Last night I sat at my desk and began writing a post about depression. My depression. About how the black cloud I had worked so hard to be rid of, had descended once again and I was struggling and failing miserably to shift it. I couldn’t see any light.
I knew what had triggered it…
It hit me harder than I ever imagined it would.
I don’t think it was the actual act of hitting the big 3 0, I don’t think, however I do think it was the trigger for my toughest bout of depression that I’ve had in a while. The black cloud was obscuring my view of absolutely everything.
In that post I then explored what I thought was keeping the depression going and what possibly wasn’t:
“It can’t be because of my not keeping up with meditation because my app clearly shows me I have meditated for the last 66 days straight. It can’t be my lack of exercise because I went for a run just last night and have been improving both my time and my lung capacity with each run I go on.
It could be because I’ve not been sleeping properly lately and feel tired all the time. It could be because my diet hasn’t been super healthy like normal (ahem! OK then, as good as normal which means making sure I have at least my daily vegetable count). It could be because I am constantly comparing myself to everyone around me, physically and online (I’m not coming out well in my comparisons, let me tell you).
But for whatever reason – the cloud isn’t lifting this time, and there’s no doubt it was brought on because of my birthday.”
Birthdays are times of reflection and thinking about what you want for your future.
Turning 30 for me was a big deal, a milestone. It wasn’t at first, not until I really thought about what turning 30 meant…I would no longer have the caveat ‘she’s only young’ going for me. My twenties were quickly leaving me and what had I done with those mayhem allowing years? Absolutely bloody nothing. I wanted to achieve more big things whilst I still had time in my twenties and began to put pressure on myself to get life affirming tasks done in a very short amount of time.
As it turns out, no life affirming tasks came along for me to do in that short time, and who was I letting down? Myself. I couldn’t even do something crazy one last time for me.
You just have to open any social media to be inundated by the amazing things people are doing all around the world, and seeing the reaction those people are getting, thousands of ‘likes’ for some, even when it comes to friends and family – the little green monster pops up when my posts are ignored and theirs are gaining lots of attention.
I couldn’t do anything for me, I couldn’t do anything for the sake of anyone else.
I felt low, getting lower each day.
I had one hope to cling to, (I’m sorry Dan because I know you’re going to read this) at least my husband was planning something spectacular for my birthday. Something big with friends and family or going abroad. I had that to look forward to.
I’m sorry to say that I was upset when Dan told me he was taking me to Bath for the weekend. No big party, no going abroad. I tried to hide it but I know he could tell. It wasn’t his fault, in my mind there was the voice telling me ‘of course you weren’t going to go away abroad, who would want to take you, you’re boring and no fun to be with, why would someone want to waste an amazing experience like that – with you!’
The black cloud grew darker and thicker, there was nothing I could do to stop it. And there it stayed all around me, all through my birthday weekend away (which was lovely in its own way, even though I struggled to stay positive) giving me little respite from the hateful self-loathing feelings of worthlessness.
One thing that added to it…Facebook. Bloody fucking Facebook. I don’t even really use it, but when birthdays come around it’s an easy way to quickly post a message on someone’s wall. There’s been a few other birthdays recently and you tend to see who the popular people are by the amount of messages they get from friends and family and for those there’s a contest to see who can put the cutesiest, gushiest message alongside a whole host of images of them and the birthday person – just to prove they know them the best. Well I am clearly not one of those popular people and though I had a few messages, they were mostly just generic ‘have a great day’ ones and not a single picture.
Want to know what that made go through my mind? ‘They don’t really care about you. No one wants to proudly show you with them. You’re an embarrassment. You barely register on anyone’s radar.’
I knew too that Dan had asked for my family to come see us on the Monday for a meal out, but my sister’s couldn’t make it because of work. My little sister told me she couldn’t make it because she doesn’t get in from work until 6-7, and straight away my brain went to the same dark place, ‘We don’t get in till that time from work either yet every weekday birthday we make it. You’re not special enough for even your sister’s to want to see you. You’re pathetic.’
It’s hard for me to even write these things but they’re true. I am and have been utterly horrible to myself lately.
I have to kick this. Why can’t I kick this? What am I doing wrong? Why hasn’t it gone yet? Why do I still feel so bad? There’s much worse things in the world, stop being so self-indulged, stop being so pathetic. Get over it! Why aren’t you getting over it? You’re weak. You’re a weak person. You’re not worth anyone’s time. You’re a waste of space! No one would care if you weren’t here anymore. In fact it would be better for everyone because you wouldn’t be here to drag them down!
Things didn’t improve during the week, I felt just as bad and began to think that I wouldn’t shift this without some professional help. I had planned on today making a doctors appointment to get the help I needed, but in the meantime (Thursday night) thought I would sit and write out what I was feeling.
I got halfway through before I had to go and make the dinner but already felt a little lighter for it. I had accepted that this is just how I am feeling at the moment and I will get the help I need. I figured I just had to not engage with the thoughts for a while and so wanted something to take my mind off it. We watched a comedy panel show whilst we ate and I laughed for the first time in what felt like a fucking age! We played Lego Jurassic Park on the PS4 until I could barely keep my eyes open, and then I went to bed.
What a difference a day makes.
This morning when I woke up, it was bright. Not actually, the sky outside is really dull and rainy today but in myself – the cloud is finally lifting!
It’s like I can see clearly again. I can see the absurdity of the thoughts that were running through my head constantly, I can tell they are still there lurking and ready to pounce when I least suspect it, but they aren’t at the forefront anymore. I feel human again and even enjoyed picking my outfit for the day!
I wanted to carry on writing this post, re-write it to reflect how I was feeling and to remind myself and others that suffer with bouts of anxiety and depression that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not out of it fully yet, but I can see it.
Thank fuck for that!
For anyone going through this right now, hang on!
Until next time. x
I wasn’t sure where to put this in the post but it’s part of what I wrote yesterday and wanted to include it for anyone that may be feeling the same: I know this is a wave that I just have to ride right now before I reach the shore again, but even though I know that, it doesn’t take away how difficult it is to keep standing and not go under.
I say again, hang on.