not make me angry at the NHS, more so sad that I was forced to go private because my public options were limited. Because of my experiences, I want nothing more than to see investment in mental health options on the NHS as well as attempts to break the stigma attached to seeking help for mental health. The last thing I want is to see is free-on-entry healthcare removed from our lives for selfish reasons. It’s flawed, but it’s the right system to have in a civilised society.

I still live with my issues. They’re better but they’re not gone. They’re probably never going to go. In fact, I had a minor crash last week. Those who follow my YouTube channel might have noticed there was no Chatty Corner update video. This was why. I lost two days to ennui and poor motivation. I needed time to collect my thoughts. This happens sometimes. Admittedly infrequently these days, but it’s still known to pop up.

But why am I saying all of this? Because I never want to crash again. I constantly want to get better. And what’s a better way to tackle my issues but to make them public? Show the world I am not ashamed of these issues, but that I want to tackle them, and talking about them is the biggest step anyone can take to do this.

But I also know that there are others out there who suffer, and I hope that by sharing my story I can make those people feel better by knowing they’re not alone. There are people who watch my videos and get great enjoyment out of them, and there are people who’ve even sent me messages saying I’ve cheered them up while they’re down. This is for those people. You are not alone, and you can get better, and even though you will continue to have your demons, dealing with them gets easier. And I just hope that someone finds this and takes comfort in knowing that even those who do their best to entertain can suffer too.

And remember how I said I want to see that stigma broken down? The only way it can improve is if we talk openly about this kind of thing. So there we go. I have spoken openly about it. Which is definitely not easy.

Also, as a closing note, Nigel Farage, let’s get back to your argument about the NHS, shall we? The NHS definitely is flawed and needs improvement. But even a flawed system can produce great things once in a while.

I should know.

I’m a flawed system.

And I like to think that once in a while I do great things too.

And that’s better than something cynical, selfish and opportunistic any day.

  1. March 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks for being open. There are lots of people out there that share your pain. http://lilypupslife.wordpress.com/

    • March 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you for your supportive comment. This isn’t a topic I normally blog about, but I felt that it was important to get it out there for this exact reason – there are lots of people out there with issues like this, and these stories need to be shared.

  2. Theorbofwisdom
    August 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    This has been up for a long time, I’m sad I didn’t see this sooner. First of all, thank you for being honest about your struggles: they really resonate with me as I have struggled and still struggle with social anxiety and have had close family members who have suffered with depression.
    I too often feel as though I am uninteresting, which shows with my patchy YouTube schedule and is the reason amongst other things I’ll probably never reveal my voice or personality on my YouTube channel.
    You are an extremely interesting person. I have watched your Tomb Raider Let’s Plays multiple times for your wonderful dry sense of humour and charming obscure references. I wish I could donate more money to your patreon, but alas, I am a poor student!
    I hope you read this and it gives you encouragement to keep doing what you do and to never doubt yourself. You have given me hope by sharing your experiences. Again, I wish I’d seen this earlier, I hope it’s not too late to be relevant.

    • August 27, 2015 at 10:21 am

      It’s definitely not too late to be relevant. I’m glad my post helped in some way, as I know it feels better to know that others have similar issues, and I’m sorry that you struggle too. Thanks for the encouragement in regards to my videos – in fact, they were one of the big reasons I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be. By making them, I allowed my sense of humour and other good qualities to show through, and I’m genuinely proud of what I do. And one thing I’ve learned is that if anything made me uninteresting, it was the anxiety, and that’s also helped me improve over time. As a result, I’d encourage you to try voiced videos, even if just as a temporary experiment. You never know what might result from it!

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