This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.
If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’
I wake up before my phone alarm. I’m anxious and fearful as to how the next 48 hours will go. I’ve got to start it right though so let’s hit up the restaurant for breakfast: sugar free Alpen and croissant hold the dishwater, if I’m going into the big bad world, the least I can do is have a proper coffee. Patient A & Patient T wish me luck albeit they can’t quite believe I am doing this. No guys, don’t worry, I can’t believe I am doing it either!
Back to the ward I head to get my 2 days of meds and my bag. The nurses wish my luck and remind me to have fun… have fun, yes, that’s what a spa trip should be about. Why then do I feel sick at the thought of it. I love spa’s. Fully fledged fluffy bathrobe wearing spa goer normally. Not this time though. I’m given the ward number and told I can come back early if it’s too much for me. An aborted home leave is not a problem I am assured. Urm, yes, it is. I can’t abort this if I go. I’ll be 2 hours away and my sister would then be stranded. If I go, I must go for the whole time.
I don’t do my teeth; I’m going to do them after my proper coffee back at my flat. Straight into a taxi I get and then, I am on my way back. Why am I nervous about going back to my flat? The cats are there; this should be exciting. Time flies and in less that 20 minutes I am at the front door. Ok, you are not Patient C anymore (or at least for the next 48 hours) you are just C, you can do this. Up the staircase and I can see 4 paws and 2 little noses poking at me under the wonky door. Oh, you did miss me!
Walking into the flat is strange. It’s pristine thanks to my cleaner and smells like home but for some reason I don’t have that warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach that I usually get. The cats look at me warily but quickly realise it’s me and start pestering me for food and treats. Oh, it’s so good to see them. I’ve never been a pet person but one night, after one to many glasses for wine, a friend suggested that I should get one for company. Well, one thing led to another and now I have 2 Burmese cats that I adore. I unpack my hospital items and leave them on my bed ready to be packed again on Friday morning. In goes a swim suit and I’m ready to go. I sit down on the sofa and the cats come join me. I’ll make myself a proper coffee in a minute.
Turns out that minute is actually a 1 hour nap. WHAT. Have I seriously just wasted my 1 hour at home falling asleep? Bugger. Ok, well no time for real coffee, I need to go and get my sister.
I’m nervous about picking her up. Once she clicked how bad my depression had got, and just why I needed 15 minute obs, she started to speak to me differently. I get it, she loves me and I’ve worried her but I am still me. She speaks to me as if she needs to tread on eggshells. She doesn’t. It was nothing she did or could possibly say that made me get this depressed. I want things to be ‘Normal’. It’s not. As we start the journey she has that look in her eyes. It’s a look that I am starting to get used to. It’s a half pity, half scared look. What I really want to say is that I’m ok and I won’t kill myself at the spa, promise, you can step down from Sister Watching Duty. It’s going to take 2 hours to get there and I don’t fancy her staring at me this way for the entire journey. I move the conversation onto a ‘safe’ topic, let’s talk about her! The next two hours pass uneventfully thanks to Adele and Spotify. My sister and I both think we can sing, it’s a myth, we cannot, but from the inside of the car, we belt it out.
When we arrive, we call mum. The signal at the hospital is shocking so I’ve not spoken to her in days. Oh, golly, she’s got the same worried tone of voice as my sister. I also have to break the news to her that I’ve got to be re-admitted on Friday. She doesn’t take it well. I tell her not to worry, it’s all going to be ok and I’ll get it all sorted with work then quickly pass the phone to my sister. She’s going to have to calm mum down, I don’t have the energy for it right now. I am normally the strong one of us, the one who ‘fixes’ us and sorts out any problems. I’m not used to letting my (older) sister take control.
Up in the room and I have no choice but to deal with my body hair. This does not go well. It would appear I am allergic to the gel foam surrounding the blades and my legs are currently swelling up with a rash. Excellent, as if I’m not self-conscious enough, let’s add an unsightly rash to the mix.
Spa time commences with 25 minutes of laps in the pool. I love swimming and I’ve only recently started going again. Swimming helps me process things and tune out of the world. It feels good to be back in the water. Next up, 1 of the 9 different thermal bath rooms. I sit down in the warmth and watch the pretty scenes being projected onto the ceiling. Shit, what am I doing here? Keep calm and carry on working your way around the spa. So, I do, and when things feel too much, I call on the mindfulness hand/ breathing techniques. C’mon, I got this. It’s a spa, of all ways to acclimatise, this is surely the best. Why then do I want to go back to questionable carpet room?
After shrivelling up like a prune in the thermal spa rooms, it’s time to hit up stretching by candle light. It’s relaxing and it’s a whole 50 minutes that I don’t have to speak. I didn’t know I found stretching so relaxing.
Back in the room and it’s time for my first sip of alcohol in over 10 days. Oh, hello lovely golden bubbles, how are you? Champagne is always a good thing. My aunt has presents for my sister’s upcoming nuptial and some family jewellery for us both to share. Then, I feel my second pang of jealousy ever towards my sister. The first one was only a few months ago. Our mum gave my sister our grandma’s wedding band. I was gutted. Of course, it’s my mum’s jewellery and consequently hers to give away but when she died, we each had 1 of the 3 main bands; I got the engagement ring, my sister got the eternity ring and the wedding band was for mum. 3 rings and 3 of us, tied to our grandma forever. You can probably guess what is coming next. Our aunt produces our paternal grandma’s wedding band as a gift to my sister. I’m gutted. My sister looks at me but, as I always do in life, instead of saying or showing what I feel, I plaster on a smile and say ‘I’m fine’.
We head down to dinner and now comes my first sip of red wine in quite some time. It does not disappoint. Dinner is smoked chicken; gnocchi with butternut squash; poached plum. It’s at this point that I remember, once I’ve consumed dessert that, yup – bugger I’m allergic to stoned fruit. It’s a new allergy so I can be forgiven but the itchy tongue and ears is not fun. All this on top of itchy legs from the razor earlier today, great.
On the inside world, I don’t have to remember to take my meds, they are brought to me. Day one on the outside world and I nearly forget to take my nightly dose. Again, I am floored by the fact I am 30 year old woman who now can’t complete simple tasks.
I can’t face brushing my teeth, this means my 7-day streak for night teeth will be broken. Damn it. Instead, I get into bed and hide under the duvet with iPad. I can’t get to sleep even though I’ve taken my meds. I watch Madagascar and Madagascar 2 whilst working out how to survive tomorrow with the hope I stop feeling guilty for wasting my aunt’s money and start enjoying this amazing spa.