Hello faithful readers, I’m heading into weird-Rosie territory again, rather than bibliophile-Rosie territory, so if you’re here for the book reviews, you can stop reading now. If the random stuff that goes on in my head interests you, get comfy.
I’ve had a gods awful week. Honestly. I can’t sleep at the minute, even though I’ve had a busy day, and had planned to have an early night. I’ve been in a depression since last Thursday (as in not yesterday), and I think it might be interesting to examine the stages I go through. My depression, or its effects change as it develops over time.
When I’m heading into a low period I start to get distracted easily (more distracted than usual anyway), but for at least part of the time, usually the first three or four hours, I also get positively giddy. It’s really a nuisance because I act like a drunk squirrel and I can’t settle down enough to do anything. (The squirrel thing comes from many years ago at university; my group of friends were deciding what animals we all were and one announced I was a squirrel because I go from high to low and then high again, like a squirrel jumping from tree to tree. Well, imagine the squirrel is drunk and is bouncing between trees like it has springs on its feet. That pretty much sums up my brain when I’m heading into a low period.) It made going to the doctors interesting. I’d hit the distracted phase by that point so it was a good thing my sister came with me.
After giddy-depression and distracted-depression comes the tearful-depression where I constantly want to cry, don’t leave the house unless I have to, I clean frantically or don’t do any at all. Last Friday I got up and cleaned my house. When the vacuum cleaner gave up the ghost I got the brush out and attacked the carpets with that. I scrubbed every window ledge in the house and dusted everywhere. After that I hibernated and didn’t clean the house or wash up for four days. (I suppose it was lucky one of my friends visited on Saturday, when the house was still mostly presentable) I don’t like mess, but I really just couldn’t do anything. I haven’t written all week, I’ve only read the odd chapter or two; instead I’ve tried to sew and watch telly. Mostly I’ve slept, especially last weekend. Having to be around people so much last week exhausted me.
Except Tuesday and today. Tuesday I forced myself to go to Lincoln to do some research for a feature I’m writing for a county magazine. I was fearful and anxious, to the point of almost cancelling my day out. When my sister came to take me to the station I was tearful and sleepy.
I’m glad I made myself go out though because as the day progressed, the exercise and change of scene seemed to help; the train trip, whiling away an hour in the cafe at Waterstone’s (free WiFi is free), climbing that sodding hill to go to the museum, gazing longingly into the windows of bookshops, wondering how much a two bed house in Lincoln would cost to rent (a lot more than I can afford).
Have I mentioned I love Lincoln? It has two things Immingham doesn’t. Lots of book shops and museums. In other words, culture.
But back home I wanted to cry, vomit and sleep, not necessarily in that order or sequentially. Wednesday was a blur of napping and eating and napping some more.
Thursday I pushed myself and took Ezzie to the library so I could print off some forms and photocopy my prescription. I went out for a whole hour. Leaving the house was hard, I had to go out though because I needed those forms. The lethargy was still there though. It felt like going to Lincoln had completely drained me. I usually get lethargic when I’m in a low state. It’s not that I don’t want to do things, I’m just too exhausted to get dressed.
Today I had no choice but to go out. All day. First I had to go see my therapist. That was fun. Not. She’s pushing to try to find out the cause of my anxiety. We determined it might be something to do with the bullying at school. She has a hypothesis that I developed the leaving the house part of my anxiety because my adolescent brain associated other people with being a threat, so to protect myself I stayed inside. I haven’t been able to move past those fears and protective behaviours as I’ve got older. That was just the start. I have homework. I have to write down everything that causes anxiety in the next two weeks.
Then I had an interview. I was quite nervous, especially since they kept me waiting, but during the interview itself I was fine. The job is part time, so it might help me make some progress. I definitely can’t start working full time again yet.
After my interview I had to go into the shopping centre to pick up my medication from the pharmacy. I could feel my low mood and anxiety creeping back but an afternoon in the library studying the history of the 10th (North Lincolnshire) Regiment for my article seemed to hold things at bay until I had to go and meet mum at the supermarket.
Me and Friday shopping is a bad combination; add to that guilt and shame about having to ask my mum to buy my food because I have no money and we have a recipe for meltdown. By the time I got home I was irritated, snappy and desperate for some alone time.
So I could cry like a baby.
My sister turned up and yeah, I wasn’t polite to people because I felt miserable.
I thought they’d gone when I started to cry. But nope.
Actually, after a crying session on my mum’s shoulder, locking myself in, eating and watching a couple of episodes of M.A.S.H. I felt a bit better. I’m still lethargic, and possibly won’t do much tomorrow but I feel cleansed by having a good cry, with big, body shaking, howling sobs. I don’t know how long it’ll last but I’m going to try to hang on to the feeling a while longer even though I can feel tears starting to sneak back into my eyes.
Examining my changing mental state as I move through my low moods has been quite helpful for me, as it allows me to begin identifying when they are going to start and put coping mechanisms in place. If I realise ahead of time that I’m going into a depression I can make plans – such as my trip to Lincoln and to the library – that will help to mitigate the depression, or at least provide temporary relief until the depression lifts. It isn’t perfect, but it helps a little. I’m hoping my sessions with the therapist (limited to eight, apparently) will help me find complementary ways to get through, maybe even cope better.
I’m starting to feel tired now, and I’ve got this off my mind so I might sleep. Thanks for reading, be healthy,