Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Turning a corner

At the weekend I had a wake up call. Somehow reality dawned in the lonely world of depressive self involvement and I realised that it was time to start acting like a grown up again. And I actually knew I could.

The wierd thing with depression is that when it is really bad I really can't do much for myself or anyone else. When I am in deep distress the advice is to take care of you, any way you can. That might mean taking a long shower, getting more sleep, getting help with doing the basics. Then as I emerge from the dark and the medication starts working I am able to try to do more to increase my enjoyment of life, so giving myself a few treats. Recently that has included time with friends, a sleep in once a week, and a few more boundaries on what I aim to achieve in a week. But it has also included some impressive retail 'therapy' and emotional eating. Plus just a whole lot of saying to myself "It is so hard. oh I can't do this. I can't cope". And at some point you have to acknowledge that despite the feelings, the facts are the facts. The bank balance is scary and the jeans don't fit. It doesn't matter how I feel about it, that is just the way it is. And that is just what I needed.

Suddenly I realised that more is actually expected of me. I am not a teenager who can curl up in bed, eat junk and buy expensive shoes without worrying about the consequences. Being reminded that I am an adult and I have choices and that short term pleasure has long term pain is actually really encouraging. Depression deceives you into believing that you can't choose. It is like you start believing you have been hijacked and the flight path and destination is out of your hands. But actually I can. I can do things to help myself feel better and more in control of my life by making wise choices and thinking about others. The relief of not being so self-involved is wonderful, as it must be for my hubby!

And so I have turned a corner and I am really hoping I can make choices and changes that mean that depression can get less fingerholds in my mind.


  1. wooohooo! thats so awesome. Nothing as scary or as empowering as finally realising you have some control over your life...

  2. Hi - glad to know you're feeling better! When the wisdom of your choices concerns you again, you have certainly touched off the bottom.

    The way I see it, when you are a nurturer and you don't get nurtured, your emotional tank drains, leading to the sort of collapse you describe (or monster mother explosions, or something just as unpleasant for all concerned).

  3. You might find this interesting...

  4. Thanks for the link Jess. I agree that drugs on their own are definitely not the answer. But without their help I wouldn't be here today. So I guess it is about balance. When I first got sick I was happy to pop a pill and forget about it. But this time I know I need to make some wider changes in how I live my life and therapy, diet, exercise and help from the mental health service will hopefully mean I am less vulnerable and able to manage my own mental health without being in crisis again. I guess I am grateful for the medication because change becomes possible because it gets me out of the hole. Who knows what the future holds but if it has to include medication then so be it.