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Erastes [userpic]

voices in the dark

January 26th, 2015 (09:42 pm)

So, here I go, pulling myself up by the fingertips, slowly up the sides of the hole I seem to have been in for many many many months. I'm making no promises as to "what I'll do and when I'll do it by" but as we all know, the journey starts with a single step, and if you never make that step (even if you have to make it several times...) you'll never get to Elrond's Gaff.

So, yeah. (imagine me making an awkward motion here, like rubbing the back of my neck or something-Disney heroes tend to do it a lot when embarrassed) depression. Yeah.

It is not nice.

If you've never had it, thank your lucky stars, pray to whatever being you believe in that you'll never get it and trip happily away, keeping only to the sunny side of the street.

Never understood that phrase in reality until now.

If you have had it, well, you know where I've been. Or am. The jury is still out as to whether I've been let out or not, or whether this is merely day release for good behaviour.

Today, for the first time in - to be frank, I don't even remember, and that's the truth - I feel more like normal than I have for whatever time length was. If you get me. As you can probably tell, I'm not terribly coherent either, which is probably a side-effect of the depression and/or not actually speaking to anyone in real life other than about once a week.

I think I knew I was really ill when I just couldn't write. I don't mean writing fiction, I mean even writing in my journal. Writing Stuff Down has always been a part of my life, diaries were being written when I was a teen (I bet they were gripping reading) and I've usually written a journal in some form or other. So when I couldn't even force myself to open the laptop, or if I had done that, couldn't face opening ANY programme which invited me to exercise the fingers, I kind of knew something was badly wrong.

It's hard to explain, it was (I'm using the past tense in a purely optimistic way) like a phobia. My BRAIN literally shied away from the computer, or at least those involved in communication which meant that I wasn't emailing-hardly even IM-ing (thereby losing touch with so many friends) except when I really worked hard at it, perhaps once a week. I have no idea why my brain was doing this to me - no one's explained it to me, all I got from my doctor was "Here, have some pills" - which will be no surprise to anyone who remembers me talking about my doctor.

I was offered counselling, which I went along to - this year? No, last year (I think). It was "Cognitive Behaviour Therapy" which appears to be encouraging people to do things they used to do to break them out of the rut.

I found a couple of major problems with this. If you are depressed you LOSE INTEREST in doing the things you used to do. I couldn't write - I couldn't even read. I didn't want to go out anywhere, I didn't want to talk to people, doing anything I used to do made me feel ill so how the hell was CBT supposed to help? The other major thing I didn't get was that the course was being run by two guys who had never had depression, so I couldn't see how they could understand one thing my brain was doing.

I skipped week two I'd been told they'd send me the course notes and homework and someone would ring me to talk - but they never did so obviously I never went back. That's all the counselling I was offered - that's all that's available here, evidently. Anything else you have to pay for.

Going out is hard. And remains hard. I wake up every single morning and think to myself: "Do I have to go anywhere today?" (other than taking Sasha out, that's indelible) and if the answer is "No" which is normally is then I feel more relaxed. Even the task of posting a letter is "going somewhere" and is an Expedition. Clothes have to be presentable, cash has to be found, brave face put on etc etc.  Going out has become a chore. Consequently I haven't been to see Dad since the summer - and although he no longer knows who I am, the vicious circle of guilt=depression=can't go out=guilt rolls around and around.

What's odd is I can't remember the past two years. Partly because every day has been pretty much the same, I suppose. I hear over and over people saying last year - or the year before? Was the hottest for ages and ages and I have no recollection of that. You'd think I'd remember the heat, but I really can't.

What's helped me get through? In no particular order:

1. Eating healthily (I've been eating clean, low-carb, although I've been drinking a lot so haven't lost any more weight). Learning to eat well and cooking and so on has helped me learn at last how to shop, how to eat normal portions and how to eat 3 times a day. Sounds simple doesn't it? But when you've never done that, just eaten what you like when you like, it's been hard to learn but I know now I have a habit that will last me forever.

2. Friends. Much better friends than I deserve. Elin, Henri and Gehayi, Lee. They've been patient. Never given me any pressure, just continued to stay in touch at my pace and been THERE. Never allowed to completely cut myself off, which I've been trying to do. Thank God for them.

3. Animals. Without the animals I wouldn't get getting up. Or getting up eating and going back to bed. Lili starts shouting at sevenish and doesn't SHUT UP, Lucius comes and sits on me and washes, aggressively, causing me to bounce up and down and as soon as I start to move I get a ton of happy waggy licky staffy-cross bounding all over me. Because of Sasha I have to go out of the house. Every single day, rain or shine and it's very hard to feel down when someone is this happy.
IMG2294. Knitting. Most definitely Displacement Behaviour, but I've knitting almost constantly every single day. The house is filling up with hats, scarves mittens and god knows what. I have parcels I should have posted before Christmas (see earlier point about going out) full of knitted stuff and I feel it's really helped. It's stopped me spending ALL of my time playing pointless PC games (not fun stuff like Assassin's Creed, it seems my lust for great adventure games went the same way as my love for reading) but pointless crap like Candy Crush, Molehill and crap like that. But knitting has at least stopped me from doing them too much and has kept my fingers agile.

