A while ago, I wrote about how I believed I was gaining my freedom from depression, and I am. I have good spells and low dips, sometimes a dip so hard it pulls me right back to the mindset of brand new mum me. Baws deep in post natal depression, where everything was too much, no end in sight, life and child both a chore.
To say those lows don’t frighten me is a lie. As much as child birth will forever be with me, the two awful and turbulent years that followed have scarred me just as much (minus the vagina tears). Depression is a dark and powerful beast, we know that. It takes the life from people daily. To think about my journey can take my breath from me, in a panic. To know how low I sank and to know there is lower still. And to know, that despite best efforts, there’s not much a person can do if their mind is set on destruction. My depression is still largely confusing to myself and still a bit shaky and terrifying. Like being constantly on the edge of tower with a 100ft drop. Mostly you can balance or stumble and catch the edge, with enough strength to climb back up. But what happens if I fall? What happens if my beast escapes and decides to full force boot me from that ledge?
Currently, I’m perched on the ledge with my crazy sitting beside me, making those stupid faces your siblings would do behind your parents back just to piss you off. A swift punch to the gut would sort my siblings out, but this crazy scares me more than any brother could. Punching and screaming only levels up my crazy, gives it that wee bit more juice to mentally thrash me.
Just like I didn’t see depression sneaking in the back door after my daughter was born, I’ve neglected to see she’s been here the whole time. Slowly sneaking out her cage, much like Jess sneaking a sweet from the pack under the radar when I’ve told her ‘no’.
Depression is a sneaky wee beast
How the fuck could I not see it? Hindsight is dangling huge, massive, ‘are you fucking kidding me?’ alarm bells in my face. The snapping, the guilt, the self loathing, the quick anger bursts, the somewhat manic thoughts and behaviors, the extreme highs in emotions and attitude, the negative perception of others and the relentless, ongoing struggle I have to connect, completely with my partner.
How did it get to this point, again?
Honestly, fuck knows.
I never expected depression to be an acute illness. I believe, for me, it will be chronic, it will be life long. Not in a pessimistic way, I just know I have been broken and the repair is going to be forever more. That’s fine, I can deal with that. In fact, it has improved parts of me. For one, I actually believe in depression. Shocker I know. Depression is a nasty and debilitating illness. From this grew a new understanding and empathy for people. Lets not get excited and say I love all fellow humans. I don’t. The vast majority still do my tits in. At least now, I don’t exude negativity towards them (that’s a lie, I will give the finger at the drop of a hat). I understand people are largely products of their environment and life. They get a little more leeway now. Everyone has their own level of crazy to deal with on a daily basis. It does well to try and give people as much kindness and, albeit it through gritted teeth sometimes, a smile. You never know what a person is going through.
Silver lining and all that
Depression has taught me, that the strongest people I know, are those that have battled this beast or who are battling any form of mental beast. Or who are supporting those who battle illness, and still have the kindness to support others. And the kindness to support themselves. A place I hope, when this bullshit beast simmers down, will return again.
For a long time, I’ve been relatively ok. I struggle with my ‘mood’ on a regular basis. I am by nature (or nurture) a negative wee nelly. Sarcastic and prone to the odd (frequent) moan. That’s fine. We all sit on a different spectrum of the personality traits, mine are a bit more towards the ‘eye roll’ and ‘did yea, aye?’ rude side. I balance out all the nice fuckers on the wheel.
My go to answer or outlook, for anything, is usually ‘no’ or a negative judgement. I think, for me, depression can slip in very easily between the sheets. Whats another ‘no’ in a mind already crowded with them? It’s easy for the beast, to pull up a chair and grow it’s depression army without so much as a whiff of suspicion from me. It then draws me to this point, my low point. My ‘yup, that’s me, depressed as fuck again‘ point. Angry and upset at myself. Angry I worked so fucking hard to break free from that monster. Months of heart breaking, exhausting therapy. Months of medication. Years of ugly cry, break downs and pleading with my partner that he is better off without me. Years of mentally battling every single fucking thought about friends and family, not believing I am worthy of my partner, far less friends. Battles, that I still fight daily, yet to a lesser extent – on the great days.
Depression hit like Hulk PMSing
I am fucking exhausted and fed up of the constant mind bullshit. Crazy really done a number this time and has physically drained me. I’m at a point of ‘sailing’. Coasting the waves trying not to piss off the crazy, add stress or generally think about anything. All the while I’m freaking out, trying to work out if this is the lowest point in my whole depression adventure, or that I’m just more aware and scared to relive the torment of the last 3 years. I don’t know if this break down is just a temporary glitch in the Matrix, or if it signals something more. Is it just the accumulation of stress and pressure or is this really a breaking point. I don’t know.
It’s not worth thinking about, wasting mental energy fretting. I know this. But that’s like trying to tell a toddler not to jump on a bouncy castle. It’s not going to happen. A depressed mind is quite and loud all at once. Over thinking and frozen. The prospect of the future doesn’t scare me but it does panic me. Much to the delight of anxiety. She starts the racing heart club at 1am then strikes up the ‘lets think about all this other shit’ band. It’s very hard to simmer, relax and ride out the storm when your mind is doing it’s very best to drag you into the worlds shitest club during the early hours of the morning.
I’ve crawled/fought from this space before, and I know I will do it again. Just this time, there’s a strong scent of frustration. Something bugging me, something not letting me simmer and adding masses of stress on my fucking aching shoulders. This time around, I know the strength it took to wade through the last time, a strength my mind is telling me I don’t have, nor do I want the pain of therapy again. So of course I’m scared and hoping my inner beast police will show up and wrangle the crazy back into the box, with little intervention form myself.
There’s a time and place for therapy and medication, I’m not sure if this is right for me just now. Not that I’m opposed to either. Although I would give therapy a hard pass, it was brutal. Effective but fucking brutal at some sessions. For my own stubborn attitude it’s best to give some breathing space to my mind. Let it do what the hell it’s doing, throwing a shit fit for whatever reason, then I’ll step back to the plate and ask ‘you awrite there pal? Feel better eh? Got that out your system? Good, can we get back to life now ya fucking idiot.’
I don’t take defeat or losing lightly. I’d rather smash your monopoly board than let you win. Therefore, I don’t take kindly to my mind taking the reins and bashing me to the ground. I always knew a lapse would come, I just never expected it to be so painful and powerful. And pretty darn scary.