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 sleep until 1100 having been to bed, gotten up again and then back to bed. It was never going to end well, I think we all knew that. I am not even frustrated at myself, just excepting that it was inevitable I’d be ‘off track’. I am not sure when my mind became the almighty one to dictate ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. I think it happened over time with some ‘positive’ reinforcements along the way. It’s literally mental that I am held captive by this dictator. To stick with the theme of self-loathing, I start the binge cycle again. I have a lot of M&S food left so it’s a right little feast of things to make me feel ‘good’ for all of 5 minutes and then feel really shitty. I know this is never going to end well but it’s a coping mechanism I’ve used so much, I forget to question it. A bit like when people drive to work everyday, the journey becomes autopilot. Well, it’s like that, it’s autopilot to stuff my face with high calorie, high carb food. It used to then be autopilot to stick two fingers down my throat but having ‘un-learnt’ that technique, I need to un-learn the ‘stuff my face’ technique.
Unsurprisingly I end up on the sofa. I am still in pjs and I am now mindlessly doing Sudoku with the tv on. This lasts a couple of hours before I give myself a mini talking to. I get up and dressed. It’s only a tracksuit and a t-shirt but it’s not my sleeping clothes. I then sort the recycling and bin, clean the litter tray and load the washing machine. The pies de resistance is I unstack the dishwasher and change the cat fountain filter – I can be a functioning adult. Heck, after this program, I am even going to get washed and dressed! Back on the sofa, I also start checking my budget for this month. I need to get the debt sorted but oh jeez it scares me. Thankfully, being the beginning of the month, it’s a lot less scary than the end of the month. With the laptop on my knees, I think start blog write ups. They are cathartic albeit difficult. It’s a bit like getting in the shower. I really don’t want to but once I am in the shower, or once I am writing, it feels so good.
The day carries on with a couple of minor victories such as starting the email to the hospital with all the day care dates so they can fix their administrative error. As the evening wares on, I start to smell cigarette smoke. The building, an old large house converted into flats, is non-smoking. Unlike most flats, I am fortunate enough to own a share of freehold so we make the rules we have to live by. One such rule is no smoking. The building is so old there are cracks everywhere so any smoke, however small, seeps into the other flats. I start to get wound up about it. It’s my pet peeve especially as we have ejected some tenants because of the smoking. It can only be from the flat below me. I don’t like conflict but I am getting more worked up so, I send a text. Nothing too heavy, just a polite reminder but I send it. It takes me an hour to have the courage to hit send but I do hit send.
I didn’t wash, or brush my teeth, I also continue to eat my way through the day. I survive though. That’s what really counts. Plus, I’ve finished two colouring pictures. I head to bed at about 0100 having finished a picture that could have waited for tomorrow. No response from downstairs but I don’t care, the fact I sent the message was enough of a victory for now.
I get up at 0800. Given the late night, I am surprised I am up. I carry on eating a bit too much and then, hit the sofa. I am still in pjs, the flat is a tip and my hair is close to being too greasy for McDonalds. Yes, there is a state that even a deep fat fryer looks better than the level of grease I’ve got going on. I do some Sudoku and sit for a couple of hours.
I finally peel myself off the sofa to get my laptop. I need to send them email about day care dates so I might as well send now. When I get up, I see the paperwork from work regarding applying for long term sickness pay. This freaks me out. Not just a little bit, a lot. I read through it all and oh my gosh, I don’t think I can do this. I then see what the insurance cover is for my salary. I can’t afford to live on that! Not with the debts I’ve got. I’m scared. I am scared and I don’t know what to do. I am due back, at the latest, 21st August. As I’ve said before, this is both frighteningly close and scarily too far away. Obviously, I assume I can go back before then, when I am better but getting better feels like a mountain. I feel like my life is crumbling down around me. This may well be catastrophizing but I don’t know how else to deal with this. My chest tightens, not just from the expanding weight, my heart pounds, and I feel like I might be sick. This may of course be all the crap I’ve eaten today but it may also be the fact I am panicking. The panic attacks gets worse until I am unable to stop shaking. Panic attacks are home are the worst. There is no one around to calm me down and it’s meant to be my safe place, not a panic inducing place. I can’t face the forms today. I know that not facing them will worry me but so will facing them. I can’t win.
Ok, I read through the form again. Some of the questions aren’t as scary as I thought. They want my name, I think I can manage that, date of birth, yup, still remember that one… So, I shall tackle the easy ones first. That way, I’ve faced up to the form and I am not procrastinating. I also call Sister. That’s when I lose it. I let all the worry and panic out in blubbery, snotty, bloody tears. Yes, they are back. The tears are bac but that’s ok. It’s cathartic and letting some of the pent up anxiety out. Sister is great. She talks me through all the solutions. I can go back earlier than that, I can also not go back if I am not better. Either solution is viable and I will survive them all. She’s right, obviously, and hearing someone else say it makes me feel better. After 40 minutes of soothing chat with Sister, I finish the easy questions and pack the forms to check the more detailed questions with my doctor tomorrow.
Once done, I sit on the sofa and carry on eating a bit more. A sure sign it’s still bothering me. I start to watch ‘Little Boy Blue’. This is not a sensible choice for an emotional person. Watching a drama based on the true story of a little kid shot in the cross fire of a gang is going to tug on anyone’s heart strings. I feel so hopeless at the moment that the tears resume before the end of the opening score. Boy Cat is on my lap and I start to lose perspective. I start to think there really is no point anymore. If I can ensure my two cats will be kept together, I’ve nothing left to plan. Maybe, subconsciously, this I my brain coming up with something to protect me, to stop me actually going through with it. Either way, sat here now on Tuesday typing this up, I am pleased it did stop me. The rest of the time watching the program continues with bursts of tears and some cat hugs. By the time I am caught up on the episodes though, I start to think about things I still want to do. Things that make me happy. Things that make life ok. It makes me smile and it makes me think it’s worth carrying on the fight.
These positive thoughts has given me a bit of a burst of energy so I go around the flat cleaning and tidying what I can. The cleaner comes tomorrow and I hate her seeing it in a state. It’s ridiculous, I know but hey, I can’t get rid of all my isms. I am finally done at 00:30 so I flop into bed. I haven’t left the flat since arriving home on Friday. I’ve not washed either. I am still in my pjs today and I’ve eaten a lot of junk but…Tomorrow is day care and a long 1:1 with Dr. E. I must tell her the truth, I must admit I am still struggling.