Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Duvet Caves and Black Dog Days

Depression. It's a common illness yet still treated with kid gloves and funny looks. I have depression. 

I also have other mental illnesses, but depression and I are old friends. I've spent many a year coming to terms with it, and in time have learnt how to cope and what helps me, but every person is different. I don't like being smothered or fussed over, I used to lock myself away and sleep all the hours I could. I'd eat total rubbish and not care what it was doing to m, it was a comfort. Then I'd hit a hyper phase. and go out drinking and push my luck, try and pretend I was on top of the world when inside I was broken. Lost. I'd neglect myself, abuse my healthcare and burn myself out. I'd spend every penny I had, then feel absolute guilt and sickness, before returning as much as I could. I dealt with it in the most unhealthy manners possible.  One day, something changed. I met an amazing psychologist and she really pulled me back from the brink. I learnt it wasn't anything shameful, that the strongest people, the most driven of us suffer. To be depressed isn't to be weak. I learnt my demons don't make me any less of a person and that people care, not all will turn when the going gets tough. I also accepted people will walk away, but it doesn't mean I drove them to it. Many years of blaming myself, and thinking I was a bad person and must be the catalyst took their toll, and I still wonder what I could have done better to save one friendship or another. Anyway. I'm getting off track.

The black dog is still a major part of my life, and most days we do ok. Sadly, recent events have meant my shadow has grown and is consuming me. My depression and I have a way these days of managing, and I'm not ready to let it take the reins, not yet. As much as I want to run and hide for as long as possible in a duvet cave, I'm getting out of bed whilst morning is still about. I'm dressing and leaving the house. I take days an hour at a time and if I truly feel I can't face something, I don't push myself. I'm still making an effort and caring for my appearance, I'm eating sensibly and making sure I haven't cut people out. Sure, it isn't easy and things such as my sex drive, patience and sociaibility have taken a a hit, but I've not gone off the rails. I don't like telling people I have health problems, as then they tend to treat me differently. The pity appears, then the admiration. I never know how to handle it, and since I'm not the best a talking emotions or even recognising them, it can often lead to a alot of frustration and anger on my part, as I'm not sure if people are being genuine or not. Just carry on as before, talk to me like before. I'm still me. Just a little more fragile tis all. I will answer, but may take my time. I still laugh and smile, just not as much. I just need to take it all one step at a time.

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