I wrote this two weeks ago but got busy with Christmas and forgot to post. Doing a helluva lot better now, but methinks an update is in order! Hope you are all having a happy new year. Rock on 2010!
It's been almost seven weeks since the Ranting Orangutan entry and it almost took that long to finally do something about my depression. I'll just come out and use the Big D word now. Looking back though the archives the other day, this started brewing over two years ago, and if I'd been bold enough to admit it earlier it may not have got so messy.
After the Ranting Orangutan I ran wild with the I Feel Awful theme. My head was like wool and I could not focus on anything. There was lots of weeping and ten pounds worth of mindless eating to add to the ten that had already crept on over the year. There was that smothering hopeless black hole feeling.
I ran away from the work Christmas party. We were getting ready in the loos when the dread and panic swooped over. It was a strange, physical reaction… shaking and nausea and wanting to shrivel into a ball on the bathroom floor. I just could not face going out. It really really really sucks to sob all over your colleagues and not know why.
I nicked off home to the safety of the couch, thinking this isn't me, something's wrong here… but still didn't do anything. Then the whole panic-and-run routine happened again at kickboxing the following week. Bloody hellfire.
I finally went to the doctor on Tuesday, but not before doing five different online Are You Depressed tests to get some empirical evidence. I also took a comprehensive list of all the things I did to try and get better on my own over these past months, so the doctor didn't think I was a slackarse drug fiend.
It was the same old words I wrote about 1999 and 2002 – the feeling like a fraud, the feeling like a failure for not being able to solve things on my own; the almost wishing for a broken limb or a giant, festering wound on my forehead so there was a proper, visible reason for being so bleak. But the doctor was kind and helpful, not the take-the-pills-and-get-outta-here type. She was all about the one-step-a-time, mind and body approach. Groovy.
Why is it so difficult to own up to the Big D? There's the stuff in the paragraph above, and also the not wanting to feel like a pain in the butt to my family. Plus the memory of someone who used the Big D as their crutch, as an excuse for treating people like rubbish. I have an illness so that is why I might be a fuckwit sometimes… I don't ever want to be lumped into that category. But going to the other extreme and pretending there's no problem… that's gotten me bloody nowhere.
I don't want to spend another another year living in slow motion, all detached and fuzzy. I have seen dear friends lose loved ones to incurable illnesses this year… depression is something I can so easily manage, if I just accept it, stop worrying about what people think and get on with the getting better!
So that's what's been happening. Six days later and it already feels less like I'm walking through molasses. It's good to have taken that first step.