Sunday, 21 November 2010

Depression: Lifelines

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....

14 comments:

HER ON THE HILL said...

Tattie, I am so sorry to read this post - mostly because it reminds me of the intense loneliness and constant internalising of life, of living in one's head, of extreme and irrational feelings, of hopelessness and despair, that I suffered for a number of years too. Mercifully I found a way out though drugs, counselling and homoeopathy. It seems that this is not your situation...
Sending you a large hug, (I don't know you, obviously, but I can completely empathise)if that can help a tiny bit. x

Expat mum said...

I think you'll find they would rather you talk to them than not at all. And since a lot of depression is made worse by loneliness, it might have a positive effect on you too.
xx

resewn sally said...

That old black dog really is a nightmare at times! I've just had a (mercifully short) visit myself. Please remember that although you may think you frighten your family, they love you dearly. And I lived with a mother who was in and out of mental health institutions my whole life, brought up my 3 little sisters, ran a house from 9yrs old. But I don't blame or resent my Mum for it. I understand she was ill, and couldn't "snap out of it". Of course you will still worry about the effect your depression will have on your kids, but they will be ok. They will understand. And they will know that you're doing your best! Stay strong! (((Hugs)))

Jude said...

Don't ever feel that you shouldn't talk about this on your blog. It doesn't matter what people think. For me at least that is partly what a personal blog is for - a kind of therapy. A blog, like life, will have light and shade, otherwise it would be very boring. Having said all that, when you have readers, it's very easy to consider what they might think or will want to read before your own needs. Sometimes though you do just have to put yourself first. Hmm - perhaps blogging is a metaphor for life?

Ladybird World Mother said...

Oh, Tattie... such a big hug to you. WISH I lived just down the road and could sit and listen. I utterly get this post and know that words and advice are somewhat meaningless, but want you to know that all will be well. Truly. Just ask for some light. Seek it out. Force out the dark. Tell it to bugger off. You are such a loving person, having met you I KNOW that, and you deserve some peace now. All my love to you, and hugs coming out of my ears. As it were. xxxx (((((hugs))))

Tattie Weasle said...

Her on the Hill - It helps! I promise it does. As far as drugs, counselling etc go I have done it all and have now believe it or not got it sufficiently under control to be off them the majority of the time. At present I am removing things from my diet in order to influence things, I slipped up recently but back on the straight and narrow: No caffeine, no dairy and worse luck no Chocolate!!!!
Expat Mum - Talking is the answer but I feel SO very selfish doing it!

Tattie Weasle said...

Resewn Sally - Thank you so much and I am strong for them but oh it is hard! I hope the bots where we dance roudn the kitchen and laugh and hug each other count double against the bad times...
Jude - Life does have light and shade ptherwise how else would we appreciate it. Thank you, I'll continue to write!
Ladybird World Mother - I wish you lived down the road too! Though I feel this could cause havoc ( in the best possible way!!!) Than you very much for the hugs...

TheMadHouse said...

I think that when those car driving thoughts come in to your mind that it is time to go back on the AD's. It isnt fair on you or the children, having been there, having nearly done it and done other things, please get some help. I too am well enough most of the time to see the triggers and then I dig out that CBT file again and start practicing. It really helps me and I hope that having a listening ear does that for you.

Thnking of you

Lou said...

Tattie, big love to you. We are all here listening, talk away lovely girl. I send you bloggy-pats on the back and strokes on your lovely face.

xx

Spencer Park said...

Thinking of you. I understand every point you have made a little too well!

If it makes any difference I think you're a great mum. That is the reason I read this blog - for advice and guidance.

Rob-bear said...

You're a very courageous soul to be sharing this. Depression is not easy to discuss, though I've posted several pieces about it on my blog.

I have two black dogs in residence at our place. Her Ladyship, Miss Sadie (a Standard Poodle), and chronic depression, which has handicapped me for decades.

I can very clearly visualize your experiences, and experience some of your pain. I do hope you can find a strategy, that works for you, in coping with your black dog on a continuing basis.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Potty Mummy said...

Don't worry about feeling self-centred. Having had a (very mild) form of depression myself, and having experienced second hand with close members of family, that's the understanding that I've gained; that depression IS self centred. All the sufferer can think about is how they feel, not how that affects anyone else. Otherwise you would just be mildly pissed off - and we all know that's not true. So being self-centred? That's how it works - you can't help it, and shouldn't be blamed for it. x

Reasons said...

I haven't visited your blog before but i always prefer and relate to writers who are totally honest which you obviously are. I am sorry to read about your depression, I have experienced a degree of this myself. You sound so lonely, as if you really want to reach out to your family. I know how that can feel. Maybe, like me, you are too proud to ask for help sometimes. Hearing your worries about the affect this has on your children, I hope you are able to get the help you seem to need. I send you my very best wishes, you are obviously a great person and deserve to be happy.

Tattie Weasle said...

Mad House - Thnak you. I have my lifelines and I promise even though I think it those in the back of the car are far too precious, they are lifelines too ones that need me now and until I die of a ripe old age. Just sometimes though I feel it is not fair to them to be this burden but luckily the other part of me knows that is rot.
Lou - every pat and stroke gratefully received!
Spencer - WOW you left me speechless for a few days there. I always think I should be the last person anyone turns to as I feel I make a hash of it everyday but there again if people can see my mistakes and avoid them in their own lives:) Thank you So much!
Rob-Bear - Oh you wonderful Bear! I find it incredibily hard to write and talk about depression and it takes me ages to get my head round the words I need to use unlike most of my posts and comments. I have strategies they work mostly always on the look out for new ones just in case...hope you good black dog is behaving herself! She's gorgeous.
Potty - Thank you. It is a selfish thing in that one does think about oneself and how we feel. It also makes me horrendously guilty every time I am in episode, twerribly aware when I realsie waht is going on how awful it must be for my family. However, they seem to still love me and for that I love them back all the more.
Reasons - Asking for help is difficult. And you are right maybe I am too proud. Thank you for your wonderfuly warm comment and I am getting the help I need. The sun is shining stronger every day.

Go on you know you want to...

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