Explaining how you feel…

How do you explain depression to someone who doesn’t understand? How do you make someone see, understand what it is, what its like, how it feels? Its something to be honest, I’ve never tried to do. My parents saw the best and worst of me and therefore they got it first hand, for all its peculiarities and oddness.

Its described as that black dog that follows you around, a metaphor for being chased down by darkness, this feeling of being followed, imprisoned, caged by your own feelings. Its always there, like a cloud looming, suffocating you, reminding you that it can rain again any time.

But what is it. Its hardly descriptive is it, this black dog. Its all abstract words and feelings its hardly surprising people can’t grasp it. To me, its this sense of deadness that creeps in. Where I go through a stage of feeling numb, over tired, exhausted, my brain works at a 100 miles an hour worrying about anything, everything, keeping me up. I stop sleeping, I feel nothing about anything. Apathetic,  just very unlike me.

Then you feel lost, down, sad, you feel like crying constantly because you don’t understand why you don’t feel happy, why you can’t feel properly. Like your heads wrapped in cotton wool, you can’t think, can’t process, feelings tear around inside of you rather than drifting, you’re angry for feeling so helpless when there is nothing wrong, sad for not knowing how to put it right, lost as to the answer to this imaginary problem.

Yet it is so very real. It can come around or go as fast as anything. I take tablets, the highest dose of my prescribed meds allowed, to keep me from feeling that way, but then, sometimes, it all gets to much. I’ll have a few down days, where suddenly, I’ll wake up and something isn’t right, I can feel it, this sense of… an absence. My eyes prick with tears and I don’t understand why, I end up overwhelmed, hysterical, hating myself for feeling so god damn useless. Then, I feel OK.

I sit with someone, I talk, I don’t talk, I take some different tablets, I get a handle on things, drag myself out of my own pit, and give myself a good talking too. I put things in perspective, I contact those I love, I force myself to get on, and you know what, I’m OK again, functioning normally. Enjoying friends company, occupying myself with writing, reading, plans, whatever. The helplessness subsides, the empty void is filled, if only partly on occasion, and I carry on.

Its dangerous. Its worrying how quickly things can turn so wrong, how things can get out of hand. How your rational brain, leaves somewhere and this force takes over. Doctors worry, long term depression is a worry, it leads to scary things, they want to put you with people to talk to, they want to make you feel better all the time, but we all have ups and downs, just because your depressed doesn’t mean you should never have them.

I want the highs and the lows. Sometimes you just need to talk and say, I feel like everything’s slipping away again, sometimes you need people to leave it be, sometimes you need someone to understand they cant get it. People that say its a first world problem, damn right it is. How upsetting is that, can you imagine, knowing there are people in Africa, starving, with AIDS and diseases, their children dying and if you asked them, they’d want to live.

I say its ignorant. Well yes and no. Its hard to understand something you cant explain or feel yourself, Its hard to see how there can be a problem when there is nothing seemingly wrong. It is totally irrational, that is not lost on depressives, its stupid, its selfish, its ridiculous, thats not lost on me either. But its a disease, of the brain, its there and it eats you and it makes no sense and its there for no reason.

I was told last week I was considered a harm to myself, maybe I was, last week I didnt care, I couldn’t be bothered, I was fed up of feeling down, of getting these ridiculous feelings, of the hopelessness, of letting myself get like that, if that was my life, I didnt want it. But this week, well, I’ve got my perspective back, my rational brain and I know, its stupid to let something take such a hold, something you can’t even understand or quantify.

I get upset when people question it, I understand how ridiculous it is, I hate myself for being such a drip, for letting myself become so overemotional, when I’m not one for being overly emotional normally. Its because I cant explain it, I dont understand it and I find it as frustrating as everyone does who’s trying to get a straight answer about it.

I want to hide people from my lows. When I could just lose it all completely and cry and shake and dissolve into a dribbling, snivelling wreck for no apparant reason. You look mental, you make no sense, you seem hysterical and nothings happened. Why would people want to see that? But then your being fake, your being fake all the time. No your not. Sometimes we all want to cry, sometimes we all want to scream out, its just your at the extremes as a depressive. There isn’t a lot in the middle, its from Depression to Numbness to Happiness. the place inbetween the polar opposites is not feeling at all.

I wish I could stop being like that, I wish I could just be happy with my life because I’ve nothing to be unhappy about, I wish I could be like everybody else, without making a problem out of not having a distinguishable problem. But its something I accept, I try not to think about, I get on with, its a part of me. I  was diagnosed 10 years ago, and it certainly won’t disappear overnight. I don’t dwell, I don’t think about it, I don’t will it, but it creeps in, I fight it off, I get tired, I give in, I resolve, I get up, I dust myself down, I slap myself for my stupidity, I smile, I carry on, and I’m back.

That’s as well as I can ever describe it. I just hope, for those I want it to, its good enough.

After all, Life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain.

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Hips, Hernia’s and Headf*cks.

