Saturday, 21 January 2017

My slippery depression slope

At the moment the only things keeping me moving forwards are my daughter, my dogs,  my writing/twitter, and a very small handful of trusted friends.

Yet even so I am barely moving at all, both from a physical perspective and a psychological one.

I have never ever felt this bad, so lethargic, so overwhelmed by something I cannot control. It feels like someone has hollowed out my brain and removed the majority of it. I am a husk, an empty shell floating around on the breeze totally aimlessly.

I cannot concentrate or focus enough to make food. I stand in the kitchen staring around me, lost, confused. I cannot be bothered to lift the pans out of the cupboard and I certainly do not have the brain capacity to think about how to cook something. In fact any activity that isn't utter simplicity itself is just too complex for my subdued brain. I manage takeaways, something & chip meals or prick and dings.

I know there are things that I should do, emails that need sending to work re sick leave dates, daughters club dates that need putting in the diary but try as I might there is insufficient willpower within me to lift my head of the sofa let alone manage a complex task like putting dates in a diary.

I have never struggled quite this badly, tears are always close by and desperation a constant companion. What are usually simple tasks like driving my daughter to a club or filling the car with petrol are becoming hugely testing and exhausting expeditions. Just trying to remember how to put petrol in the car or recalling what my daughter needs are for her clubs feels like an A level standard test.

This my friends is what depression is currently doing to a police officer with 27 years service, a Detective Sergeant who was competent and capable. Professional and proud. Who has worked fulltime, juggled a home life and parenting yet here I now am reduced to the capability of a child. I can't cook a meal, I can't concentrate, I can't even think about what to watch on the television whilst vegetating on the sofa. To whom washing has become an arduous and often ignored chore instead I sit in stale smelly clothes watching endless random television and wondering when or if someone will ever plug back in my brain.

This is probably complete nonsense to some of you. A fairy tale or nightmare. This is the reality of mental health. This happens. This swallows people up and spits them out, if they're lucky enough to escape or get a reprieve.

I feel suspended in time, unable to move forwards or backwards. Feeling numb and beginning to hope that I can actually cling on to the slippery slope that I now find myself on. I've never felt quite so out of control or helpless with my previous bouts of depression as I do this time. Perhaps you fall more heavily and harder the more often you fall of your perch?

I hear myself talking to my daughter but its almost like its in the third person, like I'm somehow remote from myself. I paint on a smile whilst feeling like a fraud and hoping she doesn't notice that her Mum's been swapped out for a fake version. Am I the fake or was she? The capable one?

And yet through it all I'm somehow hoping honesty will help. If I tell it how it is, if I describe my dirty little secrets then maybe people may just start to see mental illness in all it's degrading glory.

I'm out of wine, that's an issue too. I drink every evening. Varies in amount but sometimes a bottle, sometimes less but I have none left. I feel like I need some right now.

The weird thing is as I've said,  I feel numb, unconnected to the world. Remote and unplugged yet I want the wine to dull the way I feel, to self medicate as it were. Isn't that a"contradiction"?

So for now I'm planning that on Monday I will email work, do the diary entries and then email Steps to Wellbeing for an appointment. I can't ring them. Phone calls make me feel ill, very ill. Panicked even, and cry, yes definitely. Even at the best of times I hate telephoning people but at the moment its just not possible so the doctor said I could make an appointment to get assessed by email instead. 

So that's my plan, survive the weekend, get daughter back to school, come home walk dogs and then do these chores and maybe write some more blog ...

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