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’
So, it’s Friday morning and it’s early. Not early as in 0700 and why are you waking up at that time whilst at a spa early, no no, it’s 0300. An annoying repetitive noise has woken us up. My sister, ever the primary school teacher, orders us to get our dressing gown and shoes on and GET OUT! Urm, what? I’ve only been asleep 2 hours (Thank you Netflix for the Amanda Knox Documentary which kindly kept me company until 0100). I’ve taken my nightly meds so I’m sedated too. Down the stairs we go, albeit not entirely awake. Turns out this is not a test, this is actually an evacuation – minor problem, there doesn’t appear to be anyone in charge. We are assured that, whilst this is a real emergency, the hotel is not on fire. Ok then, well what kind of emergency are we talking about exactly? They don’t know but it’s not safe to go back to our rooms. Great, well, this is just great. It transpires that whilst my sedatives are good, they don’t completely knock me out. That’s useful to know.
We spend an hour sat waiting before finally being told there is a severe leak that triggered the alarm and may bring down a ceiling. Anyone other than 2 bedrooms are safe to go back to their rooms. Lady luck is on my side as neither of the two bedrooms are mine! I crawl back to bed and fall asleep quickly, for 15 minutes, before the alarm goes off AGAIN. My sister, with her serious teacher voice back on, tells us it’s fine. It’s amazing, since she’s become a teacher, she has a way of speaking authoritatively without any evidence to back up her statement. It works though, my 70-year-old aunt and I comply. The alarm stops and starts for another hour before finally letting us get some proper sleep.
I am a rather grumpy C as I head down to breakfast, still in my pjs. I decided that because this is a spa and most people walk around in a swim suit and dressing gown, wearing full pjs is not only perfectly acceptable, I’m at risk of being overdressed. My aunt doesn’t mention last night, she doesn’t push me. I’m so grateful. We have to pack and vacate our room before our final treatment and as always, I am baffled as to how I have more items than when I arrived. I haven’t bought anything yet I can’t do my case up. I’m not the only one with the invisible suitcase gremlin, am I? Packing means I am closer to going back to the hospital, back to being Patient C, which conjures up a mix of emotions. Positive as it’s a safe bubble but sad because I’ve struggled whilst here which signals I’ve not made as much progress as I thought. Last night I explained to my aunt and sister about the teeth brushing issue and as we pack, my sister has noticed I’ve not done them this morning. She offers to do them for me. No, I’m 30, leave me be. How do you explain why something so small is so difficult with depression?
After our final treatment, a foot treatment, we hit up the thermal rooms for the last time. Whilst not entirely relaxed and having fun yet, it’s the closest I’ve gotten to enjoying it here since arriving. As the time ticks on, my anxiety starts rising, we are getting closer to my re-admittance. I don’t enjoy lunch, especially as it’s later than we agreed to leave. I don’t like things out of order. I don’t like the lack of control. Just to add some extra anxiety, I also lose the pinky ring that we were only given yesterday. I feel sick! It’s found by my sister in my bag – note to self, make sure I thoroughly dry my hands as it slips off when they are wet. Thank goodness it was in my bag. The spa has given us a very decent voucher, by way of an apology, for our next stay, I only hope the ‘Normal’ me will be checking in.
The rising anxiety doesn’t dissipate. We say good bye to our aunt and hit the road, the Sat Nav is telling me we’ll be back after I was meant to be re-admitted. I know, rationally, this isn’t a problem to the hospital but it is a problem for me. I’m struggling to contain it. My sister cranks up the Adele tunes again and the distraction of belting out the lyrics helps a little. We really are bad singers! If you were on the M1 on Friday between 1500-1730; you may well have passed us in full on sing-along mode. We give mum a quick call and instantly hear the worry in her voice. There is nothing for it, we need more sing-along tunes to help me relax.
I need to stop off at my flat before heading to the hospital to get my things and feed that cats. Oh I miss them so much. They don’t seem that fussed by me and due to the time, I’m only there for 20 minutes. Bye fur babies. I hope I’ll be back home and happy very very soon.
The taxi ride is nauseating. I can’t tell if that’s my anxiety or the cabbie’s driving. He asks if I am moving (probably because I am fulfilling the female stereotype of over packing!). No, not moving, that would be permanent and this will not be a permanent thing, it can’t be. I say it’s a hospital, conveniently dropping the psychiatric part. He clicks though, of course he does, he has the knowledge, literally. There is that half pity, half worried look again. Look dude, you don’t know me, don’t go thinking you know what’s going on, I don’t even know what’s going on. To help me feel even better about the whole thing, I give mum a quick call. We got cut off on the journey back and I know she’s worried. I tell her it’s doing me good (truth) and it won’t be for long (I hope this is the truth), that I’m ok (lie) and I love her very much (truth).
It’s a quick journey and I am back on the doorstep again. Here goes nothing. As I walk back onto the ward and into questionable carpet room, I feel like I’m going to burst into tears. The nurses tell me how proud they are that I coped and didn’t abort the stay. Little do they know that I didn’t abort because I couldn’t, not because I didn’t need to. Safely unpacked, I immediately get into pjs and under the duvet whilst aggressively attacking my Sudoku. The nurses want to talk to me, I don’t want to talk to them. I know they are doing their job but please go away, I don’t want to cry in front of you yet again.
It’s an uneventful evening back inside the bubble but it’s also frustrating. When will I get better? Have I ruined my career for good? Will I ever be able to be happy again? Can I still be successful? That’s the thing with the brain, it can’t be turned off so it churns these thoughts round and round until I finally drop off watching Despicable Me. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day.