I guess all my posts of late have been leading up to this one – My general mood state and life at present. I guess it might put things in a bit of perspective. I hadn’t and haven’t really wanted to go into details, I’m a positive sort of person and I haven’t felt like going into details. But the more people I connect with in our lovely blogging community I guess it doesn’t matter.

This idea I keep badgering on about, about loving yourself, being less critical, being positive is because, I guess that’s precisely what I’m having to be that moment. Resilient. I’ve just broken up with my partner of two years, currently sat with both my legs cast awaiting news of a massive operation, with a 25% chance of walking afterwards.

I’m a girl with incredibly unlucky health. This year it would appear it’s finally come to a head. I’ve had problems with my lower limbs for years, taking strong painkillers everyday that have caused my stomach to bleed and my liver to panic, my kidneys to struggle, my general health to diminish. I’ve collapsed ankle joints, femoral anteversion (my knees point inwards so I can’t bend my legs without them touching) and hips that dislocate. I spend a great deal of time struggling to walk or on crutches, with swollen joints and agonising aches.

Yesterday I went for a scan of my abdomen and have two congenital hernia’s, holes in my stomach wall I was born with and my intestines are poking through the muscular wall, causing a great deal of discomfort for years and never realising what it was. I’ve a heart condition, that causes me to randomly blackout and feel as though I’m having a mild heart-attack, not being able to breathe, shaking uncontrollably and slipping in and out of consciousness.

I’ve had depression since a child. Diagnosed ten years ago, I’ve had everything, CBT, counselling, Psychotherapy, and drugs everyday. My brain simply doesn’t make those lovely happy chemicals that keep us all ticking over nicely. To put it simply, I’m a bit of a mess at the moment.

Everyday is a struggle to get up, find the energy, suffering with insomnia, no sleep because of pain and discomfort, I spend much of my time uncomfortable and wandering whats the point. But there is one, I refuse to give in and have everything affect me. So I may be clinically depressed, always in a state of depression, but if you met me you’d see I’m one of the happiest, most positive people you’ll ever meet.

So it may be a well placed mask, a front to cover up how I feel, but to be honest, my life isn’t that awful. I refuse to give in, lay back and feel sorry for myself. I’ve a lot on my plate yes, but it isn’t unmanageable. It isn’t something I can’t handle, it’s just life. Its full of ups and downs and curveballs and mine, well are just as anyone elses I guess.

I refuse to be self loathing, self-interested, self obsessed. To think about my life and no one else and get down about it. It’s just one of those things I deal with and I’m ok with that. You’ll never hear me moaning that I’m in pain, that I’m not feeling great. I’ll never say I’m having a bad day or I can’t cope because, tomorrow I could be fine. I stay positive, look for the good in life and focus on being happy, whatever that means.

Life isn’t a box of chocolates. We can’t pick the path we’re given or the things we have to deal with, but we still have to. Whether I feel like it or not, I still have a life to lead, things to be doing, things to concentrate on. I have many things going for me and that’s what we all must remember. I’ll no doubt go into detail about everything at some point, but to be honest, I don’t feel the need to dwell, to linger on things that I can’t control.

Best to carry on, to remind yourself that life could be far far worse, and carry,well in my case, hobble on 🙂 Everyone has problems, no ones are worse than anyone elses because they’re relative to what we’ve dealt with in the past, what we’ve had to face, a small bump to one person could be a big deal to someone else. It’s not ok to put someone else down or demean them for being upset about something trivial, if indeed it’s affecting them, well. It’s all about being understanding and respectful of other people and their lives.

I like my life, for all its ups and downs and traumas. So its stressful, so I’m likely to have a heart-attack by the time I’m thirty, likely to end in a wheelchair and to struggle everyday to want to be here and carry on, but it’s what makes me. We are made by our experiences. I have resilience, self-respect and a self-awareness others can only dream of. I am the person I am because of what I deal with. I cope because I have done and will always continue to do so.

I am positive because I want to be, because life’s to short and life is about the ride, the journey. I enjoy living, I enjoy my pain, it makes me feel alive, I enjoy the struggles because it’s when your realise who you really are, what you’re truly about – your essence and core is, revealed almost.

This may be the only time you hear me being, negative if you like. And it’s not so much that, it’s just stating life as it is. I’m not asking for sympathy of for people to be concerned about me. I don’t bang on about health issues for attention or love. I am just me.  So I may hide whats really going on, I may wear a front some days, present a happier me than I’m really feeling but, it’s not that I don’t want people to know, that I’m ashamed or that I think people would think I’m a whiny bitch… It’s just, it isn’t a big deal to me – it isn’t a focus.

What is, is being happy, helping others, getting my education, spending time with loved ones, bettering myself as a person, enjoying every minute as maybe pessimistically put, It might be your last. That’s not negative, its optimistic. If you live life as though today is your last day, you never waste time, you embrace every second, even if that’s sitting down and doing nothing or out and about making the most of your day.