Category Archives: Talk about depressing

Depression: a little understanding

I’m aware that a lot of people are unsure how to deal with it when I have a ‘turn’ or let’s be honest, when I get depressed, again.

Although it will never be as bad as it was that first time – once you actually KNOW that you’re depressed, the signs, what to look out for and how to cope with it a little better, I think falling quite so deep into that spiral happens less often – it does happen, and it doesn’t take someone dying, or having a fatal disease, or being penniless. That’s what I always thought. I can’t be depressed, can I? I have no reason to be. Well, brains and brain chemistry, genetics, thought and behavioural patterns don’t work like that. Most of the time it just sneaks up on me, often when I have a lot going on in my life at the same time. It all adds up.

Imagine if you will, one of those joke tins where you open the lid and the fake springy snake pops out? It’s like that….. all the thoughts and stresses and worries of life are being stuffed into the tin and at some point or another, one of them is just too many and the lid just pops right off and that’s me done, I can’t manage to stuff it all back in, I have to sit and deal with it all.

It’s not all about being sad and crying and moping around (although I do tend to cry an awful lot, at the drop of a hat at these times, mostly through the pure frustration and helplessness that I feel in that situation) and it most certainly isn’t about ‘cheering up’, ‘thinking positive’ or ‘pulling myself together’ or any other of the nonsense that someone who has never experienced depression will no doubt say.

It’s about nothing. You feel empty right where there should be joy or rage or in fact any emotion. You feel bereft of anything, rather pointless really. You’re not all that sure why you are put on God’s green Earth because you’re not worth the shit on someone’s shoe.

Getting up is a struggle, being awake seems like the most difficult thing in the world. Being around other people is exhausting because it’s taking everything you have to pretend that you’re there, to nod and smile and make the right noises in the places where you think you should. It’s pretty much taking all that you have not to get up and walk away as quick as you can, back home to where it’s just you, where you feel safe.

The most I will feel during this time is a knot, right at the centre of my chest, a physical sensation that everything is completely tangled up and I have no idea where the start or the end is.

So I back off from everything and everyone for a while. I go to work because I have to but apart from that, I do little else. I say no when I’m invited out, I stay home and mostly in bed. I don’t even go to the shops because I can’t stand people looking at me. Sometimes, I’ll get ready to go out just to get a little way down the road and not want to do it any more. I will get so upset that I will turn around and go home. At my worst, I would force myself out, only to get there, think that everyone was looking at me and thinking how absolutely disgusting I was, have a panic attack and have to leave and go home, feeling even worse about myself. Thankfully, after medication, a fair bit of therapy and successful hypnosis for some awful confidence issues, it’s not this bad.

But this is where the problems lie with relationships, you have to work at them. When I’m having a bad time, I back off, and go quiet and non communicative. People then quite rightly back off in return, they don’t hear from me, or I always say no to invitations, so there’s no contact…and the less contact there is, the less I want and the harder I find it to make contact again.

I know that when you haven’t had any experience of something, it’s very hard to understand. When you’re a positive, outgoing, confident, optimistic person, you don’t see how the smallest thing (a bus driver shouting at you that no, he doesn’t go to Goodge Street) can play on your mind and send you spiraling into an internal monologue of self-doubt but please, try to be emphatic. Try and see. Because honestly, the very worst thing that you can do is turn the other way and ignore it. To tell someone that nothing is wrong, that they shouldn’t feel the way they do. Believe me, they wish with everything that they didn’t feel like this, that they could stop the whirling negativity that constantly spins around their head telling them that they aren’t good enough or how stupid they were to just say that or do whatever it is they just did.

If you really can’t get your head around it, just have a little compassion, drop them a text, tell them you’re there and be there for them when they occasionally pop out of the black cloud. Depression can be terrifying, don’t let someone be terrified and alone.

