Monday, 29 March 2010
This is how it feels
It's worth writing this right now so that I don't forget the feeling and make it sound glossy and nicer than it is. This depression thing has been dripping away, as I gain control over my emotions and thoughts again. It hasn't owned me at all in such a long time. Then I had an awful cold that I allowed myself to think I could treat like anyone else would. In this case with pseudoephedrine. The problem is that I'm on SSRIs and these two don't play well together. I didn't know that.
Living with depression makes the world look a little different to you than it did when you were "normal". I see it like riding a carousel at a carnival at night. Your parents help you on to a big pink and yellow striped elephant seal with a unicorn's head. It's big and that kind of slippery that plastic is when you are a kid and spend more of your days with sticky drippy hands.
For a while there, you are adjusting and enjoying the ride around and around and up and down, with the music playing and bright friendly lights. You managed to stay on your steed like all the other people going around and around and up and down. You even smile like they do and laugh because it feels enjoyable to be amongst the happy energy.
Then you feel a jolt. It's that big-for-his-age 10 year old bully who you've seen pushing people over when he thinks nobody is looking. He's holding a half eaten and mostly melted ice cream cone in one and and coming in again to charge you with his free fist and shoulder. He's like the psuedoephedrine interaction with your meds. You grip with your hands on the fake mane of the mythical horse seal and dig in your heals, so that you can absorb the hit. Other times, you've managed to stay upright when people have walked by and knocked in to you but this time it's impossible. You see him coming as the ages of anticipation pass before he strikes. You know what it is going to feel like because you've felt like it before. Before you got therapy and medication and changed you lifestyle to remove anything possibly fun from it.
He hits. You lose you grip and slide over the side of your ride. Luckily there is a seal fin and you grab on to it. Nothing around you has stopped but the angle has certainly changed. You look up and the pretty lights are psychedelic, hypnotic and make you feel like throwing up. The rhythmic music you were traveling along to is now a noise of booms and strums and bangs and squeals. Then there are more squeals and it's other people who are still riding the carousel. They are still happy. Still moving around and around and bouncing up and down. The music doesn't phase them. The lights give them energy.
You can't see the bully now but it doesn't matter. The damage is done. As you hang on and wonder if you should let go, you realise that there is nothing but darkness out there and you don't know what would happen if you did. The right thing to do is to hang on until you can get it together enough to pull yourself back up.
Your finger tips get tired and go white from the pure effort of holding on. Your whole body starts to ache and the muscles in your arms start to cramp. Physically, you can make it through this. You have recovered before. Mentally, you don't know if you have the strength to do any more than cry and let go. Fall in to the darkness and not try to go around and around and up and down like everyone else. You wouldn't have to force yourself to smile anymore. You wouldn't be so tired after pretending to be just like everyone else. Faking the ease. Laughing with the crowd.
You decide that you might as well hang on for a while but if that bully comes back again, you hope he doesn't pick you once more because if he does next time, you may not have the energy.
I'm OK now. I'm tired. I want to eat hot cross buns and watch bad cop shows until my mind slows down and allows me to sleep. You all keep riding the carousel. If you see me disappear for a while, don't worry too much. I'll climb back up again. Don't I always?
Please excuse this post if it makes no sense. It is a brain dump of exactly how I feel right now.