I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of February already. It doesn’t seem very long ago at all that we were all caught up in the chaos of Christmas and I was wondering how I was going to keep the smile believable throughout it all.
New Year was a difficult time personally, I found it very hard to be around all the positives of people making New Year’s Resolutions to improve their lives or achieve more in 2017. All I wanted was to wake up and have the darkness gone, to be free from the cloud that hung over my head like the rain clouds in cartoons which pour down on one character, while the rest of the world is in glorious sunshine. It goes without saying that 1st January 2017 started just the same as 31st December 2016 ended, the depression didn’t magically disappear just because the date changed.
It’s been a long and challenging first couple of months of the year, with my little lady experiencing medical problems, resulting in the need for an operation sometime soon. The anxiety is already sky high for that as any surgery is a massive risk, but I’m trying (but mostly failing to be honest) to not worry about it until it actually happens. Then just as things settled down with her, school germs hit and like seemingly everyone else at the moment, tissues and cough medicines have been all our lives have consisted of for a while.
I haven’t been able to achieve much with this blog, or with anything frankly, yet this year but I have had time to think about things as runny noses and coughs have not meant for much sleep.
It’s all well and good the GP giving me anti-depressants and sending me away, but pills don’t fix everything on their own. When I have a migraine, although I take pills, I also have to lie down in a quiet and dark room. If I have a cold, I may take pills to ease the symptoms, but I also need rest and fluids. Medication helps but it doesn’t cure, and expecting my demons to just disappear because I’m taking some pills isn’t realistic.
As I said in my last blog (20), I have been trying to do things to help myself, getting up every day and getting dressed, eating regularly, going for walks etc etc. Although it’s an incredibly slow process, I am finding myself talking to my friends more and the Husband and I are getting along better so I am hopeful that progress is being made.
What I have been thinking about most though is the words I use to describe my depression. Words like “battle” and “fight” and “struggle” are things I say almost every time I talk about it. They’re very combative words and maybe that’s part of the problem.
For almost half my life now I have had a mental illness, it is always there, I am never completely free from it. It’s been there when I used to get up at 4am to go to work, it’s been there when I gave birth to our eldest daughter, it’s been there when I stood in front of my Husband and said “I do”, it’s been there on the day we were told our youngest was well enough to take home from SCBU after 6 weeks of not knowing if we would ever get her out of the hospital. Through all the good times – and there have been so many – in my life, all the memorable events and the less memorable, but equally happy occasions, my darkness has lurked in the background.
I guess my point is that without my illness, I don’t think I would be me. It’s not a life I would ever choose, and when the cloud is at its heaviest, I wish with everything I have that it would just go away and leave me alone, but perhaps without the demons in my head I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. Maybe it’s time to accept I’m stuck with the pesky little blighters.
That doesn’t mean that I’m going to let them run riot, take over and destroy me, but instead of facing each day as if it’s a war, them against me, maybe I’ll take each day as it comes. Sure there’ll be days when they’ll persuade me that a duvet day is better than going out, but if that happens then what’s the worst that can happen if I don’t force myself out? There will be times they won’t want me to go shopping but we’re not going to starve if the cupboards aren’t full for a day. Obviously it’s a balance between letting them have their days, and making sure I have mine as well, but too many days of forcing myself to do something I really don’t want to and suffering the mental effects afterwards can be just as counterproductive as doing nothing other than sit on the sofa all day.
Time will tell I guess, but I’m going to try not being so hard on myself. Not fighting with myself, but accepting that some days will not go as I plan. Hopefully it’ll make the days that do go as I want feel like more of a success and maybe, just maybe, one day every day will be a success. I may be stuck with the demons, but they’re stuck with me too.
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