Tagged , , , ,

Just Ask;

..First of all, just let me say that this post is only password protected because I know not everyone wants to read ‘emo’ stuff on blogs and that a good old moan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

See, I know that not everyone ‘gets’ depression. Some people are eternally positive, happy and optimistic. And some of us aren’t. If you are of the ‘snap out of it’, ‘just get on with thing’s’ or ‘what have you got to be depressed about’ school of thought, I’m asking you to move on and keep those thoughts firmly where they belong…in your little brain.

So you see, I’m giving you the chance to escape now before I get really into it. If you just come here for smiling pictures and a little chuckle then you should run along.

~ : ~

Lately, as some of you ladies know, I’ve been feeling a little lost…at sea perhaps. More or less since I got back from my visit to the UK, I’ve not been able to shake off a niggling feeling of something. What that something is, I’m not sure but it is unsettling, emotional and un-nerving.

When I was pulling myself through depression, it helped to think about the reasons why I was upset, what had got me in a panic, and then I could mostly talk myself out of it in a rational way. This time though, I can’t really put my finger on  it.

Last year, when I left the UK, I was only just getting back into my stride. I was only just beginning to see little glimmers of myself again. Only just about comfortable in other people’s company, but I felt like I had left my friends behind, out grown them. Living here has been wonderful for me in terms of my confidence and stress levels and I have re-emerged, a little worse for wear and certainly changed but still me….so you see, when I went back to visit as the healthier, happier me, I realised that I hadn’t outgrown my friends or left them behind, I’d just put myself behind a huge brick wall that everyone was on the other side of. I had removed myself from my life and made one that was safer for me at the time, one with only a few people, where I couldn’t get hurt and could try and untangle the mess without anyone looking on, without anyone realising what had happened.

I don’t need to do that now though, well I didn’t think I did. Visiting my friends and being happy and comfortable around them made me realise how far I have come and that I was ok back in my life surrounded by people I know and love (I’m useless with people I don’t know!!)…the hard thing now isn’t me, or how I feel…it’s that I’m miles away from them all, in a different country…. and now I’ve come back here, I feel like i’m being sucked back into the little isolated world. I’m spending more and more time indoors by myself and I don’t want to go out because I’m shutting down and building walls….

Some days I feel ok. I still laugh. I still feel happy now and then. Suddenly it will engulf me. This grey. The panic. The crush in my chest. It’s like something has shifted. Like one side of the shelf has fallen down and all the things I knew are sliding off and I don’t know why and I can’t pick them up and fix it because I don’t know how.

I know there’s one or two of you out there nodding along (and I love you for it) and the rest of you may have no clue what I’m going on about…. but really, I’m retreating back into my shell that I built around myself, after a good few years of trying to get out of it and I’m scared. I don’t want to do that again but I’m not sure what it is that’s making me creep back inside.

It takes Time, Patience and Understanding.

Reading Blue Soup’s blog today, reminded me of what my state of mind use to be like.

It was a tangle of confused feelings that I neither knew or could find the start of and didn’t think I had a hope of untangling. I wandered around under a black cloud and would have panic attacks at the drop of a hat. I sat at my computer at work many times, with tears rolling down my face and would get so worked up at the thought of some situations, that I would make myself ill. I was constantly aware of the knot of sadness in my chest. It was there every day no matter what I was doing. I closed the lid on my overflowing emotions and tried to force them to stay in. I became scared to cry for fear of never stopping. I couldn’t even recognise a feeling of happiness because I was too scared to feel.

With the help of my councellor (and myself), I worked through the strands that were easiest to untangle. The sadness wasn’t there 24/7 but it was still there, waiting to ambush me if I let my guard down. Over time, with every strand that I untangled, with every issue that I dealt with, the sadness decreased but it was still there. When asked how I was feeling, I knew that I wasn’t feeling alright, that there was still a knot in my chest.

Reading Soupy’s post about how she has been feeling made me think about how I am feeling. Days here tend to blend into one, working from home makes every day the same and I struggle with missing my friends and things from home but I can take a moment and appreciate what I have.
I still get inexplicable black days, but I can pull myself out of them and I’m certainly not afraid to cry any more. It’s better to cry when you feel like it, than to bottle it up. Sure, I still don’t watch sad films, or read a book that I know will be sad, I just don’t feel that I could cope with it. I am by no means ‘better’ but I have changed my situation, my life, done something for me. I know the triggers and I know more about how I need to cope with them.

