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 with the alarms and whilst I don’t get up, I am awake and roughly on schedule. This is a good start. I have an iced & spiced bun for breakfast. Whilst I know this isn’t a healthy option, I stop at one so at least it’s not a binge.
After bun time, it’s wash time. Yes, I am going to get in the shower, wash my hair and top it all off by brushing my teeth. It feels good.
It’s going to have to be tracksuit trousers but I dress them up with a super soft jumper. Heck, I even blow dry my hair. The buzzer goes shortly after and in walks a whirlwind of little girls. Children are brilliant. They have endless optimism and just their presence in my flat picks me up. My goddaughter, Girl EC has started walking over the last couple of months. To top off the cuteness overload, she’s also started talking. It’s not really words but she’s expressing something. Girl EC, the younger of the two, takes a liking to the cats. Last time she was here she was a lot smaller so the sudden furry movement scared her. This time, it’s the cats who are scared as she runs around trying to catch their tails. One cat resorts to the top of the kitchen cupboards whilst the other cat doesn’t learn his lesson and hopelessly keeps going back for more. Friend FC and JC have brought presents in the form of pastries and set to work putting the kettle on. How very British. A good cup of tea really does make the world a better place. We talk, a lot. They want to help and I am very grateful. I am most definitely not the hostess with the mostess today as I’ve forgotten that young children can’t survive on pastries and tea alone. They must eat a proper lunch so a couple of hours later, with 2 somewhat traumatised cats and 2 very happy giggly little girls they head off. The cats breathe a sigh of relief. I get to picking up the debris the whirlwind of giggles has created out of thin air.
Once they’ve headed out, I hit the sofa and eat another pastry. This manifest itself into a slow and long all day binge. The day is not completely lost though. The boredom of the sofa sets in and I relocate to the study desk. I start some blog write ups but can’t face trawling through difficult emotions so move on to adult colouring. I sit there for hours focussing on picking the ‘right’ colours and staying within the lines. It’s good though. Don’t knock the adult colouring phenomenon until you’ve tried it. There is a reason kids come back happy from school having spent most of the day colouring!
I’ve not left the flat today but I’ve had visitors so I am counting this as a win. I also washed and got dressed so no need to beat myself up.
To keep on track with sleeping, I get into bed at a sensible time and even manage to open a book. Depression is a concentration thief. For me, this manifests itself in the inability to concentrate on a book. Tonight though, I start to feel the love of reading coming back. I have to read the chapter twice but I am absorbing it. I am not looking forward to tomorrow. Mother’s Day lunch could be interesting. At least I must leave the flat though. That’s a positive.
I wake up and my pjs are damp. I am having nightsweats with my nightmares. It’s a real thing, I promise you. It’s not pleasant either. I get up roughly on time, that’s two mornings in a row. The positivity somewhat stops there though. Rather than face the emotions I have about seeing mum later, I eat them instead. I tell myself it’s ok but it’s not, we all know that. I love mum, very much. I’m still nervous though. She’s doesn’t understand depression even though I’d bet my mortgage on the fact she has it. I’ve have 2 texts reminding me to print off the return label for the eBay order. It’s texts so technically she’s sticking to the not-calling-me-so-much request but still.
I plonk myself in the study and get colouring. I am not dressed yet but that’s ok, I’ll obviously have to dress to leave the flat later so colouring in pjs is allowed. The time goes quicker than I want it to. I really wish I could stay in my safe cocoon but I know that’s not possible. I taxi it (yes, again) to the station to meet her. I’ve put on a nice skirt but only mascara, not a full face of make up. I wonder how long it will take mum to point out I could have made an effort?
My sister, the one who was meant to be sorting the presents for today, is running late and hasn’t got everything. Great. I’ll distract mum in Boots whilst she turns up and then scoots round the train station shops to make up the present deficit. Mum surprises me, no comments about how I look. Sister has obviously prepped her well. She hugs me in that comforting way a mum hugs you. It’s comforting but also slightly too tight, like mum is worried to let go of me and squeezing tightly will keep me safe. We skirt round the serious topic and wait for my sister. Mum hasn’t completely changed, as sister approaches, mum let’s slip:
“Nice of her to have made an effort!”
This is said with a heavy ladle of sarcasm. Ah, mum, there you are!
We all bubbly talk about nothing in particular to continue to avoid the elephant in the room. Oh well, works for me. Walking over to the restaurant and maybe I’ve judged this wrong. Maybe this afternoon will be better than I thought.
We arrive and mum shows us her holiday snaps. We give her the presents. We eat. On the surface, we are a normal set of daughters treating mum on Mother’s Day. There is a lot of unspoken tension building up though. It starts to slip through the cracks. It starts with when will I go back to work. Oh mum, I wish I had an answer for you but I don’t. I had no idea I’d be off this long but right now, not being at the office is the right thing for me. Next up, slightly later in the conversation, she starts to drop hints about exercising. Yes mum, I know. I’m acutely aware of the expanding girth. She keeps telling me how much I am loved though. I know that, mum does love me. But mum is mum and she’s only doing what she thinks is best.
Sister comes with me to drop mum back at the station. The black thoughts don’t even flit across my mind. I am relieved. The day has gone better than I thought and the station hasn’t phased me. Sister needs to collect some toiletries for next week when she elopes. I can’t believe it’s next week. I can’t believe I won’t be there. I know it’s for the best but oh it stings a bit. We part ways and I go to collect the jeans order. Taking a quick look, I think they’ll fit. Also, M&S has run out of yum yums so no chance to buy binge food. On the way out to the taxi rank, I stop by the store I normally buy my reed diffusers from. Ok, they are not on offer but like I said in a previous post, this isn’t an option. Clothes and luxury perfume were an option but reed diffusers are not. I cannot cope with people thinking my home smells bad. They give me a big discount mainly because I think the cashier can’t correctly apply a % reduction. The matching candle is the last in stock and it was the display candle so I get confident and ask them to discount it. This not only works but poor maths skills on top means they’ve applied a generous discount to all the items. Hooray for me.
Back home and I get to work laying out the new diffusers. Ahhh, peace at last that the flat can’t possibly smell. I sit back down to finish yesterday’s colouring. I still can’t face any blog write up but I decide that’s ok. Tomorrow is Monday and it’s a day care day. No chance of locking myself away. I might not feel great but I don’t feel as bad as Friday. Before going to bed, I remember a gift card I got given for my 30th birthday. It’s a rather generous one at that. I was saving it to buy something special. Something I can keep. I go online and find a pair of beautiful earrings. Given my birthday is next week and this voucher is from last year, it seems the right time to get myself yet another treat. At least this one doesn’t damage the credit card! I’ve arranged to get them sent to the store in the station, that way, I HAVE to either walk home from the hospital or go out on my non day care days. All in all, a rather successful end to the day. I go to bed doing some Sudoku.