Depression and exit strategies …….. the holy grail of depression sufferers

black dog

I was speaking to another “depressive”(someone who suffers from depression – usually with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and possibly Stress thrown in for shits and giggles — I might have just made that word up, but it seems to work, so I am going to leave it there) a week or two ago and we were chatting about shit and things and really playing catch up.

We had not seen each other in quite some time, so it was a very nice catch up and we did spend a lot of the time laughing, and snorting.

The conversation took a turn and we started speaking about the fact that we both suffer from Depression — not the “here take one pill and call me in the morning kind” but the sort that takes you 13 years of therapy to really understand what it is you are working with.

Years of enduring shitty therapists to eventually find the good one who was able to really guide you and assist you.

Years of the wrong medication, in the wrong dosages to eventually find a fantastic psychiatrist who understood you. Who saw you at your worst, and built you up from a shivering shaking rambling idiot to someone who could almost pass for normal.  And not spill tea on his rug.

Years of guilt of what you were exposing your family to.  Years of feeling that you were a burden – you are a burden, nothing you do will change the fact that you are such a burden.

Hiding your depressive episodes because you feel your family and friends are so “sick of your shit” — when in reality you cannot hide a depressive episode for all the Zoloft in the world.

We had different journeys but they were similar in many respects.

Then strangely the conversation moved onto “suicide plans” and we almost in unison agreed we each had our own plan.

A plan we had been harbouring for years.

I am not going to speak for all Depressives here, but I think it is often something that most people do not realise about people with Major/Chronic Depression.

We have a suicide plan.  Or most of us do at any rate.

Most of us think about our plan once a day or maybe once a week.

I think about my plan in the same way I would think about whether I need new toothpaste.  Just something to tick off the shopping list.

In some cases “the plan” is quite elaborate and in others it is beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Suicide – contrary to popular belief does not need “a reason” or even “a really bad spate of depression” and is in most cases not a “cry for help.”

I think people with chronic depression do not see it as a way to get help, they see it as a way to leave because the blackness has just become too much.  And they cannot see any light at the end of the famous tunnel.

Depression is a life long illness.

It drags you into a black sinking hole where you no longer can see anything, there is no hope of small spark of light.  It is just this heavy blackness where no light or hope can pass.  You eventually start to accept that in fact there is not any light.

The blackness creeps over you like a shadow, and before you have realised it, you are enfolded in it’s robe of cold darkness and a sense of being alone – bitterly alone.

Nothing anyone says or does changes that darkness.

You feel alone.  You feel desperate.

You feel like that darkness will last forever.

You can not imagine a time when you were not being swallowed by that darkness, you cannot imagine a time when that darkness will recede.

You just cannot.

And sooner or later you cannot live in the bleak and desperate darkness any more.

blackness

Breathing is a challenge.  Faking it through the day is exhausting.

Faking it through your life eventually becomes unrealistic.

You also want to round house kick the next person who tells you to “just wake up happy….”

You do not believe you will ever get out of the hole.  So you start to think of how to just stop.  Everything.

You can be thankful and rejoice that you have the right medication, the right dose, and if you are in an emergency you just need to phone your Dr Psychiatrist and mention to the secretary that you are having a “self harm” kind of day, and an appointment will open for you almost immediately.

{Everyone do a huge clap for a great Medical Aid…..}

I have only phoned my Psychiatrist once with a “I need to speak to him” sort of day. And he magically opened a time slot in his already crammed diary because he knew that I really needed to speak to him.

My friend and I compared notes on the sort of things that we think about.

What worries us about committing suicide, what we factor in as a possibly route, time of day that would work, location and so on, and it was quite amazing how much of it was the same for both of us.

We actually laughed in a “this is really fucked up….” sort of way.

Then just to add strange, we both agreed we were technically in really happy places at this exact moment, but that did not stop the thought of an exit strategy being foremost in our minds.

Depression does not go away.

In my case, and I am thankful daily, my depression has really been under control for more than two years now, if not three.  I am on a good set of medication that I do not fuck with.

I stick to my medication.  No matter how good I am feeling, I do not tweak it, change it or think I can just miss a few.

My medication keeps me on track.  My medication keeps the black dog at bay.  For the most part.

Where I am in my head is generally a good place.

The only issue I am experiencing at the moment, is a very high state of anxiety, and stress that is influencing my sleep patterns.  And a lack of sleep or a shift in my sleep is a huge red flag of concern — I do not function well without sleep.

I realise that last blog post might not have echoed that sentiment, but I am amazed at what I have coped with in the last two years, and how much I have risen above all this shit to be more of who I have wanted to be for a very long time.

Some days I do feel like I am drowning.

But those days are few, and they usually are limited to days.  They do not start to turn into weeks and months, like before.

I am far happier than I used to be — again I realise that based on the last blog post that sounds like a whopper of a lie —- but my job is not to convince you of it.

I feel happier in the inside part that really matters.

I have a clearer idea of who I am.  I do somehow even when the days are tough, I do still feel happier with who I am.  Now. Than who I was before.

Sure I have an exit strategy ….. and I realise how insane that sounds.

