Last two days have seen a vast improvement in my state of mind. I am getting back in touch with possibilities, with hope, with the idea of a future. The self-recriminations have all but gone from my head. That stale, repetitious drone of self-loathing has subsided into silence. I am already picturing a new life, making fresh footsteps into the virgin snow of the future. Shedding the weight of this inevitable and maybe unavoidable depression.
I have some useful new directions for the route, that are, if you like, a gift of this breakdown. I know I need to prioritise relationships and friendships. They are the hardest thing for me, and yet the most important. I cannot continue to avoid dealing with my intimacy issues.
Before I felt horribly trapped. Physically free but mentally and emotionally in a stifling, suffocating dungeon. I felt that my relationship with R is hellish but that I will never be able to make another, so I am trapped in hell. Now the fear is gone. I know once again that I have choices.
Take care all. Lots of love, Zoe.
That’s what I was thinking yesterday. The idea had appeal then…I was very depressed and tired all day…but I slept well last night and am rethinking now. What appeals is the idea of making a completely fresh start. But perhaps what I also wanted to do is symbolically expunge the last three months, when everything I had so carefully and effortfully built up seemed to come crashing down.
Removing the blog cannot remove this chunk of my life and the unwelcome realities that it has brought to bear on me.
However, it’s no longer appropriate to call this the blog of my withdrawal, as I have had to return to taking psych meds. It is the end of an experiment, an episode of my life from which I learned a lot and which was tremendously hopeful and exciting. I guess with all the benefits of hindsight I had too much invested in an idea. From the loneliness I feel in this depression I need to invest more in close relationships and less in ideas.
It’s undeniably a blow to my pride not to mention my self-esteem. It’s hard to distinguish the feelings of loss and mourning for my ‘failure’ from the biological imperative of depression following mania, but I know they are there.
Acceptance is calling me now. Calling me on because I know that there is a future for me and a life. I do not expend much energy contemplating suicide: I have been through this routine so many times before. I have been worse than this, a lot worse, and much more suicidal, but I demonstrated to myself that I could absolutely come back from that place relatively intact and live a good life. All the better for having been to hell, because there is that sense of benediction you get in a resurrection of sorts.
I have not really begun to sum up this experiment and what I have learned from it. I can’t do it justice right now. I am grateful for the record I have kept of it here, and as thoughts and reflections on it occur to me I can write them down.
There is no guarantee that I won’t have a relapse on meds, any more than there was off meds. I have had breakdowns on them, off them, and in the past they were often precipitated by stressful events. However I have been burned by this experience. For the time being I am on meds. I want to get into some therapy that is a good fit for what I need now, and I will continue to review, monitor and explore my feelings about being on meds as well as how the meds seem to make me feel.
Non. Je ne regrette rien! Zoe.
Well I will try not to just give vent to one of those, but can’t promise anything. I’m not Ms Stoical, stiff upper lip. When it hurts I cry and prefer to have someone there to hear me!
This week, I have to say, the depression got worse. It’s become angry and agitated. My thoughts are my enemy. Even in my sleep there is little peace, because the poison sneaks into my dreams. I couldn’t go to work yesterday. I have redoubled my efforts to get into the crisis unit, and it seems the GP has finally sent the risk assessment over, I’m hoping I will hear from them soon, and that they will call me in for an assessment.
However. I have been eating sensibly, healthily and moderately, and enjoying my food. I sleep well. I have been reading Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, which is a memoir in cartoon form. I listen to Radio 4 and get quite absorbed by that sometimes. I even watched a documentary on TV about the Orthodox Jewish community in Stamford Hill, North London. In other words I do get little windows in between the self-recrimination and harsh judgment of my own thoughts.
I went to my Dual Recovery meeting yesterday which was really good. We went for a coffee afterwards. It’s the social contact that I need which at the same time feels safe, because everyone there has experienced mental illness. And I had a chance to share about how I’m feeling in the meeting. Openly and honestly and not having to hold stuff back.
Later today I’m meeting two friends at the cafe. Apart from that there’s nothing that urgently needs doing. Good. Take care all. Love, Zoe.
…So let’s go where we’re happy and I’ll meet you at the cemetery gates…
Well, the work day is nearly done, I’ve spent most of it tying myself in painful mental knots but at least I’m still here.
Spent quite a lot of time yesterday scanning various people’s handy tips and hints for getting more comments on your blog. Also, reading other people’s more successful blogs than mine. When I can get over the painful feeling of envy and inferiority that that engenders at the moment (because I am depressed and basically constantly looking for reasons to feel worse) I begin to understand ways that I can tweak what I’m doing here to make it more reader-friendly and more comment-friendly.
One thing I plead guilty to is not always having answered comments. Apologies to anyone I did that to. I just had not really mastered this aspect of netiquette. Secondly I need to make a point of visiting other blogs, finding some favourites, and commenting. When I comment it’s best to have something pertinent to add.
I also need to add more links to my blogroll, and get into the habit of using links in my posts. Asking open questions and inviting comments explicitly is also a good idea. Up till now I’ve been using this blog mainly as a personal diary, with the aim of monitoring myself, but actually I really value the interactive side of things and want to get more involved in the online communities. As mental patient calls it ‘the madosphere’. Hey I did my first link! Hope I got the url right. I’m still a novice at this game! No, stop the press, the correct link is mentalpatient.org.uk. I think!
I’ll get there. Love, Zoe
Another sad, Sunday afternoon. R has gone which is probably a blessing for both of us, since I am convinced I am annoying hell out of anyone I’m with and at least I can be miserable on my own with no one to account to for it.
The tendency to compare myself and my lot constantly with others is still there, playng havoc with my head. This week at least I am less inclined to blame R and project my stuff on to him, and instead am directing my ire at myself.
The self-obsession does not make me exactly riveting company no doubt, and the amount of comments on my blogs has dwindled from few to nil accordingly which feeds right into my sense of loneliness.
Overwhelmed by losses. Exhausted, and after a night’s sleep wake up more exhausted still. It’s almost two calendar months since I became ill. I guess I’ve just got to give it time.
…Pottering, baking bread, doing chores. Enjoying the house and some peace and quiet.