Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Birthdays, bridges and blurgh

This blog isn't for pity, or for poor me, or there, there.
It isn't even for you.
Feel free to read it if you wish though - it may help you or someone you know or love who is going through something similar.

I wrote this in June - 2 days after my birthday but never published it.
So now I am.

This is what I wrote......

I have a very familiar overwhelming sadness.

It is sitting somewhere between my stomach and my chest and fluctuates between making me feel full (but only of sadness, never joy or contentment) or it makes me feel as though I have a huge void in my soul that will never be filled.


I use the word with poetic licence.
I know this too shall pass.
It just feels like never.
And feelings are real.
Especially when you can't rationalise very well.

Full or empty.
Neither are pleasant.

But it is familiar.
I know this feeling.
It is not new to me.

I know the lies that it tells.
I know that it isn't real.
I know that I am happy, that my life is full, I am blessed, yada yada yada.

I just can't feel it.
Not right now.

This is bigger and sucking all the energy out of everything.

My memory is currently AWOL.
I'd like to find it again, but i cant even remember when I last had it.
I cannot retain information.
I am doing my own head in asking the same questions OVER and OVER again.
I keep getting the answers - and forgetting the answers immediately.
There is no space in my head for 'stuff'.
It is full of noise and darkness.

Not that long ago, I had, what can only be described as, a heated debate with someone who I used to call a good friend. Our friendship ended during my last 'proper' depressive episode when I let her down 'too many times'
I should add, I did make plans, I did let her down.  Depression does that to you.  It traps you in the house sometimes. I tried explaining that to her and she failed to understand.  I was told I was making excuses.

The recent debate made it very clear to me why the friendship was over, with no hope of a reprieve.

Just prior to the debate, I had retweeted Stan Colimore who had written something along the lines of 'depression is a cancer of the soul'
I couldn't agree more with him.
At the time I was in the middle of having biopsies on a breast lump, historically I have had cancerous cervical cells removed, I have nursed my gran through cancer and i have suffered depression.
I felt OK in having my opinion.
It wasn't based on nothing.

My friend disagreed.
Her dad had been suffering from a cancer.
In her words 'they had sorted it now though', but she was very clear I was wrong in my opinion.

Nobody asks for cancer
Nobody asks for depression

They can both eat away the real essence of who you are
They both place pressures on relationships
They both often go unnoticed or unspoken/ignored.

Cancer and depression aint that different.
Not really.
Especially when you consider that they can both kill you - or, you're one of the 'lucky ones and get to live alongside them and/or the risk of them returning for all of your life.
The major difference is, you can cut cancer out and kill the cells to contain it.

Needless to say, my 'friend' asked me why I couldn't just jolly myself along and stop being so selfish.
So that was nice.
Cos obviously that's how depression works.

Anyway, its back and has been for a while.
And that's ok.
We have been getting to know each other.

There is the daily battle to come out on top.
Sometimes I can't be arsed to battle and sometimes it wins.
Sometimes, I fix my mask in place and my face says I am the most happiest person that has ever walked the planet.
Most of the time I am either numb, or in pain.

Frequently, I feel, what can only be described as, stabby.
Not towards other people.
It is always aimed at me.
Generally I would like to gouge my legs repeatedly from my knee upwards towards my hips.
Its a very vivid visual I get.

Occasionally I try make the stabby something positive and make it turn on itself and stab the negative thoughts.

I can be all things in the space of 10 minutes.
And that's exhausting and confusing.

Night terrors are new though.
I have always had slightly bonkers dreams, occasionally disturbing, but nothing I would class as traumatic.
Until recently - there have been dreams of being sexually assaulted, hunted, being made to watch the prolonged torture of those I love.
I am helpless.
Literally helpless.
I cant even wake myself up from the dreams.

Depressed sleep used to consume me for days - now, it is unwanted.
(anyone who knows me well, knows that generally I can sleep soundly for extended periods of time and love nothing more than a snoozle)

I'm not scared to go to sleep - I'm not quite at that point yet.
I just wish I could find some rest from the noise.

I'm not daft enough to blame my feeling on a particular event or set of circumstances.
Currently, there are people I could say are to blame for my feelings.

But that wouldn't be fair.
They are chemicals that aren't working as they should.
That's all.

Are my brain chemicals responsible for some of the things that have happened lately?
That's how I see it anyway.

And that makes me more sad.
More sad than you could know.
Because I can't help it.
I promise, if I could, I really really would.
So I go back into a cycle of self loathing.

All very complicated huh?
Or maybe not.
Maybe it just feels it.

I have almost finished reading Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haigh.
Its an excellent book.
I am scared to finish it.

Some of the things he said, completely resonate with me.
I am not suicidal - yet I don't want to live.
And its not that I don't want to live, its that I didn't ask for this.
I didn't make the choice to exist.
But I would occasionally like to make the choice not to exist - just so the noise stops.
And that's the suicidal stabby feeling - its the urge to make it stop.
By whatever means possible.

I also discovered that is why I'm not overly keen on celebrating birthdays.
Why would someone who suffers from depression want to celebrate being born (especially mid episode)?

Its nice that I can now understand it rather than just feeling even more of a freak than I do sometimes.

I imagine some of you will read this and be pulling faces.
She's nuts.
Don't listen to anything she says from now on.
Clearly cuckoo.

Yeah well, we all have mental health in the same way we have emotional, sexual and physical health.
I'm just brave enough to talk about mine and run the risk of freaking you all out.
I hope you are never tormented by poor mental health.
I hope you never love someone who suffers from depression as you watch, hopeless to make it better.

I hope you never have to say to someone, 'I've thought about jumping off bridges a lot today' and hope they respond appropriately.
'To go for a swim or to kill yourself?'
'I don't know'

I think the actual answer was to feel - cold water does that to me.
It makes my skin fizz.
It contains me.
I am safe in water. (emotionally safe)
It is my happy place.
I can make the noise stop when I swim.

Trouble is, I can't swim all day.
And it starts again when I step away from the water.
Stupid noise.