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 which means another day off day care. I’ve arranged to have a coffee with my manager at 0900. My manager offered and not in a ‘work stalking’ way, in a ‘do I need anything’ way. I appreciate it, a lot. However, having given myself 30 more winks at 0715, it’s now 0820. Oh Patient C, get up get up get up. The teeth don’t get done, instead is some substitute gum. There is no time for porridge and the only way I’ll make it is by the expensive but familiar mode of transport, a taxi. On route, the taxi has a very minor accident and wing mirror is knocked off by a white van. I take responsibility (emotionally). Yes, me the passenger in the back seat who has no control over either vehicle, I think it’s my fault. ‘If he hadn’t taken this job, he’d not have had his wing Mirror smashed’. Patient C, regardless of your shame about your school grades, your nom promotion years or anything else, you’re simply not that stupid! You had nothing at all to do with it. He’s a taxi driver. He’ll be used to minor bumps and scrapes. He’s not even pissed off and it’s his cab. It’s a wing mirror for goodness sake. Hardly the costliest part of a vehicle. Put that guilt away and get on with your day. That rhymes! Maybe it should be the internal rhyme on repeat in my head?
Let’s move onto the far bigger stress of this morning, meeting my manager. Patient C, she’s not perfect, she makes mistakes too. She doesn’t have all the answers any more than anyone else does. So, remember, she’s human and therefore, like the other 7 billion people on this planet, shouldn’t be viewed as perfect or better that you. Different is allowed but not perfect or better. For anyone I put on a pedal stool, I instantly struggle to communicate. Having discovered I revert to a child when stressed only this week, that’s exactly what happens to me when I speak to people I put on a pedal stool. I want to impress them, I want them to like me, I want them to think that me, Patient C is good enough for their time. See how I get myself into a tangle with my brain?
So. Deep breath, lift those shoulders and away you go.
My manager is human. She’s lovely and human. I try not to apologise for being ill but it somehow slips out slightly. She tells me to stop worrying about it, I’m not missing anything. I regularly blurt out I want to come back. I do, but I am also acutely aware that I am not ready yet. I don’t think I am strong enough for the busy office just yet.
Something came back to me a few days ago. I had a flashback to sitting in a team meeting at work facing the window. The team around me seemed so perfect. So in control. So on top of everything and winning at life. I sat there thinking I wondered if I could break the window and jump out. The suicidal thoughts weren’t new. As I’ve said, I’ve been in denial about ill I was for a really long time. Everyone has it together, 2 others were up for the same promotion as me and they were perfect and I was, well, I was slowly but surely losing my mind. Literally. There was a trigger tinny sudden down fall at the beginning of the year but honestly, this was all going to come out at some point. The trigger could have been anything and at any time, it just happened to be a work event. I keep telling my manager I want to come back. I don’t want her to give up on me. I want to know I can still go back. I just don’t know when. We say bye and she offers coffee at any time. This makes me feel so much better. I think I’ve even managed to be ‘Normal’ with her. I just wish I’d done it months ago.
I walk home. This should technically be re-phrased as I very slowly putting one foot in front of the other. It’s takes 25 minutes longer than it should but who cares hey? Yes, Patient C is going to say sod it. I don’t have to walk perfectly. Instead I amble along and look in shop windows and go at my pace. WARNING: Happy bullshit is coming up!
I keep stopping to look at the flowers. Yes, I know, I’m going there. I’m about to say how beautiful nature is….
Nature is so beautiful. I’ve never slowed down when walking to look. The flowers are amazing. The variety is incredible. Yes, Patient C who last night thought she’d. Ever get out the black hole has just turned all happy clappy on you. I’ve also noticed some street art that I’d never seen before. Goes to show that slowing down sometimes really does make a difference.
Warning over: yes, I know, I’ll try not to be so ‘earth mother’ about my recovery.
So, home and a banana later I’m going to take my girl cat back to the vets. Then, I’m going to do something for me this afternoon. Colouring I hope. It’s been a while and I’m missing it. I don’t need to deserve it, I can do it without earning it.
The cat gets the all clear and my boy cat seems very pleased to see us back again. I ‘make’ lunch, which means I stick it in the microwave for 3 ½ minutes. Whist it’s doing little circles and being nuked, I get changed into the trusty pjs and dressing gown. I am not going back outside today. The universe seems to be on my side about this too as it’s looking particularly grey outside.
Once lunch is consumed, I decide to finally do some more colouring. I don’t need to earn it. I can do what I want. So, with Sky Disney providing the entertainment (Aladdin no less), I can crack on with another cat picture.
A couple of hours later I am start another movie. I am not sure I completely get it but it’s a distraction and I am now on the sofa. I’m hungry so I get a snack and… yes, this goes a bit wrong. I eat a bit too much. Not a lot too much, only a little bit too much. It’s too much though, little or big. My step count is at 8,500 so not ‘enough’ to work off the wafer biscuits I’ve just inhaled. Oh, Patient C, please stop with this. There are two causes to binging. 1: my emotions and 2: not eating enough in the first place. This mini binge is a mixture of both 1 and 2. Crap. I should have dinner as planned. I should eat a proper meal to prevent this becoming a series of mini binges.
I colour some more, I make some calls, I plan an early night. But, I’m getting obsessive about the colouring. It’s a rule that I can’t stop until I’ve finished that number. It’s the cat colouring book and you only use 5 colours per picture. I am on colour 3 of 5 and I am not allowed to stop until all the 3’s are done. Then, I really need to clean the litter tray. Then, I really should get some blog posts done. Before I know it, it’s 0115 on Friday morning. Damn. My aunt is coming to London today. She’s staying with Sister but I am a bit apprehensive to see her. This is partially fuelling my behaviour tonight. I wrote her a very honest and frank letter and this will be the first time I see her since she read it. Deep breath Patient C, you can do this. Today has been a good day, yesterday was only one bad day. Keep going and soon you’ll have a few more good days. Don’t ask me how I know this but I do, so trust me, your screwed-up mind.