…Today, when I looked for that knot of sadness in my chest, it wasn’t there. I am happy. Perhaps I’m almost ‘me’ again.

Should this be a secret?

I think maybe it should, but i can’t be bothered, so just the second part will be password protected…

After almost a year of councelling, the date of my last session is agreed. It’s in 6 weeks time. Who knows if i’ll ever be ‘right’…I don’t think i even know what that is any more, so how can i know if i’m ‘better’? I know there’s still something, becasue when I try and think about it, it makes me cry, but i can never get a grasp on what it is.

ell anyway, let’s say a whole lot of sessions have gone past and this week, something came up that hasn’t before. It’s something that I think i’ve known for a long time, perhaps always known but never wanted to admit.

As soon as she asked, it clicked.
I’m lonely.
I have been for as long as I can remember.
At least now, I think i know a big part of the problem that I just couldn’t figure out.

Evil Nostril

Which has nothing at all to do with my post but everything to do with the picture on the front page of wordpress as you log in.

I’m swimming through treacle.

It’s like i have someone elses bottle top glasses on.

I feel like i might snap, like a thin shard of glass.

If i shut my eyes, the room would spin and i would fall over.

My chest is going to burst or cave in, i can’t tell which one.

Almost as though i’ve drunk way too much coffee.

If i laid my head down, i’d be alseep in seconds.

I don’t know what’s worse, having a migrane or having no migrane but feeling like this becasue of the strong tablets.

That’s all, i can’t do anymore.

Side Effects

I have new very strong new migrane tablets from the doctors (hooray!) and also some anti-sickness tablets to stop me wanting to vomit on the train…but who knew that it could all be so complicated…

Just incase a chimp is reading the instructions for said anti-vom tablets, it helpfully states:

“blah blah…This helps your digestive system to work properly. It can also stop you from feeling sick (nausea) and from being sick (vomiting).”

Now, sorry, but if someone needs that kind of explaination then i don’t think they should be in charge of administering themselves with tablets. Should they?

Then, as we move on to the side effects, things get a bit more sinister (bear in mind that i’m taking these as coming of my anti-depressants is making me a bit woozy):

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • feeling restless and distressed, or feeling anxious or confused

  • swelling of the tongue

  • skin rashes

  • drowsiness or exhaustion

  • constipation

    Now it gets freaky:

  • odd movements of the face or other parts of the body

  • production of breast mi lk

  • breast enlargement (if you are a man)

So, now only will i feel more distressed, anxious, tired and faint…. but i will also look like a lepur becasue of my skin rash, be winking and jiving about all over the place with no control whatsoever and oh yes…..lactating.

I think i’d rather feel sick….

Keeping my councel

Monday, February 19th.

Last night was my first session with my counselor. I think that was the hardest i have ever worked for 50 minutes trying not to cry.

My hands were twisted into eachother. I was so nervous.

I think i managed to untangle some of my feelings and explainations of how i feel at the moment. She said that she understood all that i was saying and that my meaning came across clearly. Which is good. I struggle to explain exactly what makes me so sad alot of the time, but she seemed to know where i was coming from.

I’m fed up of being sad. Down in my heart, something hurts. I’m not sure what, but it hurts about 90% of the time.

The matter seems to be that i’m ‘not ok’. No matter how much i think i should be. No matter how much i pretend and tell myself that i’m being silly. I’m not ok. I’m not ok being me. I’m not myself right now and i haven’t been for a long time.

So i have to admit it. I’m not ok.

A major issues appears to be my self confidence and the way i think about myself. The thought processes that i go through and how they snowball out of control. I compare myself to anyone and everyone, and not in a favourable light. This is something that we will be working on trying to reslove and if i’m honest, i can’t wait. I can’t wait to like myself.

