If you read last weeks Dad Diaries then you might know I wasn’t feeling the best. I was basically on and off with my depression and put some of it down to letting the blog take over my life a little. Well this week I’ve been a bit better. I haven’t been absorbing myself quite as much in the blog and I’m more than happy to just see it as a part time hobby for the time being. As of this writing, I feel like I’m at least trending towards somewhere positive. I’m still a little bit up and down at times, but I’ll take that at this stage.
Being Ill With a Bloody Toddler
Is there anything worse than being ill whilst looking after a chaotic, danger-seeking toddler? There are probably many things that are worse, but both Rachel and myself had a turn at doing just that on Monday and Tuesday. Rachel wasn’t very well to start with. But fortunately for her, I’m in a job where I can get done a little quicker if I want and she only had four hours of it. Mind you, once I got home she was done. Off she went up to bed and in the end I took Isabelle to soft play to give her more time to relax – yes, I know, top husband!
The very next day I had the same thing she did. Only it was obviously ten times worse and I should’ve been in hospital. But being the brave, strong minded, resilient, non-complaining person that I am – “You’re talking shit, mate.” says my wife – I fought through it. Well, I was lying on the sofa looking up at the 6:45am time on the cooker and thinking to myself “how the f**k am I going to last like this until Rachel gets home.”
I was basically looking at roughly 13 hours of feeling sick and dreadful whilst having to function enough to be a responsible adult. Not a good thing. In the end, Rachel returned home from work early as she was still sick too. We both managed to prop each other up for the rest of the day and barely got through unscathed. Suffice to say, looking after a toddler whilst ill is not the nicest thing in the world to do. Even if I have done it before.
A Shivery, Depressive End to the Night
If you follow me closely on Facebook, then you might feel a little déjà vu here. But on Monday night I couldn’t stop shivering. I had this overwhelming sense of impending doom – just a dread that I was somehow surrounded by death or something bad was going to happen. It made me feel sick to my stomach and shiver myself to sleep. It made me think that there was no point in anything that we do. That life has no meaning and ultimately we’re going to die and that’s it.
This is why depression can be such a complex thing to try and explain. I can’t explain to you why this feeling came on, and this feeling isn’t exactly everyone’s experience with depression. It’s not like a broken leg. Is the bone broken? Yes. Well it’s a broken leg. With depression it’s so multifaceted and layered that people very entirely within the spectrum of the illness. It’s also not a permanent thing. One of the hardest things for Rachel over the years has been the simple fact that she never knows how long a depressive episode with me will last, and what it’s going to be like. And this week I was very much all over the place.
“It’s Like Living With Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”
As Rachel righty puts it, “It’s Like Living With Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.” She never knows exactly what’s coming next when it comes to my depression. One minute I’m happy, enthusiastic and completely normal. Five minutes later I’m quite silent and don’t really feel up to much – sometimes I’m somewhere lower. There’s no rhyme or reason to what changes me. It just happens. In the past, it’s usually something that lasts quite a while either way. But recently it’s fluctuated rather rapidly. And I could easily find myself flicking between the two several times a day.
As much of a pain it’s been for me, it’s just as difficult for Rachel. If you really want to talk about the hidden side of mental health, then it’s those who are affected by the people who suffer from it too. It’s not just me being affected by depression, it’s Rachel too. And I dare say so will Isabelle. That’s something I want to sit down and write about some time in the future, so I’ll leave that thought for another time.
Ending the Week on a Positive
Despite all the ups and downs we had throughout the week, we managed to top it off with a rather good Sunday. We got out nice and early – we’re talking 7am – and headed off to the beach. Rather than drone on about our nice Sunday spent as a family, I think it’s best that I leave this week here. Suffice to say, we just had an enjoyable few hours together as the little family that we currently are. No bullshit, no drama. Nothing to write home about other than the normal stuff that normal families often do on their Sundays. Well, maybe I’ll catch you next week! Oh, and as usual, here’s this weeks vlog if you fancy having something to watch: