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’
It’s Thursday and I get up later than usual. I am not 100% committed to going to day care today. I am still playing with the idea of having a day at home, in pjs, with the cats, watching movies. At the last minute though, I have a change of heart. No, I binged last night, I am bottling up some of my emotions so day care would be the best place to get some help. It may help prevent further binging too. In order to get there on time, and to avoid a taxi sized dent on the credit cards, I grab a cereal bar, throw on my clothes and quick march it to the bus stop.
I get there with time to spare and it would appear we are going to be a very small group for therapy today. There is only 4 of us. This is both good and bad. We’ll all get time to speak but that means the others may remember to hold me accountable to talk. I am not sure I want to talk today.
I check in stating that I am scared to admit to good days. What if all the support falls away. Therapist A (yippee, she’s back) and Patient P state that my doctor has seen this all before and my friends should understand there are going to be good days and bad days. I know, and how silly to be scared of admitting when things are good.
Patient P asks if I want to be held accountable. Oh, I don’t know. I start babbling but slowly, I move onto a painful topic. A topic I carry a lot of shame about. Shame is bugger of an emotion. By virtue of it being shame, I feel ashamed talking about it. The tears start, one by one, trickling down my face. At least they aren’t snotty, loud tears this time. I talk, they listen and Therapist A chimes in a little. Maybe because it’s a painful topic or maybe because I’m cooped up with the shame, I don’t seem to hear a resolution from the Therapist A or the group. I feel a bit like the conversation has been wound down and parked. I don’t know how to feel about this. I want help to feel less shame, I want to know the magic answer please. It’s not going to exist in this session, that’s clear but I am a little confused as to what’s just happened.
I head to lunch and spot that Patient L is back, I am so pleased to see her. She’s not re-joining Group 1 as she’s here to tackle a different problem this time round but still, it’s lovely to see an ‘original’ patient that I consider a friendly face.
Patient J3 joins me and it’s veggie lasagne followed by pecan brownie. Patient J3 can tell something is up. I try to stop the conversation going anywhere by simply stating it was a difficult first group. He wants to know more but I don’t have the energy to tell him anymore. Once finished, he heads back to his ward and I start talking to Colleague who is sat on the table next to me. Colleague is laughing at how ‘perfect’ I want everything to be. They are right, it’s somewhat mental – as in genuinely – how I like to present a perfect front. I move to join Colleagues table and it turns out one of the patients on the table is lucky enough to have inherited questionable carpet room 2 days after I was discharged. Well new(ish) patient, let me tell you some secrets of the room. It’s a relief someone else is annoyed by the stains. Colleague has a 1:1 so leaves and I stay talking to the other two patients on the table. I feel out of it; this morning has wiped all my energy units out. I am meant to be meeting a friend after day care but I am not so sure I can cope with that. I lie, I say I am looking forward to it. I ask the two patients what I should do and they agree that going is the best answer as long as I can be open and honest with the friend. That is not an issue at all, Friend GG was the first visitor I had after being admitted.
Session 2 and it’s another small group. We all check in stating that we feel exhausted, no one feels they want to talk. I babble about my worries about getting better. I don’t like awkward silences. Patient H starts talking. He’s ready to admit things aren’t as happy and rosey as he’d been saying. I want to point out that this is rather obviously, one doesn’t get admitted here for a break! He explains the dynamics with his father and I push him to ask why he feels the need to parent his father. Given my recent revelation about turning up as an adult to my mum, I seem to think I’m somewhat of an expert. He keeps trying to counter what I am saying but I just keep on reiterating the point. At the end, he checks out as saying whilst I may have been provoking him, it’s actually useful and something he’d not thought of before. I don’t mind being called a provoker if it’s going to help someone!
So, therapy over and I am meeting my friend in 30 minutes. I can’t face walking so I get the bus. But, I do get off one stop early. My fitness is awful. I am going to test out not being punitive so I am going to tell myself, via telling you, that it’s ok. My fitness will improve if I keep moving, it’s understandable that you’ve been binging and not moving. Patient C, just keep walking. You can do this.
I arrive slightly ahead of my friend so take a seat outside. Any chance to get some fresh air and vitamin D is very much needed. When she arrives, we order Aperol spritz which signals the start of summer. As we continue to talk, I realise I need food though, I am tired… This is good, I tell Friend GG what I need. We talk about day care tomorrow and the fact I am going to my mum’s for a party to celebrate Sister’s wedding. I don’t think I can face both events so I am seriously toying with not going in tomorrow. Friend GG agrees that I should be kind to myself. It’s always useful when a friend validates what I am thinking. To do the double whammy, I also tell her when I need to go. I’m shattered and this has been a busy day.
I toy with the idea of a taxi but my credit card can’t handle it so bus it is. I get off a few stops early, I am going to get the bits I need, a face cleanser, some sugar for my coffee and try to post a letter I’ve been carrying around all day. This is good. I am walking around and I am doing ‘Normal’ chores.
I get the bus home and I am shattered. I don’t think I can even face up to watching tv. I mean, come on, who can’t face up to tv?! So, into pjs I get and I have a pounding headache. I seem to think a Cadburys cream egg will solve this. I’m still not sure if I am going to go in tomorrow. I should, but, I am exhausted. Going home means I’ll have to put on my bravest, smiliest face to the family friends. There is no way my mum will have told them the truth, that would be too shameful. Maybe having a day at home before facing the party is sensible. I also have chores that need doing… the litter tray, blog write ups, washing (both the clothes kind and the body kind). I am missing colouring/ dot-to-dot too.
Just to finish the day off, I get a nose bleed when I blow my nose. Oh great. This signals that it’s time to head to bed. Fingers crossed tomorrow is better than I think it’s going to be.