All in all, i think it was good. I think it will be good. I hope it can help me.
I want to be ok. I want to be happy again and i want to be myself, not this person crouched down in the shadows surrounded by the Fog.

At the end of the session she said that it was clear that i was trying to be ‘ok’. That i was strggling the whole time to control my emotions. That i was trying to stay composed. I hope that in time i can relax enough in her company to let the pain show, but i’ve been hiding it and trying to control it for so long, i don’t think it’s going to be that easy.

And so it goes.

I cut. Pain sears. Skin breaks. Blood flows as the hurt escapes from inside of me. No panic, just pain. All i can think of is the stinging. Look at the blood, tiny little beads breaking through. Watch as it carries the worries away.
It’s mine. My thing. My blood. My control.
People notice. It’s visible. They question and accuse. I’m ashamed. I don’t cut any more. I leave the worries inside of me. They amass like grey thunderclouds round my mind. They can’t be shaken off or explained away.
They wait. Patient. Silent. Ever present, more dense an unexlpainable.

I can’t ignore them any more. The panic wells, the clouds rush. The tears come.
Chest contracts, tight. Breathing is hard. Unfocussed. I need to get it out. Get the worry out, it consumes my brain and smothers my heart. I scratch and it stings. Focus on the stinging. Feel the nails drag across the skin. Concentrate. The cloud lifts a little and i can breathe. But i know they will be back. I can’t let me guard down, i can’t relax.

The First Time

I don’t much remember the first time. My brain didn’t store it to the ‘file and archive’ memory banks. Probably because i didn’t think it would be anything significant at the time. I didn’t think i’d be doing it again.

It didn’t leave much of an impression. There wasn’t much blood or pain and afterwards i’m sure I wondered why i’d even bothered.

But I do remember the fourth or fifth time.

I’d used the blade from a pencil sharpener, one of those metal ones. Unscrewing it with my compass when i found that wouldn’t do the job i’d wanted it to.

Further up on my arm this time, not round my wrist where people could see it, but further up under the sleeve of my school shirt.
They were never deep or long, just enough to sting and draw blood. Unfortunately I cut deeper than I had intended this time and the blood soaked through my sleeve.

I can’t forget the remarks from some, including my closest friends and boyfriend of the time. Did I really want attention that much? What was wrong with me? Attention seeker, stupid, sick.

And I can’t forget the kindness of someone else, a true friend. She took me to the toilets and gently cleaned it up, pressing tissue to my arm until it stopped bleeding. Not once did she question me and she’s never mentioned it since.

Sadly, the taunts and jibes didn’t stop me. It just made things worse.

Skin Deep

I don’t think that i’ve ever been very comfortable being me.

Even when i was younger, i never quite felt like i fitted in with the other kids or with myself. I guess i never knew who i wanted to be but i was quite sure that it wasn’t me.
I would often look in the mirror and wonder what people thought when they saw me and heard me talking. To me, it’s makes sense. The thoughts in my head are logical and i don’t think the things i do are silly….. but then what does everyone else make of it when they see it from behind their eyes not mine.

I’d hide away by myself reading my books and getting lost in a fantasy land and it’s not too different now.

I find that when i go out, i’m standing on the sidelines and feel like i’m just looking in on everyone else. Even when i’m with my friends it like i’m on the outside.

I think it’s because i’m so self-conscious. Never very outspoken and i’d rather people watch and listen to conversations than go ploughing in with my stories.
People have commented before that i seem aloof, standoffish and a bit of a snob, but i think that’s just how i come across and it’s completely wrong.

Maybe i should put people right when they think that, or maybe even try and make more of an effort to be talkative and get involved, but i often think ‘why should i?’
If someone isn’t willing to approach me instead of all the other people who tout themselves around more, then perhaps they aren’t really that interested in getting to know the real me.
I would rather stand back and let someone approach me because they want to get to know me, than be all in people’s faces and not really give them much choice.

Apparently i should be more confident. I should think more of myself. I should be bubbly and chatty and talkative like my friends.

But then i wouldn’t be me. I’d be pretending.