This is a post I wrote a while back when I was having a bad day. I’m feeling a lot more hopeful now, but when fiddling about on the blog today, I decided to publish it. As a reminder that the bad days do exist, they’re crap, and I’m not imagining this whole thing. Friends and family and everyone — don’t be too worried. I’m ok.
I’m not sure how to write about the bad stuff in my life without sounding like an emo teenager, but I’m going to give it a shot. I need to somehow relieve the frantic tension buzzing around in my head, and this seems as good a place as any to start. The past year and a bit has been… challenging. And that’s a euphemism and a half.
Redundancy, job-hunting, moving house (three times), general money worries, specific money worries (thanks, former employer!) and family crap left me creaking under a whole heap of pressure. I stopped sleeping and started staying up at night to just cry. Being left alone with my thoughts was my worst nightmare, and the mere thought of having to sleep alone brought on panic attacks.
Having been depressed before, I knew exactly what this was and what I had to do to fix it. But facing that all over again? The medication, the soul-wrenching counselling, the worried parents and endless question of your every emotion… I just couldn’t face it. Not on top of everything else. So I hid it.
I didn’t tell anyone, not even my boyfriend. I put on a happy face, a coping face, a brave face. And in private I crumbled. Until one night I had a major, choking panic attack because I couldn’t get to sleep. It shook my body so much that the boy could barely understand me on the phone. He rushed over, and the next day we went to the GP.
She was very understanding. She was clearly perturbed I hadn’t come sooner, and listened to all my worries and asked me what my triggers were. She gave me meds — Lexapro and Xanax — and sent me off with a promise to come back in 2 weeks, and seek counselling.
That was in October. I’ve been back several times since, seeing improvements each time. Til now. I’m due to go back in a couple of weeks and I feel like I can put “coping with depression” on the end of my long list of failures. It sometimes takes contrast to highlight something in your life, and last weekend’s anniversary celebrations seem to have crippled me in day-to-day life.
We spent a fabulous weekend in a gorgeous hotel and I was, for the most part, able to forget. But now I’m back home? I’m *miserable*. I’m sick of this brave fucking face. It’s not doing me any good. It’s not providing any sort of defence against the endless stream of crap the Universe has decided to throw my way recently — and neither are the meds.
I’m hoarding my last Xanax like a lunatic, saving it for the catastrophic event that will send me back to my gibbering mess status of a few months back. I could go back to the doctor and get more, but I’m afraid to tell her I haven’t done anything about the counselling. Guilt guilt guilt.
And now, I need to move again. Nothing to do with my housemates, you understand — I adore them and they’ve been nothing but generous, hospitable and kind to me and my tag-along lodger for months now. I couldn’t even begin to express my gratitude to them for not turfing the boy out, because I’d have collapsed without him.
Even with him backing me up, life right now seems like such a massive effort. Thing just keep going wrong. And there’s nothing we can do. Nowhere we can turn for help — not that there’s anything anyone can do. I’m just going to have to suck it up, buckle down, and fix things myself. But I’m just so tired. I need a break — physically, mentally and karmically. “Things can only get better”, I tell myself, and without fail they get worse. (There’s that emo teenager I was talking about!)
I’ve now banned the idea that things can’t get any worse. I’m *clinging* to the idea that things could be much, much worse. I need to focus on counting my blessings. But sometimes, it’s hard to even see them.
I think that’s what depression is all about. It’s not just being glum, or out of sorts, or a bit blue. It’s the loss of all hope. The chronic inability to see the bright side, to see that someday there will be a bright side. I *know* there will be. I’m not stupid. I know that my brain chemistry is fooling me into thinking otherwise, pills or no pills. But it’s very, very hard to convince myself of that some days. And those are the bad days.
Thankfully, today is a good day. I’m just done with the secrecy surrounding depression. Lots of people feel this way every single day. I’m one of the lucky ones. Writing this post has reminded me of that.
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