Where do you start when you really don't want to? I don't want to write about my depression and I avoid it if I can. Last week was hell. It constantly amazes me that I am still here and I know that if it weren't for my boys I probably wouldn't be. Sounds terribly dramatic doesn't it?
Let’s get it straight when I think, talk and write about my depression I sound like an introverted, self-centred, attention seeking moron and that is why I try very hard not to do it. But just because I isolate myself doesn't make it better, so maybe taking another tack and becoming more open might just get the opposite affect - yeh right!
Other people, those without depression dogging their heels, just don't get it and to be honest why should they? Because guess what folks you could be next! However, nothing is worse than listening to someone ramble on about how sad they are, how hopeless things are and complaining about their lives especially when they won't listen to your great solutions. Please bear in mind that your solutions probably are not great but what is great is your time and your ability to listen without judging. A hug and emphatic pat on the shoulder are sometimes the difference between a day near unbearable and one that ends with the sun shining.
At the end of this week my sun is shining because I had the friend who knows how to just listen, who gives me a hug, sits me down to a cup of tea and helps me unburden myself without making me feel like a total selfish monster. He makes no comment about the fact that I shout at the children, he doesn't raise an eyebrow while I rage against the world, and he calmly sets me to rights then checks up on me throughout the day and then the next. I am incredibly lucky.
But even though I know I have this lifeline it doesn't mean that the battle to exist isn't hard. I steel myself as soon as I wake up silently pleading to God to help me get through the routine of getting the boys up and fed and ready for school without me imploding, going ballistic and screaming like a banshee that we are all going to be late.
I feel I am on a permanent treadmill from the moment I open my eyes to the second I close them and then it is a tick tock, tick tock, until I start all over again. I watch the clock throughout the night one o'clock, two thirty, three fifteen, four thirty, five, five fifteen, six. Time to get up! This can last for weeks on end. Is it any wonder I feel I go mad?
Then it is the drive to school and the thoughts that go through my sleep deprived mind about how easy it would be to swerve in front of that beet lorry or to lose control down the hill; the fact my children are with me seems to be the only thing that stops me.
I curse myself for my dreadful behaviour towards them knowing I am marring their childhoods and knowing that they will hate me for it and I feel so very very bad and I truly believe, when I am in an episode, that they would be so much better off without me. Then I stop myself, I call on something within me to get a grip, to stop it and get on with it. I try to calm myself and set myself small steps. Goals. Very small goals such as: Get the boys to school. Get out of the car. Say good morning to every fifth person. Get back into the car. Remember I have dogs at home that need feeding.
On the drive back I talk to myself in the car almost as if I were two people one ranting and crying longing for it to all end. For it to stop, to rest. To just get off for a while, a little bit while the other me, the stronger one calls upon that elemental spark that clings to life like something possessed and I make it home I know not how. And I watch the hands on the kitcen clock sweep by, longing for my lifeline to get into work so I can grab on and hold tight. Just till he gets in, just hang on until he gets in then I'll be OK. I should be able to call on my family shouldn't I? But I think I frighten them too much, I frighten so many people and I need them all so much. Little do any of them realise that one call, one shoulder to cry on and I'll be strong enough to get through the day and each day I get through means one less in the episode and then it will all disappear until the next time and that may not be for months and months and months maybe even years....