It’s been a while since I have been here. I don’t even really know if I’m going to publish this, but hopefully it will be helpful to write.
Things are going well with me. My daughter is flourishing, she is 2 now and amazing and strong willed and intelligent. My husband has been my lifeline and my joy, he’s surpassed my expectations as a father and after 14 years he is still my best friend. Our house is good and the smallholding is going well. There are always things I wish I was doing better at but it is going well. All in all life is pretty good right now, if I had to pick a life to live this one would be right up there at the top of my choices.
So what has drawn me back here? I’m depressed. What, you’re not surprised?
Last September my step-father died suddenly and I haven’t gotten over it. I can go a couple days without crying now but I haven’t managed 3 days. I hope it will get easier but his loss has shaken me. I’m coping, don’t get me wrong, I am managing all that is generally expected of me, I’ve even been discharged from community mental health, but I am depressed. I am struggling.
I’ve noticed myself stepping back. When I was younger I was online a lot. Probably an unhealthy amount. I had sci-fi groups I was part of and self-help communities. I posted often on my livejournal and I had friends I would chat with on MSN (if you can remember that far back!). I look back now on Facebook ‘on this day’ and I see general ramblings about my day, things I’ve done, things I’m planning to do, random musings. I have never been good at making friends face to face but I had my online world. I was sociable there. I’m not posting on Facebook, I’m rarely talking to people on FB messenger, whatsapp or text. I’ve never done phonecalls. I’m not posting on a blog other than the smallholding one and that is sparse. I have withdrawn and I am feeling the effects. I’m feeling the self inflicted isolation and I don’t quite know how to break out of it.
I’m reading. That would sound like a positive but with me it isn’t. Reading has always been an escape for me. As a child and teen I would devour books. They took me away from my head, sent me somewhere else and gave me refuge from my own thoughts. I owe so much to them but they are often an unhealthy habit for me. When Paul died it was young adult fantasy fiction. I read so much. Things seemed to get better but the reading bug is back. I am reading Merlin fanfiction on my phone and whilst it was nice to start with it is becoming problematic. I am reading pretty constantly. Even when I am doing something that needs two hands I tuck my phone in my arm or brastrap, as I might be able to read in a second and god-forbid the phone isn’t there. I am reading whilst I am walking. I am reading until my eyes close at night then putting the phone on charge when I wake up and reading again. Somehow I am still managing with my little girl I can read books to her and play with the phone next to me, reading a line of my fic whenever she looks away but it’s not the way I want to be. I have tried putting the phone in the other room but my mind just starts racing and the thoughts get too loud and suddenly the phone is back in my hand.
I am eating ok, although I am back to obsessing about my weight. I’m monitoring it far too much and I feel old habits and thoughts creeping back in. I’d say I was sleeping ok but it’s half 1 in the morning and I am not sleeping because I don’t want to. I’m not particularly tired but I could probably sleep if I tried. The reluctance to sleep is an old habit. I know I could quite happily stay up until sunrise tonight and then start my day. The alcohol cabinet is calling my name. I can almost taste a malibu or sole gin on my lips. I actually walked towards it earlier then walked away. It wouldn’t be a healthy drink I’d have and ‘a shot to help me through’ isn’t a habit I want to pick up again.
I’m listening to music again. This is along the same line as the reading, when I can’t read the music goes on. I need to keep my brain focused on something else. Something else than what, I’m not entirely sure, but I know I must be distracted, I can’t stop. I can’t allow myself to think. When I do I find myself sobbing uncontrollably before thoughts can even form. It happened today when I couldn’t skip to a song I knew quick enough in the car. Sound crazy? It is. I shouldn’t be scared to think, so desperate to avoid it.
The frustrating thing is that logically I know my life is so good right now, I shouldn’t have this sadness inside. But I guess that has always been the case with my mental health. I guess that is what makes it mental health. It isn’t a rational reaction to what is going on in my life. My brain reacts to so much more than external stimulus.
But I’m discharged. I’m still breastfeeding and thus not on medication. I am not self harming or attempting suicide (they didn’t ask if I still think about it). I am well dressed, bright and seem to have good cognitive function. I’m functioning on a level that doesn’t require help from anyone. And that is a good thing, I am proud of all of those things.
I don’t know what the point of this is. I just wanted to reach out I guess, even if just to the ether. I’m here, I’m functioning, I’m depressed, I’m not ok, but I will be again sometime. Maybe there will be more posts, maybe I will pick this method of communication up again. Maybe I will be able to come here and share awesome things we are doing, personal achievements, share my good days and feel connected to something again. Maybe this will be a one off and this blog will be empty for another year or two. Who knows.
I will post this. I like the idea of submitting this out there to the ether. To breathe out that I am not ok but that I will be. If you’ve read this, thank you, you don’t have to comment or anything, I just needed to breathe this out.
Edited to say: I just looked back over this blog. About this time 2014 I have a pretty similar post. Wondering if it is a cyclical thing? *Sigh* I’m not ok, but I will be ok, but sometimes this wheel is exhausting. Finding myself back in the same pits I have been in before, no way to claw out, just wait for the wheel to turn to me being ok and a slave to waiting for it to throw me back into the shit again. I wish I knew how to break free of this wheel.
I’m nervous writing this post, and to be honest I’m not sure if I will actually even post it once it is written.
Life right now? We are on the smallholding. The house is in relatively good condition. No matter what I say about the bedrooms being small all rooms are actually a good size. We have polytunnels already up and fruit trees producing. The field has good grazing. We have been blessed by seeing more family and friends in the last 4 weeks than we did in months when living in Scotland. The cats seem to have all adjusted well and I have a smiling baby girl.
All seems good. I have so much to be thankful for.
So why am I struggling. Why has my anxiety and OCD cleanliness glared up to the point I’m opening doors with my elbows, avoiding light switches, wearing trainers inside and wanting to throw up when in my bathroom and kitchen. The house is pretty clean by most people’s standards but my skin is crawling. Why do I just want to cry? Why am I struggling to sleep each night even though I’m shattered and my baby is sleeping soundly. Why have I stopped taking care of myself, eating and drinking regularly and have become incapable of taking my medicines regularly if at all? Why are the urges to self harm back with a vengeance?
I finally have things I have wanted for so many years. Starting a family and the ability to get back to the land and become more self sufficient.
So why am I falling apart?
I am hoping beyond hope that it is just the cyclical nature of my mental illness. That, like so many other times in my life, I just need to acknowledge this breakdown and shelter in the care of my husband until this cycle passes.
Or maybe it’s the return of the hormones after having a baby. My breakdowns have often coincided with hormones to the point that once a month I would get suicidal like clockwork. Maybe in a week or so this will have passed. Maybe I should go back on the pill to control the hormones. I want so much to be as drug free as possible and natural but maybe natural me is no good.
What I really really hope is that I’m not feeling this way, despite all the good in my life, because I am in fact the spoilt, ungrateful, whiney child that my head is screaming that I am.