Not to be too dramatic, but there’s a very valid reason I haven’t updated this blog in a while. I HAVE BEEN TOO DEPRESSED.
I started this blog with very good intentions – that this could be an outlet for the weight of my negative emotions, whilst also documenting my experiences of mental illness to help other sufferers feel less alone and hopefully inform non-sufferers along the way. Frankly, this was naive. Of course, depression steals away the very energy to keep something like this up, let alone the motivation. Over the last year or so, depression turned my life into a mere matter of survival. I’ve gone through the motions in social situations without ever actually enjoying them, because this insidious thing within me won’t let me.
I suppose there are reasons I was getting worse, but frankly, I don’t really want to get into them. The constant analysis of my mental illness isn’t really helping and is something I have a habit of obsessing over, which just starts the cycle again. Suffice to say, the obsessive compulsive nature of my condition have made it practically impossible for me to relax, to the point where I forgot how to do it. My body shut down first with a constant feeling of exhaustion, mostly from overworking – but, again, in a lot of ways that too was inflicted by that obsessive part of me.
Hmmmm. I think I see a pattern.
Anyway, this all came to a head a few weeks ago, when I started suffering from pretty severe suicidal ideation (editors note: ‘pretty severe’ may be something of an understatement). I ended up in a psychiatric care room in the hospital where my partner came to meet me. This room was horrible. I’m not saying they need to have a mini-bar, entertainment system, art-deco style wallpaper and lighting (although…), but maybe don’t put suicidal people in THE MOST DEPRESSING ROOM ON EARTH. Seriously, ‘cell’ would a generous term for this room, this grey cubical of despair. The psychiatric nurse was very kind. The administrative staff were lovely. But all I really left with was a sheet of paper with some crisis phone numbers on there and a promise that the urgent care team would come and check on me in a few days.
Every member of NHS staff I saw was fantastic. I had a safe space until the episode was over, but after leaving the hospital it was easy to feel hopeless. When the urgent care team visited they gave me some advice and told me not to rush my recovery. But they saw I have a good support network and they couldn’t really offer me anything else, so they discharged me.
They’re not wrong. I really do have an amazing support network of friends and family, all of whom deserve medals for putting up with me for this long. My partner especially. She’s been amazingly proactive these last few weeks and has been an emotional rock. Logically, I realise that none of this was my fault. But depression isn’t logical, and there’s still a part of me that feels guilty. Guilty that it happened. Guilty that I worried everyone. Guilty that I’m not well enough to work at the moment. Guilty that I feel so shit. Guilty that I feel guilty. And, at the moment, there’s nothing that I can do about that, apart from show my appreciation as much as possible and be honest.
So, for the most part, it’s all pretty simple. I need to learn to relax and be kind to myself again. I need to take some time out and just recover. But all I can really do for now is wait. All of which, is easier said than done.
On the upside, my doctor’s changed my medication to Fluoxetine, also known as Prozac. So, let’s all enjoy the best song about anti-depressants ever written!