I woke up this morning like everyone else in Ireland. With the sun illuminating my bedroom, stirring up a heatwave that we all long for eleven months of the year. I can do anything I want today. Anything!
The thing is though, I just want to close the blinds, crawl under the sheets and disappear from it all. Depression has washed over my entire body. I feel sick to the stomach. Helpless. Hopeless. Not in depair yet but it is going to take work to hold it back. Where has this come from? It's been maybe the worst year of my life but I've been pretty happy for the last month or so. Even if I didn't believe that myself, there are enough other people telling me I'm my old self again to make it true. It was good while it lasted.
I'm lying there in bed with two choices. Retreat or attack. Surrender or fight. One means doing what I've always done and let the depression own me again. It means giving myself an excuse to fail. A reason to stay in bed and avoid reality. A chance to imagine what I could do instead of having a go. To be honest, that's what I want to do. Reach for the cigarettes, sleep and sad songs.
The second option is a little harder to define. Obviously if I'm to stay and fight It's going to take some constructive action on my part. Trying to figure out what that is makes staying in bed today seem like the only realistic way to proceed. But I'm trying to change that negative pattern of thinking. I've been going to see a mental health nurse for the past two months because I was so under the influence of depression it was making me climb dangerously close to the ledge and jumping. I'm not there today. She's been trying to put it into my head that when I wake up feeling like I do today that I just have to do something. Anything that isn't what I've always done. It will probably be painful but it's the only way to keep me from getting back up on that ledge.
Today doing something or anything means I dragged myself out of bed.
Had breakfast. Took my bike out for a cycle. Avoiding going to the shop
for cigarettes. Getting on here to write this. I'll go to work later
and talk to people and laugh. I am going to finish a book I've been
reading. I know it doesn't seem like much but when one day in bed can
turn into two months of avoidance and desperation it could be a small
step to saving my life.
I'm always clinically depressed, even when I'm laughing and joking. Even when I'm focused and determined. Even when I'm so outwardly confident that picking up girls in nightclubs is the easiest thing in the world again. I'm only a mishap away from falling back again. You can forget how bad the depression can get. Like today, most people would find it difficult to remember just how cold it can get in Ireland in winter. With me in good spirits, it's very hard to look back and feel empathy with the way I felt when all I could think about was dying. I have to keep reminding myself to remind myself to be careful.
I was writing something the other day about needing someones foot in my ass to keep me moving in the right direction. It's true. I do. I went for three days at the weekend without feeding any of my prescribed anti-depressants into my body while I absolutely saturated it with alcohol, a depressant. So, I really can't crawl around in bed all day wallowing in self pity anymore. It was my own choice. It seems the foot in my ass really needs to be my own.