In an earlier article I talked about the realisation that I’m suffering from depression rather than anxiety alone. The article explained how this is a difficult thing to come terms with and can be scary at times.
Since that article things haven’t really got much better in terms of my health. I’ve been off work for nearly three weeks now and I’m signed off for another week. After that I’ll reasses. If you asked me now though I’d say there was no chance of me going back in a weeks time.
An Overdue Return to Counselling
Yesterday I had my first counselling session in about six weeks. A few months ago I was feeling well and had made good progress. My counsellor and I decided to move the sessions from weekly to fortnightly. Typically, since then I’ve felt the worst I have in a long time. To exasperate things I missed one session through illness and the next one, two weeks later had to be cancelled because of a Training day at Footsteps. This all meant that Yaz had to deal with a right shit storm in yesterday’s session! Last session of the day at 6pm and she’s faced with six weeks worth of my grey matter, nobody deserves that.
The session went well, I always feel better for talking to Yaz. I explained how I was feeling and we discussed various things. It must be nearly impossible for her to keep up with me in these sessions because once I start rambling I really go off on one. We talked about my blog and how much satisfaction it gave me. I took a Well-Being Notebook and we talked about how mental health awareness had become a real passion of mine. That made me feel positive and I know this is where I need to focus my energy long term.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
The most difficult part of the evening was driving to the session. Ordinarily I go straight from work on the train to my sessions. Not being at work though meant I would have to drive. Note how I said “would have to”. A lot of people would be delighted to have a car to drive instead of using public transport. Not me. I’ve lived in Birmingham for 33 years and I’ve been driving for 10 or 11 of them. This didn’t stop me fretting about how to get to the motorway, whether to go northbound or southbound, which junction to come off at and where to go once I did get off. Seriously, it was ridiculous. I knew exactly where I was going. I spent about 15 minutes on the motorway convinced I was going in the wrong direction. Although I normally get the train I have driven the route a number of times too. By the time I got there I was knackered and my legs were like jelly. A really rubbish flavour jelly, like orange and with bits of fruit in. Nobody wants that jelly.
Anyway I’m writing this at 00:30 and an emotional text exchange with Nina prompted me to write it. Jack has had a couple of night terrors already tonight and so I’m sleeping in his bed with him. This isn’t unusual, bless him and so nor is it unusual for me and Nina to text from bedrooms next to each other.
An Emotional Exchange
Quite often Nina will send me articles that might interest me or quotes and pictures to cheer me up and spur me on when I’m feeling down. Tonight she sent me an article about how exercise can help with mental health issues. It was full of truth but my response was simply:
I just wish I could summon up the energy and motivation
That’s the problem I have. I know what I could be doing to help myself but can’t do it. I need to eat healthier and more regularly. I need to drink more water, exercise more and spend less time on my phone and laptop. When it comes to doing these things though I just slump and fail. Nina knows how difficult it is for me and so she doesn’t text to pressure me, it’s purely to help and I really appreciate it. It’s often easier to text things like this too because it takes away a bit of the edge. The above quote and the following one pretty much sum up my depression:
I am happy but I feel sad
A New and Different Battle
It’s becoming harder and harder to understand my condition. I thought I had the awareness when it was anxiety I was trying to understand. It took me a while but I think I did get my head around it.Depression is a whole different ball game though. How can I explain being blissfully happy with my life, my family, my home, my relationships (not work admittedly) but then having a cloud of sadness hanging over me?
It’s so weird. I’ve read so many articles over the years with people saying depression is like a dark cloud and I’ve never thought too deeply in to it. I think I always assumed that the dark cloud was hovering over an equally dark place, that the outlook was completely gloomy and that it wasn’t just down to the dark depression cloud.
My dark cloud hovers over a sunny and happy place and that contradiction really frustrates me
The only thing to do is to keep on trying to understand and to learn how to cope.