31 – “The clouds are gone, it’s clear” – Brighter Days – Ronan Keating
It’s difficult to explain how it feels when the cloud shifts and I start to feel a little better. For me it’s not a gradual thing, it really is as quick as a switch – there’s no slow build up to noticing that things are less difficult, no gentle improvement, I literally wake up one morning and am aware that the darkness has gone.
That’s not to say that I feel ‘normal’ again, far from it, but yep folks I am currently back in control of my life and no longer fighting daily battles against my own brain.
Its going to take time to get myself back to 100%
In the same way as someone who has been physically unwell for a long time, it’s going to take me a while to get back to 100% again, and it’s frustrating that others around me expect it to be an instant thing.
It’s not just the emotional toll that depression has taken, it’s the physical exhaustion that it leaves behind that has left me so wiped out. Having gone from having insomnia so bad I would often only sleep for two hours a night, I’m now sleeping for 5-6 hours straight and still needing more. I feel like I could quite easily sleep for several days on end. I’ve been trying to get myself back into a routine of getting up at a reasonable hour, not napping during the day and going to bed at the same time as the Husband. It’s a work in progress but I’m starting to notice that I’m not struggling to keep my eyes open at 3pm so think I’m getting there – if something could be done about Hubby’s snoring then everything would be perfect 😉
It’s a strange feeling when the depression disappears
It’s a strange feeling when the depression disappears. I know that it’s not gone completely and there will, without question, be another episode in the future – the not knowing when is very difficult to live with. Learning to try and live my life without worrying about the demons is hard, trying not to question every low mood and anticipate when they’re going to make another appearance can be exhausting in itself, and totally pointless because the switch will flick when I’m least expecting it. I need to concentrate on living my life and making the most I can of every day while the illness isn’t in control.
Of course that’s easier said than done but recently I’ve been out and about without letting the anxiety get a look in, have attended end of school year stuff with other parents – something I normally avoid as much as possible, been shopping in a supermarket and actually enjoyed (kinda!) the experience and made SO many plans with the girls for the summer holidays without once thinking I wouldn’t be here to see them all through.
I still have days that that are harder than others
I still have days that are harder than others – but don’t we all? I don’t think that’s depression, I think it’s just life. It is frustrating when those around me tell me the reason I’m feeling low is because of the demons, when I know it really isn’t.
Recently my Nan died and although she had been unwell, her passing was a lot quicker than we anticipated. Better for her, not so great for those of us left behind. I obviously was sad, not only was she my Nan, she was the last of my Grandparents to leave us and that brought up quite a few emotions I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t the depression that caused me to feel sad, to question life and the universe – it was ‘just’ grief.
I can be sad, without being depressed
That’s what I need those closest to me to understand – that I can be sad, without being depressed. That I can find life overwhelming, without being depressed. That I can feel like I can’t be bothered and need a duvet day without being depressed.
As the GP said when he prescribed me anti-depressants several months ago, I’ll be on them for life. I’m not actually convinced they do anything for me other than make me so numb that I can’t cry and struggle to show emotion. Oh, and the tiredness they cause is a side effect I could do without. Perhaps next time the switch goes off and the demons come back though it’ll be different because I’ll already be taking the meds. Maybe next time they won’t get so comfortable and hang around so long because the drugs will see them off earlier.
That’s the thing with this illness, I know that I’m stuck with it for life, never knowing when it will make a comeback, never knowing when the switch will click and everything will go dark again. All I know is that it will. So while things are brighter, I’m off to live the life I’ve missed out on – time for some much needed family fun.
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