Despite the fact that a couple of my close friends have suggested it in the last few weeks/months, I do not believe that I have depression currently. I am convinced that I would be able to tell if I did. I can recognise it now. I feel it in my body and I don’t feel it now. And one of them suggested that maybe my depression had changed but I can’t think that because I need to know that I will recognise it when it does come back again one day. So I think that all the crazy in my head at the moment is caused by anxiety/PTSD. Not depression.
I had a really bad episode at Easter. My doctor called it a ‘conviction’ but I think that’s just a nice way of saying that I was kind of delusional. I thought one of my best friends was going to die on Easter Saturday because I saw it happen in my head and I basically started believing that it was some sort of prophetic vision despite the fact that I have never shown any talent for prophecy before. Suffice to say it was stressful, I was a wreck and I think I did a good job of scaring one of my closest friends with the things I was saying.
Anyway, since then it’s just been up and down. Never as bad as Easter where I was actually believing the lies my head told me. But basically I have a few weeks off and then a couple of weeks where I see all these horrible things in my head all the time and the pressure just builds and builds with all these things that have already happened and that might happen until it suddenly passes. Then I have a few weeks off where it’s just occasional flashes of things and then it starts all over again. And I’m so over it.
And six weeks ago I started seeing my friend dying again and I got so scared about it getting really bad in my head again that I fell straight back into an old addiction because even though I knew it was bad, I also knew that it would work to drown out all the mess in my head. It’s four weeks today since I stopped again. Instead I’ve been watching TV. I’ve had a two month holiday almost and I’ve watched 6.5 TV series. And I was away for two weeks so basically that’s just over a TV series a week. Except this week where I think I finally got sick of sitting on the couch so I’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles because things in my head are pretty calm so I’m less worried about what would happen if I wasn’t distracted. I wish I could read but I don’t think I have the concentration for that at the moment.
The thing which keeps coming back to me though is wondering if this is just going to be what my life is like for ever? Because I don’t want it. But I am so scared that this will be the rest of my life. It’s been almost six years since I woke up with depression in year 9 and I’ve had one year off from mental health issues in that time. And I look at my mum and she’s been on medication since I was about 4-5 years old I think and I don’t know if she’s had depression that whole time but she hasn’t come off the meds and it’s been 15 years and surely she would have if she was able to, right? And that just scares me. I don’t want it. It’s exhausting.
I was trying to explain to one of my friends about this and she told me that I have to stop not wanting it in a way that exhausts me. That doesn’t even really make sense. Not wanting it doesn’t exhaust me. Living with it exhausts me. The idea that I could be living with it for the rest of my life exhausts me. And then she said that maybe it was just my ‘cross to bear’. And she’s my friend and all but her saying that just made me want to slap her. And maybe scream because what the frak am I even supposed to do with that? And on top of it all, she then suggested that I could want to get better.
It’s not the first time this has been suggested to me. I have another friend who’s mentioned it on more than one occasion. I think it is honestly the most frustrating thing that they could ever say. As if I like this! As if it’s something I want. And, yes, I get that I have a kind of screwed up relationship with my depression and anxiety/PTSD at times, that sometimes I think it has a weird protective purpose or that I need it for some reason but that DOESN’T mean that I like it or want it. And wanting to get better would not miraculously make me better no matter what some of my friends might think. I know that a lot of the time they think that I don’t try to stop the thoughts and images in my head but I have tried and I do try. I’m just not very successful and I already kind of hate myself for failing at that without them implying that if I wanted it more then I’d be better. Like it’s my fault I’m like this. I understand that a lot of this I do to myself but that doesn’t mean I do it on purpose. That’s just the way my brain works at the moment and changing the way your brain works isn’t as easy as wanting it.
I saw my doctor on Monday. I came off my meds about two months ago so I am officially medication-free for the first time in four years. It doesn’t feel any different to when I was on them which is also how I know that I don’t have depression at the moment. It’s gone for now. Originally she was thinking a different type of medication but after seeing her on Monday when I got quite worked up about it all we’re not doing that. I’m back to seeing her weekly and we’re going to be doing yoga and talking about stuff which happened. And, yes, I did just say yoga. That’s supposed to help and as my psychiatrist is also an almost-qualified yoga instructor, I have hesitantly agreed to give it a go even though in all likelihood I will feel incredibly stupid and I’m not allowed to wear jeans to our sessions. I made some comment about how we’ve never talked about anything which used to happen at home but my doctor said that we have talked about a lot of different things I just don’t remember talking about them which is apparently part of the problem. So now I have a regular appointment booked every week till the end of the year which is rather intimidating but kind of a relief because maybe it’ll work. Maybe.
I want it to because sometimes I feel that I don’t know myself anymore. Or maybe just that I’m not who I wish I was. Or that I just used to like myself more. Or maybe just that I used to be better at this living thing. I’m not sure. I just flicked back through some of my old blog posts, back to the beginning of last year, and I don’t even recognise myself in them. The girl writing them was positive and hopeful and she talked about God like he was actually a part of her life. I don’t even know where I’m at with God. I still believe in him and in what the Bible says but I’m not even trying anymore to talk to him or read my Bible. A couple of months ago, during semester, I was at least trying, if not very well, but now I just don’t see the point. I didn’t see it make any difference to my life and surely it’s supposed to have some kind of impact, right?? And it just wasn’t. I feel so apathetic to everything and it kills me because people expect emotion about important things and I just don’t have any to give. I want to feel emotion about God and what it says in the Bible and about all of that but I don’t. Maybe I should pray for some but I’m not sure if it would be answered because I don’t if I believe that it will be because my friend says I don’t believe prayers can be answered and I don’t know if she’s right or not. Yes, that’s very cyclical.
I should go to bed. I’m trying to have good sleeping patterns. I should also eat more consistently so I’m trying to do that too. I think my stomach has shrunk because I’ve only been eating two meals a day.
This was an essay. Props if you actually bothered reading it all. Bed time. For you too. Night.