Long long story short, I feel a little better, and even to say that to myself and to anyone is a huge step forward. I did some housework today (another thing that has been ignored) although don't get excited it was like rubbing an inch of ice off the windscreen the size of The Shard. I need an obsessive compulsive cleaner, but I ain't going to go to Channel Four for one.

We'll see how things go. No promises about "blogging every day" because I've just about filled you in with "my news" for the past 2 years in one blog post. Days of "I'm knitting and had leek soup for lunch" isn't going to amuse anyone. But I'm on the way up. If you look down the rabbit hole you might not be able to see me climbing, but if you shout down, I might be able to hear you.



Posted by: Marion (aunty_marion)
Posted at: January 26th, 2015 10:19 pm (UTC)

Oops, anon comment (via Facebook) was me! Didn't realise I wasn't logged in...

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:29 am (UTC)

aw - thanks dear. I am hoping - really hoping that it's turn upwards - I feel positive today as well, so that's two days in a row. Thank you!

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:42 am (UTC)

what's bdtd? i tried looking it up but failed!

Posted by: Marion (aunty_marion)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:51 am (UTC)

BTDT = Been There, Done That. (BTDT,GTTS= Been There, Done That, Got The T-Shirt!)

(You are OK to unscreen the other comment, you know!)

Posted by: Quiet desperation (lexin)
Posted at: January 26th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry you've been feeling like this. I've had depression and it sucks, big time.

Hugs to you and the animals.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:33 am (UTC)

although I wouldn't wish it on anyone, it is comforting to know that there are people out there who understand. Thank you xxx

Posted by: Angel (valarltd)
Posted at: January 26th, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC)

Depression is the black passenger and I've been wrangling him for weeks now ("Return to your seat, the Angel is in motion. I must go to work. I said return to your seat, sir!") Some days I win and go do the things I need to do. Some days I lose and stay in bed, emerging only to knit and crochet.

Sounds like he got the better of you for a while. But you're still wrangling him, and some days you will have days like today.

Handwork is therapy, never doubt it. As are your animals.

Keep climbing. We're here cheering.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:43 am (UTC)

I hope your black dog lasts a lot less than mine, it sounds like you are managing pretty well and in the right manner!

thanks my dear


Posted by: Ennui in Suburbia (irreparable)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 04:41 am (UTC)
Boat at night

As a fellow "endurer" of depression, I empathise. I say "endurer" because that's what it feels like, enduring in a long struggle against the beast at my shoulder.

I'm sorry that you're suffering. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:44 am (UTC)

It's just nice to know there are still people out there who remember me and care! It means a great deal, believe me! Thanks, hun xxx

Posted by: Plutonian #2 (moreteadk)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)

I'm glad you're feeling a little bit better and it was really good to hear from you! *hugs*

My father has/has had some of the same problems you struggle with, particularly the one with difficulties with reading and remembering. He can't read books anymore or follow a television series or sometimes even a film because he can't remember who's who and loses track of what happened two pages ago. It's been like that for a few years now. BUT! Last summer when we had our big family holiday week in the Lake District (us, my parents, Husband's parents), he found a copy of a book he had read a few times before, and actually managed to read about two thirds of it in the week we were there. In English, even, which is doubly positive because he's not very confident about his English skills. I feel like there is a little light at the end of the tunnel there.

I wouldn't be too concerned about doing so much knitting or 'pointless crap' games. There's nothing wrong with that if it helps you gain a bit of zen.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 08:47 am (UTC)

I was the same as your dad, I simply couldn't watch a film to the end, my concentration was completely shot. I started reading again last year, comfort reading mostly, re-reading Pratchett and Harry Dresdens and GRRM from the beginning and only now am finally branching out to new books, but it's not been easy. I hope your dad comes through too - thanks for being here! xxx

Posted by: Cats (catsintheattic)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 10:33 am (UTC)

I'm so sorry that you have such a hard fight with depression. Two years can be over in a minute, and they can also be an eternity.

I went through some rough periods in the last few years, and while I was nowhere near depression, I know the feeling of losing your words, not being able to write, when you know it's the thing you used to love.

I hope you'll win this fight. Am keeping you in my thoughts.

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 01:03 pm (UTC)

*hugs and more hugs*

Posted by: Iulia Linnea (iulia_linnea)
Posted at: January 27th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)

Much love. *huggles*

Posted by: I was raised the old-fashioned way (sasha_davidovna)
Posted at: January 28th, 2015 01:56 am (UTC)
R/S || shoebox_project/sasha_davidovna

I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were doing. (I had a stomach bug this week and haven't had energy for much, so I'm currently in the middle of my 9th gay historical in about as many days.) I'm sorry you've had such a rough time and am glad to hear you're feeling better! ~hugs~

Posted by: Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll)
Posted at: January 30th, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC)
Sigh by sallymn

Hello, you.

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