How can I be happy if I think about suicide?

It is actually possible.

depression comix

{…… thanks fuck all dopamine or serotonin or what ever else my brain cannot manufacture or absorb ….. }

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Blogging, staples through balls, and other analogies …..

merry go

 

I am battling to blog.

It is not like I do not have a thousand thoughts running around in my head, which are screaming to get out.  I have all of that.  I have the hamster on the little wheel thing that makes that annoying squeaking sound as well.

My head is a mess right now.

I like to think that I am adaptable by nature.  I can change when shit needs changing, and I can set a new course if I have to.

But.  My anxiety and stress levels start to climb with each little adjustment I need to make.

I am best left to get on with my life with as few changes as possible, and if changes are needed, then a bit of time  between each to allow me to adjust before I make another little tweak.

I can change my course, I can set new goals, but with each amendment comes a certain level of stress and anxiety that sooner or later builds towards a bit of a cluster f&ck.

It’s really just a matter of time. As each block is added, and I do my best – my utmost – to balance it all.

It’s like playing Jenga on roller skates.  If you skate like a three year old with a broken leg.

A lot. A bit like that.

I am not going to go back and check what I last blogged about and play catch up.  Let’s just call it bygones shall we.

My rock of stability, Priv needed to leave me last month.  I managed that like a fucking demon.  I acted like it was not a problem, and I would just adjust my little sail.

Because that is me, superman without the underpants.  Or the cape.

Priv leaving was seriously an adjustment with a capital F.

I am not a fan of Christmas, especially the new version – without a husband and children.

Last year I had no idea where I was going to be and it was my turn (first turn) to have the children over Christmas, and I panicked.

Please bear in mind for the last 20 years Kennith’s family have been my family.  Long story, but my family is sort of in short supply and festivity days can be a bit like a scene from Dinner for One.

So in one foul swoop not only did I get a divorce and an ex-husband, but I managed to secure an ex-family that had been part of my life for 20 years, who now barely realise I have fallen off the side of the planet (for the most part).

There are several levels of “this fucking sucks” that I could bore you with, and I might later, so let’s take a raincheck shall we.

Last Christmas (sung to the tune of the old WHAM classic ….. I hope that sticks in your head all day now) I was a bit scared of giving the children a sucky Xmas.  I asked Kennith if he would like to take them for Christmas Day, which he did.

I swapped the day out.  I did not think ahead, I simply thought of that Christmas and what I could offer my children, and maybe also my sanity ….. and I felt it was probably better for them to be with him and his family for Christmas.

I ended up having a really lovely Christmas day at a friend of mine, but at one point I was looking out her window at the view and then I started to cry.  Not pretty tears.  Big open mouthed silent cry and shoulders heaving kind of crying that just went on forever.  Okay not actually forever, it just felt a bit like forever as I tried to do it quietly so no one else would notice.

This Christmas swung around as all Christmases do, and Kennith started talking about him having the kids for Christmas Day.  I sort of put my hand up —- tentatively —– and said “er, you had them last year, so I should have them this year…”

Kennith reminded me that I asked him to take the kids last year.

And I said, sure, but I was a bit of a fuck up last year, and I gave you the day.  Kennith has a phrase that he says which makes me want to kick him hard in the groin area (swift uppper kick, rather than a downward action) and it is “That was your choice …”

It’s the kind of thing he would say if my house burnt down and I ran in to grab the family photographs, and then complained later that I did not have a couch.  You know, because of the fire thing.

He would add a helpful observation like:  “That was your choice …”

Anyway the result is that I get 0 for 2 this year, and Kennith has the kids for Christmas Day.

To say I was a little disappointed, annoyed and frustrated does not even hint at it.  I am attempting to put on a really stiff upper lip and a vibe that I am sort of cool with this shit —- when the answer is, er, no I am not actually.

But there is nothing I can do about it.  So suck it up, and move on.

There was another issue around Christmas, that got the Christmas Day we had planned cancelled.  That was another example of me adjusting my little sail and setting a new course.  And adding some deep resentment to the picture (just when shading, not when colouring in the whole tree).

I am able to adjust — but cheese and rice the anxiety and strain starts to build without any real outlet.  I am starting to feel a bit desperate.  Possibly why I am blogging at 01h27 and not asleep.  You think?

Kennith and I are in “discussions” about the way to move forward with the house.

This requires possibly some huge huge adjustments.  Like Titanic sized adjustments and decisions.

None of them I particularly want, but I feel a bit like my balls are being stapled to a wall and I need to stop further staples being applied.

I realise I do not have balls, but it is the only analogy I have.

At the moment I feel an over riding urge to {sigh} loudly and say FUCK IT ALL – using the tune from Let it Go made popular earlier this year, but I know that my singing is going to offer one iota of a solution or relief.

As an adult you cannot slam your door and throw yourself and sulk your problems away.

You still have to get up in the morning and face some real whoppers, and make decisions you do not want to make, for results you do not want, but again …. balls stapled to a wall.

I am not heading into this festive season in a terribly festive mood.

And for that I apologise.

i hate when people