I’ve always tried to be as honest and open as I can be with this blog. The vast majority of the time I’ve talked about my struggles with mental health in the past tense. I’ve written a lot about what has happened, rather than what is happening. But this time I’m talking about it just as I’m starting to feel myself slip into depression.
I’m not sure why I’m even slipping. But I’ve been here enough times to know that I am. I’m finding myself more and more thinking “what’s the point?” and in general I just don’t have a lot of enthusiasm. I’m constantly wanting to comfort eat and just binge on things that will make me feel worse. I’m irritable, easily annoyed, and I just don’t really care that much about anything.
Things Didn’t Quite Feel Right Last Week
I felt the odd depressive thought a little bit whilst we were away in Burnham-on-Sea. But I put a lot of that down to the fact that we were away and I didn’t have much purpose or focus – something I generally need to help keep me level. But those depressed feelings seemingly followed me home. A few days ago when I had Isabelle alone for the day, I started off in a bleak, lethargic mental state.
I just wanted to sit there all day and do absolutely nothing; and again, those thoughts of “what’s the point?” stuck with me. But having a child stops you from doing nothing. Rather than Isabelle be a source of my depression like she has been in the past, she temporarily pulled me out of the slump. She inadvertently forced me to actually do something and not give me the chance to just sit there and wallow.
But Right Now I Just Don’t Care
For whatever reason, right now I just don’t care. I don’t care if I get better, I don’t care if I get worse. I don’t really care about anyone – other than perhaps Rachel and Isabelle – and I don’t even care about this post. To be honest, I don’t really know why I’m writing this other than perhaps it might make me feel a little bit better by the end of it – this, after all, is what I now like to do.
Each time I feel like I might be getting better, or I think of something that might help, I sense a self imposed anchor pulling me down. I don’t know why it’s there, but there’s something that wants me to feel this way.
Trying to Avoid a Slip Into Depression
When you have depression lurking in the back of your mind, fending it off can take a lot of effort and willpower. When it’s trying to force it’s way to the front, after a while, I inevitability give up and allow it to take over. I might be able to stop the pull of that anchor on a few occasions if it’s infrequent, but eventually I just stop trying.
People often think that you can just “pull yourself together” when it comes to depression. But I don’t think those people realise how much it actually takes just to stay level. Yes, I do have a lot of say in how I feel – I do believe that I’m in control of whether or not I allow this to get worse. But the desire needs to be there. When you feel like you don’t care about what’s going on and even about how you feel, it’s very hard to find the energy to bring yourself back.
I’m Not Sure Why the Depression Is Trying to Come Back
I don’t really know why I feel like I’m slipping. And nor do I know why there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to get better. It could be any number of reasons, but this post isn’t really about the why. Sometimes depression doesn’t need a why. It’s part of the reason people who haven’t been through it find it so difficult to understand. Sometimes it’s just there.
Maybe I’m just someone who always has some form of depression lurking behind me. Sometimes I’m five steps ahead of it, other times I’m just one. Then you have moments where it suddenly creeps up on you, pulls you down and refuses to let go. Right now, it’s digging its claws in, it’s not holding on just yet, but everyone and then I feel those claws tighten.
Why I Always Turn to My Dogs When I’m in Need of Comfort
What I love best about having dogs is the fact that they don’t care about why you might be depressed. They don’t poke, prod or persistently press to try to get to the bottom of it. They don’t try to say the right thing; they’re just there, ready for you. And sometimes that’s all you want.
I’m not writing any of this to seek some sort of supportive attention. I don’t want “hope you’ll be better soon” or “stay strong” and all that kind of stuff. I’m writing this because this is what I’ve done with the blog since starting it. It’s a place to talk openly about what’s going on in the hopes that it might make me feel better. If people take something from anything that I write then that’s great; but I honestly don’t do it in the hope that someone tries to make me feel good about myself.
Things Will Always be Fine in the End
I’m hoping this slip doesn’t turn into anything deeper. But ultimately I’ve been here countless times before. If it does, and I get worse, then I’ll roll with it. I know that eventually everything cycles around and before long I’ll be full of optimism and enthusiasm again. Am I worried about this worsening and going back to a bad place? Not really. Ever since I was 17 my depression has been on a cycle. I’ve had patches where I’ve spent more time in a bad place, and patches where I’m mostly fine.
This is just another cycle. Writing this has given me some sort of cathartic release I guess, and that’s exactly what I wanted from it. But the feeling of “what’s the point?” still exists, and I don’t think it’s something that will ever truly go away.