I don’t think I’ve written anything here for about a year. It’s been a year of extreme highs and lows. I won’t bore you with all the details but I do want to talk a bit about how I’ve been feeling. So indulge me.
Last time I updated we had just moved house. It was an incredibly stressful time and I was wound very tightly. I also gave up the demon drink for the best part of the year, which meant moving house was a journey I experienced through the jagged glare of sobriety. The house is wonderful and moving was the best thing we’ve ever done but the stress was obviously building even back then.
I started drinking again before Christmas, after limping miserably through the summer’s holidays and barbecues with a tonic and lime and a rictus grin. I wasn’t a happy soul and I decided it must be the drink that was missing from my life.
Well, you can imagine how well this panned out. I started just drinking on ‘occasions’. But then of course it was Christmas and everything is an occasion. I was finding all of the things a struggle, and having a glass (well, okay, bottle) of wine of an evening was an effective way of drowning out the thoughts in my head.
Between working full time, trying to keep the house at a reasonable level of hygiene, keeping the chums happy, fed and looked after, and all our other commitments, I had nothing left at the end of the day, except usually a bottle of wine. My weeks were blurring together into a smudged grey mess of just holding it together. I’d lost my mojo. I was in a cycle of feeling numb all day, having a drink to feel some emotion, and then suffering crushing guilt and self-loathing at yet another hungover school run in the morning before work.
I visited the GP but it was a rushed appointment and I didn’t like the ADs he prescribed so I stopped taking them after a month. I tried several things to sort my own brain out, rather than admitting defeat and seeing the doctor again. I got a cleaner, went part time at work, bought a puppy. I even dabbled in exercise. But I was being sucked down the plug hole and true to previous form it culminated in a dramatic meltdown and being signed off work and put back on (different) ADs. But that was just the start of phase two of the ridiculousness.
Depression is a tricksy wee beastie. For me it manifests in utter self loathing and revulsion. It makes it very very hard to admit my feelings to the people I love, because if they knew how disgusting I was they would hate me the way I deserve to be hated. So I plaster on my best attitude and soldier on through because if I can convince them all I’m worth loving, then maybe I can convince myself. At the same time I fall into the self fulfilling prophecy trap by behaving like an utter lunatic; whether that’s drinking too much or spending money I don’t have, or procrastinating past the point of no return on important deadlines (like paying bills or posting letters) A trite example: I’d watch the washing piling up in the baskets and think, ‘see, if you were a real person you’d have sorted that by now’. And then instead of behaving like a real person and sorting it, I’d put it off until the pile became a towering mess in need of scaffolding. That really typifies the pathetic level of avoidance I’m capable of when I’m under the weather. I can’t work, because I can barely leave the house, I couldn’t (can’t, really, still) deal with real life at all. I had about an hour’s worth of oomph each day and that got me through the school run and back to my nest on the sofa. Tragic and ridiculous.
So time trundled on, as it does, oblivious to my melodramas which all ended up, gradually and then all at once, with a suicide plan. Because everything made sense then. Without me around ruining their lives, everyone would be much happier. Life insurance would mean the mortgage was paid, so Rob could work part time and have lots of time with the kids and his music. They obviously wouldn’t miss me because all I did was make their lives harder, I’m disorganised, chaotic and shouty and awful. So this plan formed over a period of about four months, I suppose. I’d put away a stash of the unused medication from my previous GP visit just in case, and I’d looked up the doses to make sure it would just be a nice calm drifting off and not a horrible drama.
In the meantime I just carried on, and I shouldn’t imagine anyone knew just how dark my brain had gone. I didn’t verbalise it at all. I had huge swings from total sobriety to nightly blackouts from week to week. I dabbled in self harming (in an ill thought out 90’s revival) as a way to remember I’m a real person. And this ended up being a turning point because, fortunately, Rob found out and lovingly but firmly suggested I get help.
Help came in the form of the paramedics at first (not as dramatic as it sounds, it was a bank holiday so I called NHS 111 for advice on what to do about wanting to off myself and they sent them) then the Crisis Team. They are wonderful souls who visit every day and call to check in on me. Oh, I was a proper mess for a few days. The not getting out of bed or eating or showering part of the depression had kicked in. I was safe, I’d come clean about the pills (although hadn’t felt able to give up my stash, just in case), but I was in an utter breakdown.
The psychiatrist told me I have an Emotionally Unstable Personality (I know, shocking, right?) and gave me some different meds, and a referral to group therapy twice a week. Oh and told me not to drink (duh). I’ve been in the new regime for just over a week now and I have most definitely turned a corner. I’m all about the recovery now, fuck depression, what a waste of time that shit is.
It’s been an odd week, as I’m not allowed to drive just yet so I’ve been pretty much housebound. I’m still very very anxious so even walking the dog is a Herculean task, but I’ve been doing lots, and I mean LOTS in the house because although my brain is still working against me, I do have energy (finally!) so I have been keeping as busy as I can. I’ve cross stitched and decluttered and moved furniture and all sorts of improving activities. And having stayed in bed for nearly a week I now find myself only needing a few hours a night. Hence writing this blog at nearly midnight.
I made two of these in the last couple of days, just as a fuck you to my addled brain. Stitching is great for stopping the fizzing and wah wah wah-ing in my head. And I can give them to my friends to buy their affection 😉
So that’s all my stuff lately. Basically I went a bit batshit but I’m on an upswing now, I’m not ready for the world yet but I thought I’d update here as a sort of toe dipping exercise. I’m sorry it is TERRIBLY me me me but fuck it, if I can’t be self indulgent here then where can i?
Plus also, it’s Mental Health awareness week, so check me out being all topical and shit. This isn’t actually the blog I intended to write tonight but it kind of got away from me and now that I’ve written it I think I’ll go with it, I think it’s good to talk about this stuff. If I’d broken my leg I’d have written about it so I don’t think my broken brain problems should be kept hush. I’m sorry if it’s hard to read, and please don’t take it personally that I didn’t confide in you or let on before. I couldn’t. But it’s much easier for me to write things than to say them, sometimes.
Anyway. That’s all for now but I will keep you posted as to how I’m doing and not just shut myself away anymore, it’s not good to keep it all in.
Big huge love xxx