Saturday, 3 December 2011
An unwelcome guest returns
Although an equally unwelcome guest is with me at the moment....Depression.
I've talked about my depression and mental health in general in previous posts HERE.
The black cloud of gloom descends without much warning. It brings with it extreme anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, and a great feeling of isolation.
There are triggers of course. I can glance back over the past few weeks now and recognise little incidents that have contributed, but at the time they go unnoticed. As anyone who suffers with this debilitating condition will know, it can be terrifying. For me the worst symptoms are being exhausted but unable to sleep, waking in the middle of the night and bursting into tears. Feeling like every innocent comment from those close to me are a personal attack...and worst still no communication at all which leaves me thinking that my loved ones have deserted me. This is paranoia at it's worst of course. And it's important to keep telling oneself that this is exactly what it is. And that's the first small step towards recovery.
I was awake most of last night and an email from my brother popped into my inbox at around 4.00am. It was 2.00am his time and he was up waiting for a call to collect his daughter from a function, so dropped me a line or two. He made some comment which would normally go straight over my head, but I took it as an attack, and responded badly. He replied saying that he wasn't attacking me...and what was I doing up at this time? Was I depressed again? He understands. He has occasional bouts of depression too. It's hereditary in our case...my father also suffered. So my brother said all the right things. He told me that it was OK to shout and rant at him whenever I felt like it...he doesn't mind because he knows that sometimes it's necessary to have someone you feel safe enough to do this to. He knows he can do the same to me whenever he's down.
It takes an enormous amount of effort to drag oneself out of this bottomless pit. Something I have had to learn how to do for many years. Writing about it here really helps.
It's essential to drag yourself out of bed...and this is really hard at times...get out, and do something for yourself. I forced myself to do this today. I caught the bus into Milas to get my hair cut and coloured. I can't explain how difficult it was to do something so simple...but it worked. It's another small step.
It's important for anyone who has a depressive personality to find someone to offload to. My brother was there just when I needed him. He reminded me that it's only a few weeks until I will be in England to hug my grandsons. My brother will also be getting a huge hug from me too.