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’
Good morning Saturday, how are we doing today? Not great as it turns out. Yoga starts at 0930, can I make it up for then? No, I can’t. Excellent start to the day. In fact, I can’t make it to anything before lunch. My pills, risk evaluation and daily check-up all have to come to me. In bed. #FAIL. I want to tell the nurses that I feel very low, that I am so disappointed in myself for not being better already. Finally, that I want to disappear please. Despicable Me on the iPad to keep me company and very apt it is too, as this is how I feel about myself today. To those who have braved more than one of my posts, you’ll realise that a) I LOVE Pixar films and b) I watch the same films repeatedly.
Given making decisions can feel impossible at times, I message a friend to ask if I should get up and go to lunch. The answer is yes, as most rational people would think. It’s time to run the gauntlet of the ward, stairs and entrance to the restaurant whilst remaining invisible if possible. Just as I think I might make it, Patient A2 pops up. Does she have a tracker on me? She’s thrilled to have be back on the ward. If only I was thrilled to be back. She really wants to know how it went but I am struggling to find the words. She hasn’t had much success with the change of meds so is back on diazepam she informs me. Look lovely lady, it’s great that you missed me, really, that’s lovely, but I can’t fix you. I am not a doctor. I may have lived with a bunch of them at uni but sadly, their knowledge did not rub off on me. I don’t know why my meds don’t work well for you. She wants to know if I am heading to lunch… I lie. I am not proud of it and I am sorry but I say that yes, I am, however I’m probably going to eat in my room. I have no intention of eating in my room, I say it in mild panic to avoid having to sit with her. Shit, I am a bad person.
Lunch is a veggie burrito eaten in extreme haste. Funny fact: I’ve never had a burrito before. It’s surprisingly good. I don’t recognise anyone in the restaurant. Where is everyone. I might need the ‘NEWBIE’ sign again. I keep taking side glances at the door to see if Patient A2 has walked in and that’s when I spot him. A new face that I recognise. Why do I know you? Please don’t be from my office! I’d been warned my office has a number of alumni who have been patients here. No, that’s not it. Then it clicks! I recognise him because he has given a talk at my office about mental health awareness. A talk in which I started crying listening to his story! Oh, my goodness, you are basically a celebrity to me. I was so impressed that my firm also arranged for him to come speak to us. It was a sign that they understood mental health. I don’t want to disturb him, he’s here because he needs help too. I wish there was a way I could let him know how much his talk meant to me though.
I head back to questionable carpet room and attack the Sudoku again. I find things of order very comforting. I briefly consider going to group but bottle out at the last minute. I’ve not done my teeth nor washed my face and the prospect of this happening now has just hit zero. Maintenance have arrived to look at my shower. Hold on, I didn’t tell them it was like showering in the rain, how do they know? Sadly, they haven’t developed mind reading powers, the ward is having a more general problem. Right now would be a great time to hide under that invisibility cape I have. Oh no, hold on, nope that doesn’t exist. Do I go sit in the ward lounge? No, not really an option either, I may run into Patient A2 again and I really don’t have the energy to deal with that. Sit on my bed I will then. Whilst they are in my en-suite. Excellent. It doesn’t take them too long to fix it and it appears they have also de-scaled the shower head and it turns out my shower is incredible! Hot, steamy and strong. Reading that back again, that could be taken out of context! I assure you all I am talking about the shower and not the maintenance men who were the polar opposite of that (sorry maintenance men).
I look up the person from lunch, he has a ‘contact me’ page via the web. I decide to be brave and say hello and thank you. If he wants to contact me whilst here, he can but it’s his call. I hope this makes him feel good. I hope I’m not being a freak. Oh, how do I recall it? I think I am being a freak.
A nurse comes to talk to me. Their sixth sense has kicked in that I am not ok. They want to know what they can do to help. Watch out sister, this may turn on the water works. We make a plan that I should attempt the final session of the day, Mindfulness. I agree although my resolve to go is wavering as soon as she leaves the room. I resort to my fail-safe method of asking a friend to decide for me again. Friend ML (not to be confused with friend MI) tells me to go, so go I will.
