So I’m thinking that I was a little hasty in thinking I was cured of depression. I have to say that a lot of my motivation to write as I have done was to put my feelings and perspectives into a box. It seemed that by doing that, I would be able to control them. I have lived for several months with a heightened sense of awareness and a buoyed mood that had me hoping, wishing, convincing myself that depression and cure really could co-exist in the same sentence.
I now realise that depression commands respect, not respect in the true sense of the word but respect in so much as, having been there, I will always need to be mindful of the need to question my thought processes.
I have always believed that once you have or have had depression, life becomes a journey that you no longer take alone. Depression is always there, if not present as it was for me for many years, at the very least lurking, waiting, opportunistic. I can liken it to cancer for me. I am not sure that I will ever feel cured of either!
What prompted me to write the above? Simply this last weekend. Let me tell you about it.
My man, G came up to Brisbane on Wednesday night. I looked forward to a long weekend together as I had organised to have Thursday and Friday off as well. Thursday and Friday were good, great even. G and I went to a lovely restaurant and enjoyed a date. Now this is not something we normally do, so I bought a new dress and we both went to lots of effort. The evening was well and truly worth the effort, great restaurant, lovely food and superb company!
Now on Saturday, my daughter L and I went out to do some shopping and as we were coming home we witnessed a dog hit by a car. We were the first there as the driver initially did not stop and we raced over to do what we could for the poor animal. Now, L was fantastic. She comforted the dog, organised someone to direct traffic and generally took over. The driver of the car, a young man returned (he had just gone to u-turn) and was very visibly distressed, the dog’s owner appeared (more distress) and several others who had stopped (including myself) witnessed a whole lot of grief and pain and could not help but be affected. There was no blame. The dog had run across the road but that did not lessen anyone’s feelings.
I felt my buoyed mood slip away. Now it is normal to feel distress at these times, I understand that, but I don’t understand how that event had such a profound impact on my overall sense of wellbeing. Over the next 24 hours I could feel myself sinking and sinking back into the fog from which I had emerged. I was working at home. I have been clawing my house back from the clutches of my depression (accumulated ‘stuff’, mess, disorganisation) and I threw myself into it to try and improve my mood. So my mind then progressed down a pathway of beating myself up. I went through, “We’d be rich if I didn’t spend so much money.” (I make jewellery and have quite a lot of materials.) “I am useless” (I have been unable to find a camera for several months and was sure that I would find it in the weekend clean up). Now instead of checking my thought processes, I became overwhelmed by negativity.
Now G of course thought that he had done something wrong. I tried to brush him aside and assure him that he was not at fault but he would not accept it. He kept asking and asking until in floods of tears, I told him how useless I was, how I was sure that if he didn’t have such a ridiculous wife, we would surely own our house by now and how angry I was with myself over the camera.
He then started to talk to me. I’ve never spoken with G like this about my thought processes before, but since he has been reading my blog, we’ve had a number of very frank discussions about depression and the impact it has on me. I guess that I have basically been afraid to tell him how I felt because he always coped so well and I did not want to be a burden. He started with a dissertation on all of the people in the neighbourhood, their hobbies and the costs of them. He pointed out the old car that sits in our driveway because he has never quite been able to sell it (we still register and insure it). Then he said to me that he is incredibly proud of where I have come from and the progress I have made over the past 6 months and that if we never find the camera then that is a small price to pay.
His words immediately lifted my spirits and I suggested that I should just talk to him and never go back to my psychologist. Head shaking, “Ah, ah”, he said and we both laughed.
I am now working on early recognition and intervention to stop myself from getting into that state again. Sadly, at the moment, I am not sure what all of the triggers are, but I will get there! I have no doubt that you will hear from me again on this subject. I aim that the posts will all be ones of triumph!