I’m writing this post to challenge your perception of depression. If you think that depression is always bed-ridden women, and emotional teenagers then listen up because I’m about to lay down some truth bombs (god I sound like a mother of 3). I HAVE NEVER BEEN AS PRODUCTIVE AS WHEN I WAS IN MY DEEPEST DEEPEST DEPRESSION.
There is this idea that clinical depression is people being paralysed and unable to do anything. Although sometimes I would have to leave a situation, get into bed and pretend everything didn’t exist, I didn’t really stop once during the worst of my depression. Instead of stopping, I went at 1532846382 miles an hour into EVERYTHING. I couldn’t stop. I was running this blog, starting up Every Month, writing my dissertation, applying for jobs, doing stand up, seeing friends and seeing Thomas. Ultimately, you could label all of those things ‘trying not to kill myself.’
It sounds dramatic but it’s true. I thought depression was when you couldn’t move, but for me it was when I absolutely had to move. There was so much terror in stopping because everything was darkness and it’s fucking terrifying to hang out in the dark. I didn’t want to stop because I was scared what would happen if I did. I didn’t watch a film for months and I hated the night time because nobody was doing anything and it baffled me that people were ok with that.
I think the hardest thing is that all of my ‘doing’ was being praised for it. I had lost a lot of my hair by the time I went for a job interview that I had taken one day off the Edinburgh Fringe shows that I was in to go. It was a daylong interview process and I was exhausted by the end, which I loved because it showed I had been ‘doing’. 280 people had gone for my job and I got it. The next day I went back on stage at the Fringe. Going at 122642947639 miles an hour was working out well for me, but I was still terrified.
For some people the numbness of depression means that they can’t do or feel anything, but for others it pushes them to desperately try and feel something. One day I got a tattoo because I was so numb that I couldn’t sit still and I NEEDED to feel something. The tattoo artist said a rose was £80 and I didn’t have that so I got an R because it was half the price. I knew something was wrong when I felt soothed by the pain of being tattooed and my impulsiveness had been satisfied.
I had been on anti depressants for almost a year when I finally was forced to stop by way of inpatient treatment. I don’t think my mum ever thought she would be begging me to sit and watch TV, but she was and I did. I quit this blog and stand up and kept Every Month as my one thing. It meant I could mindlessly be productive, making packs, and learn to relax again. My meds where changed to accommodate Impulse Control Disorder as well as Depression and I went to the cinema with Thomas and watched a whole film.
I still find Sunday’s hard but it is getting easier for my brain to keep quiet and let me rest. My hair is back but my feet still hurt most days from pulling off my skin. Hurting myself is habitual now, it’s an impulse that I’m learning to control, but I’m not scared of stopping it, which is new. I’m moving away from home again in September and I’m going back to uni. The future is so exciting to me now and I am overwhelmed by the immensity of life less and less often.
If you have any questions about my treatment or anything you’d like to know about, you can always contact me and I’ll point you in the direction I took.