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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let's not go there again.

This morning, I woke up at 11 o'clock and I did not feel utter despair.
Look at that sentence, one little sentence that means something so huge I can barely think how to start explaining. It has been so long since I woke up feeling anything but complete and overwhelming sadness that I almost didn't understand what was happening this morning.
For longer than I care to remember, each morning as I wake up I would surface from whatever kind of disturbed sleep I had been having and almost immediately I am swamped with a sinking misery at the thought of starting another day, with almost a pleading thought of wishing it wasn't true.
I used to try and shake that feeling off, take a deep breath and mentally pull myself together and get on with it. Slowly that got harder and harder to do and eventually, a few months ago I was unable to do anything more than not cry, stand up and drag myself down to do what needed doing.
This morning, when I woke up and I opened my eyes I knew something had changed, to start with I had slept for 9 hours straight. Nine hours, oh my goodness. Nine solid hours of dream free, proper sleep. That is enough to make most things seem easier to deal with but I knew something else was happening.
After my terrifying foray into suicidal thoughts I knew I had to get more help, I went straight to my lovely and patient doctor who listened to me ( again) and so kindly said ' Helen, please don't believe those things you were thinking, you are the best mother your children could ever ask for and only you can be that, I know they love you, I know Howard needs you and I know that they would never get over it if anything happened to you" and then she said " You don't believe me, do you? I can see you don't believe me but it is true and if ever you start to think that way again, call someone, anyone and get them to come to you"
As she was speaking I saw that she meant what she said, I knew she believed it and I knew that I couldn't take my own life....and all I felt was sad and more trapped but I listened to her and I took the prescription for the new medicine and I listened to her instructions on how to taper off one and increase the new one and in my head I was hearing  "blah blah blah"
I took one new tablet in the morning and cut down to one of the old ones in the evening for a week, then I took 2 new ones in the morning and tried one night without the old one and that was a rough day, a miserably rough day, dizzy and headachey and the following day was one of lowest of low emotions. That day I tried one new med in the morning, one in the evening and no old medicine. I was awake all night but I didn't feel the same desperate misery the next day, so then I tried 2 new tablets in the morning and no old ones at all.
I think I have found the right balance.
I can feel that the new ones are starting to do what they are meant to do.
I still have unbelievable dizziness and also a low grade headache, which I am told may last for 2 or 3 weeks. The thought that in 2 weeks I can really feel alive again is so exciting.
I have acquired a whole new understanding of depression, I have thought I was depressed for 20 years but honestly, whatever that was was a walk in the park compared to this latest black hole of despair. I have felt as though I was trapped in a cage, able to see what was happening outside but completely unable to either care, or join in . Nothing but an echoing nothingness. The very worst part is feeling as though this is how it will always be, not having any belief that it can get better. That's what made me imagine that dying was the only way out, I understand why people give up and take that way out. I hope I never, ever feel so desperate again.
I did the ironing today, another tiny sentence that means so little until you look behind what I actually just wrote.
I looked at a pile of crumpled clothes and I got out my glorious Elna press and I sat for 2 hours and ironed them all. That basket or ironing has been in the middle of the kitchen for months. I take out what people need as they need it and I tut and sigh as I iron it, I hang clothes up without ironing it, I put clothes away without ironing them unless they are so crumpled that even I, in my bleak pit of misery can't pretend they will 'do' and then they go in the green laundry basket in the kitchen and I scowl at it every time I walk in there. I know lots of people don't iron, I have more friends who will admit to never using an iron than friends who do but the thing is I DO iron, I love crease free clothes, I love my Elna press, I can look at a mountain of newly pressed cotton pillowcases and feel actual for me to walk past a basket of clothes that need ironing is a huge misery flag that has been flapping in the face of pernickitiness for month after month. Bye bye crumpled bleakness, hello sharp creases and beautiful crisp pillowcases!
I feel like I have been let out in the fresh air after months of being shut under the stairs.

Unsurprisingly I had a letter to say that I scored ZERO in the govt medical, I have absolutely no reasons at all why I can't go to work full time, apparently. That means our benefits are cut down again and I either have to accept that or fight it, I can't even begin to imagine fighting it until I imagine not fighting and then I am so incensed that I can feel this way, have to live with this crippling and miserable depression and yet have some stranger tell me that all I have to do is pull myself together and stop faking it all, that is enough to make me want to go and face these people and make them understand what depression can do to a person.
Depression can take a perfectly normal, happy person and strip them of every ounce of joy, steal from them the ability to do even the most mundane and formerly taken for granted daily activity. Rip away the ability to shop, eat normally, sleep, speak. I have become expert at shopping in under 20 minutes. 20 minutes inside a supermarket seems to be my limit. Walk in, find what we need ( forget anything we may rather like) grab it, get to a check out and leave before the sweating, hyperventilating, leg trembling fear takes over.
I think ( though I secretly doubt) that I have managed to stand while people I know speak to me, if we meet unexpectedly in the street ( Oh no, ON NO! Please don't talk to me, please don't see me, please walk past me, please)   I think I may be quite good at  nodding in the right places and hiding the fact that in my head I am thinking " please stop talking, please go away, I can't answer you, I have nothing to say anymore, I am so dull, can you walk away now......thank you"
I am more tired that I imagine it possible to be, with all that thinking and more thinking and rethinking, the effort it takes to avoid people is exhausting in itself.
I am relieved to see a tiny chink of light at the end of that interminable tunnel.
I hope I am nearing the end of this particular trip, I don't care that drugs seem to be the vehicle that is taking me to the finishing line, I will take whatever works and most of all I will shout it from the rooftops when I get to the land of happiness and light. When I get there, I will step off the train, walk out onto the platform and say, as loudly as I can manage, " Let's not ever go there again."



Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I am so glad you have left there. I look forward to the day when there is just a terrible terrible memory. I'm so very proud of you for making it through. I always knew you were strong and incredible... this just reaffirms it all over again. I love you Helen.

2:15 am  
Anonymous Gretchen said...

I love you so. You are awesome.

5:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to iron my socks at one time.

5:59 pm  
Blogger TN said...

Helen, remember me? I used to read your blog all the time, and then I lost you. When I would try to access your blog, it said I needed an invitation to read. Today I found this post. I didn't know about Lola. What a blessing. Do you write on another blog or is this your main one? If you do have another one please send me an invitation. I miss you!

7:00 pm  

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