I’ll Have A Poncey Coffee And A Side Order Of Stigma Please

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’

 

 

Tuesday means day off from day care. My alarm goes off at 0700 but I stay in bed a bit longer… ok ok, a lot longer… I finally get up at 0845. I am up and it’s before 0900. It wasn’t 0700 as per the alarm but I am up. Let’s try to keep the non-binge streak up and have porridge for breakfast. I am still in my pjs and dressing gown, but that’s ok, this is only breakfast, it’s only 0900. After breakfast, I move to the sofa, this isn’t a good sign of things to come. As you are more than aware, I live by rules. This means I can’t get up until an interval. I don’t know why I think that, I am not sure what I think will happen if I break that rule but I’m conscious that ‘Normal’ people get up off the sofa whenever they want. To add to this, one of my cats has curled up on my lap, forget rules, there is no way I could disturb him. I can’t tell you what’s on the tv as I am staring at it rather than absorbing what’s going on.

 

Friend ML is messaging me and asking when am I going to leave the flat today? Good question. I don’t know. I have a delivery coming and I don’t want to go out and miss it. Friend ML raises a very sensible point, why don’t I call the delivery service and ask when it’ll be delivered. Yes, that is sensible.

 

I go and get dressed, wash my face and brush my teeth whilst I ponder on this. This is good, I am dressed and washed, on a day off day care day. I head back to the sofa as a text comes through. It’s the delivery service, I don’t even need to call them, they will be delivery at 1651-1751. Perfect, that means I can go out. Even though I am not sure I want to. Right, no, come on Patient C, get up, get outside. I take my laptop and head to the deli. This is it. What I’ve been saying I’ll do on off days is being done. I order an almond flat white and some fresh orange juice (yes, I know, that’s a very poncey coffee order, but I live in London, it’s what us Londoners do). I then take a seat at a table outside and pull out my laptop. I plan to spend the next couple of hours sat here, outside, writing up my blog posts about last week, which as you may now have read, was a tough week. It’s chillier than the blue sky alludes to but I am going to sit here anyway. I don’t write up the days for your entertainment, I do it as a release for me. Not writing up the days is because I am struggling with something on those days. It’s my barometer for my emotions therefore and the fact people seem to like it is a bonus.

 

I send a couple of messages with photographic proof I am outside. At the time, this seemed ‘Normal’ but sat here writing this a few days later, I think it’s because I need validation that what I am doing is good. I should look into this a bit more.

 

I am going to have to tell Friend ML the truth about my binging all weekend as she’ll read it in the posts. I’d promised her that I wouldn’t but I did. She’d guessed. Damn. Well, I’ve told her and this is day 2 of not binging, even though there are some amazing looking cakes at the deli. I’m not that tempted, genuinely.

 

Day 1 of stopping binging is usually the hardest day… today is day 2… so far, it’s going to plan. Each day that passes without binging, the easier and more ‘Normal’ it should feel. So, let us not get ahead of ourselves, today is only day 2 but fingers crossed, this is the start of something good.

 

I head back to the flat for lunch which is a microwave healthy pot meal for one followed by a banana. I start to think that maybe I won’t go out this afternoon. I’d planned to return some of the online orders, get petrol and head to the post office. I also need some cash from an ATM. As I start to give in to not moving again, I head the scaffolders are back. They’ve let themselves into the gated car area to take down the next door scaffolding. I think this is a bit cheeky. However, it’s good. Last time, they didn’t lock the gate properly so it would appear the universe is intervening to make me go out once they are gone. I will need to check the gates are locked. It works, I am heading downstairs to the car. This is the second time I’ve voluntarily left the house in one day. This is great and I am feeling positive. First stop is to return one online order, get cash and go to the post office. Once done, I decide not to return the rest of the online order of clothes today. I’ve been out twice and I am tired. If I save the rest for my next day off, Thursday, then I’ll have to go out again. The same applies to the petrol. Thank you, cheeky scaffolders for making me leave the flat.

 

Once back home, I carry on doing chores by fishing out the cat toys under the sofa. Please can I not be the only one who has cats that chase the toys under the sofa! There is a lot of dust under there too. Again, please can I not be the only one who doesn’t move the sofa weekly.

 

Once done, it’s time for my afternoon tea, in a tea pot of course. A proper tea in a proper tea pot is the best. It’s Rooibos so as not to impact my sleep tonight. I also have a clementine and 2 biscuits. I realise I am exhausted. Today has been great in terms of being ‘Normal’ however, I am shattered from it.

 

I crack on with dot-to-dot and finally start to reply to some texts at last. The delivery arrives and it’s a zip up hoody. I’ve been looking for a really comfy one and returned 2 in the parcels today. The new one arrives and whilst I am gutted to admit I am in L and XL clothing, it’s exactly the zip up hoody I wanted. Plus, a hoodie can always be worn big once I’ve lost the weight. Superdry, you are today’s hero.

 

I carry on doing dot-to-dot before changing into pjs at 1800. This feels like a respectable time to put on pjs and a dressing gown, especially for a person who has left the flat not once, no no, TWICE!

 

Supper is another microwaved healthy pot for one followed by yogurt. I’m tired but keep myself awake until 2130 and then, brush my teeth, wash my face and get into bed. I start reading but I can’t concentrate so instead message back and forth with a friend. This goes on for longer than I meant and now it’s quite late. Just as I’ve turned the light off, booted the cats out the room and rolled over, my phone flashes. I have a message. I have a message from someone I used to work with, who left the firm, but is now back for 6 months. They have heard I am having a tough time and want to support me. Cue panic with a side dish of anxiety and tears. What have they heard? What is being said about my absence? What should I say back? My head is spinning and the tears are flowing. I don’t want people talking about me. I don’t want this is be a big deal in the office. I don’t want going back to work to be a big thing because I am worrying that people have been talking about me. This all sucks so much.

 

Sat here typing this up a few days later, and with Finding Dory on the tv, I realise that the fact I am worrying about this is the stigma. There is so much stigma around mental health. The very fact we call it mental health rather than just health, or mental illness rather than just illness is maintaining the populous opinion that it’s taboo. Think about it, when you have a cold and can’t go into work, you call in sick and say ‘I’m feeling ill’. You don’t say ‘I am physically ill’. When you are better you may say, ‘I’m healthy again’, or ‘I’m better’, not ‘I’m physically healthy’ or ‘I’m physically better’.

 

I try to tell myself that one busy body at the office doesn’t mean the whole office is talking about me. I shouldn’t care what they think anyway… but I do.

 

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