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Monday, 27 February 2012

Depression, revisited

Usually, it creeps in. I notice that I’m struggling to laugh at things I’d normally find funny, or that I want to be alone a bit more. I start to sleep more, I can’t seem to get interested in TV. I recognise that I become listless and I can’t focus on anything – even things that would normally have me totally gripped. I eat more, and I make bad choices about what I am eating – I just want chocolate, because I know it’ll give me a quick high. And I can’t have just one bar, I have to have ten.

Everything starts to irritate me. Things that normally I could shrug off, or laugh about, make me furious. The kids, (Goddess love them), make me crazy. I shout and get cross at them and really expect far too much of them.

Then the sadness sets in – I get sad because I’m being unreasonable with the children but I can’t seem to stop it. I feel guilty because I can’t bring myself to go anywhere with them, and if I do, then I feel guilty because I was cross and ruined it for them, or because I didn’t enjoy it.

I start to think that the world is a horrible place, and what’s the point, really? This can be kicked off by something as small as a couple of people not giving way on the road when they should, or today, a guy who didn’t use his indicators once in a three mile journey on local roads. He was also really slow. But, Christ, if everyone is like that, just so freaking oblivious to other people, who just don’t do what they should do, then what’s the freaking point? The world’s just full of horrible, money grabbing, selfish people.

See that sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it? But honest to God, the lack of indication on a roundabout can set off that train of thought, and send me into a spiral.

I come home, put the kids in the bath, and sit on my bed with my throat aching with tears I can’t bloody cry. They just won’t come. I WANT to cry, because I think that might make it all feel a bit better, but no.

The radio goes off in the morning and I lay there, and every song reminds me of the bad times in my life: my sister dying, my husband leaving. Or I lay there thinking that I’m a really bad person, because I don’t want to get out of bed today.

I do the school run, and compare myself to all the other mums, and find myself lacking. My shoes aren’t right, you know. Oh, that mum met up with that one over the weekend did they? How come I never get invited? Oh yeah, it must be because they know what I’m like, really.

I go to work, and what the hell is the point in that? My job is never going to be finished, and it’s never going to be good enough. I’ll just be back doing the same thing again tomorrow. Why? Really, WHY?

I come home, and I can’t face the kids, I just can’t. So I tell them to watch TV while I hide in the kitchen, and my throat is aching again, but what can I do?

They go to bed, and I realise I haven’t read with them, or practised spellings or sums, bloody hell, I can’t even look after them. I really AM a terrible mum. They’re going to grow up and remember all this like a black cloud over their childhood. They deserve better.

I’m so tired, the TV doesn’t hold my attention, so I go to bed. Sleep is a gorgeous release, until I snap awake at 4am, and the fear grips me that I’ll feel this way forever, and end up alone because of it.

And the whole pattern starts again the next day.

That’s how depression is for me.

I used to believe that depression was an excuse, a weakness. Now I know it’s a horrible, debilitating ILLNESS which comes into your life uninvited and tramples all over it, a self feeding monster. It shouldn’t be trivialised, it shouldn’t be seen as something that happens to other people. It needs to be recognised as an illness, so people with it can know it CAN be treated, to prevent that 4am fear.

I also want to link to this amazing blog post about depression, in case anyone wants to read anything else about it.

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