Well, the session turns out to be instantly rewarding, I meet Patient N, that’s another letter closer to having the full alphabet. Patient D joins, a person slowly replacing Patient R in terms of annoyingness. The session is not a right off though. It’s a body scan but in a lot more detail than I’ve ever done before. I don’t hit the euphoria Patient S reached last week but it does do a lot to help me. It did not feel like 50 minutes and my mind does feel a bit clearer.
When I get back to questionable carpet room, Dr E calls to catch up with me. She wants to know how the last 2 days have been and if I want her to come in. I explain, not very well, that it didn’t go to plan. She doesn’t need to come in but I think it’s good I am back here. I’m dreading catching up with her on Monday, I feel like I am failing her by not being better already. I need to learn to tell her what is actually going through my mind. Come on Patient C, if you’re going to make it out the other side of this, you need to talk to her.
I am going to try and stop being such a shit friend and reply to people. Let’s see how this goes. Text message 1, done. Text message 2, done. Text message 3, done. Oh, I’m on a roll! But then, text message 4? Nope, not today. Email to friend? Nope, not today. Ok, well that is some progress. Time to congratulate myself. That’s what I am meant to do when I make progress apparently. It’s still baffling how in a matter of weeks I’ve gone from starting the year well, enjoying work, making social plans and then, one thing tips me over the edge and has opened Pandora’s box of madness. Rationally, this was all just beneath the surface and so would have come out at some point but one thing has reduced me to a smelly, bad breath wreck that wants to end it all. I need to keep reminding myself that the year started well. I need to believe I can get back there. I’ve got to work my arse off to get back there. Writing it out helps me so apologies that you may be reading the same things over and over.
I eat dinner alone, Swedish meatballs with chive mash and the obligatory steamed veg (carrots and cabbage). It’s tasty but I can’t concentrate. There are a lot of new faces and not very many ‘old’ faces. Where have they all gone? Does everyone know something that I don’t? To cheer myself up, I remind myself that tomorrow is roast day in the restaurant. You may remember it was surprisingly good last week. As a woman who lives alone (except the two cats, we can’t forget them now!), a roast is a rare occasion. I’m about to leave the restaurant and that’s when I see it. Holy moly of all things great, is that a chocolate croissant bread pudding I see on the menu? Oh yes, it is! Right, questionable carpet room can wait, I am going to get myself some of that! Oh, and the icing on the cake, if it were a cake, is it’s served with chocolate custard too! This is 5 minutes of happiness is a bowl. If you could give this to me 24 hours a day, maybe I would be better?!
Looking through the TV guide, my recent reconciliation with Freeview may be coming to an end. Why oh, why is Saturday night TV so crap? At least with Sky+ you can watch something good that was recorded earlier in the week. I keep forgetting I can’t rewind. Ha, in fact, I wish I could rewind my life come to think of it. Back to November 2015 when this all started falling apart. Now, where can I buy a ‘Life+’ remote from?
My army of amazing friends continue to be amazing. Including 2 friends I’ve only told today. Not one friend that knows has been anything other than a huge support to me. You are all brilliant. Friend MI has been sending me inspirational quotes and a link to a support website. One of which I think is blog worthy given my fear of the stigma.
“You wouldn’t think anxiety was made up if you felt the torture of having it…#breakthestigma”
This is very true!
Sat here, alone, in questionable carpet room, I can hear some patients laughing. It may well be coming from my ward lounge, or is it above me? Either way, it does nothing for my happiness tonight. Being here can feel so terribly lonely. I want to be sat laughing with friends.
Ok, I am going to finish today feeling a bit better about myself. Yup, you’ve guessed it, I am going to brush my teeth! I may as well push the boat out and wash my face too! Go Me! Let’s just go and say I’ll attend 3 sessions tomorrow – not 4, it’s Sunday so the evening session is Salsa and I am not inflicting my two left feet on anyone. Let’s be bold, let’s also put an omelette breakfast back on the agenda! Whoa Joe! This is really something. Time to sleep and believe I can do this.