It's scary how the days, weeks and months rattle on by as family and friends go about their lives, and I crawl through life on hands and knees as the Depression Monkeys of Doom scream, shout, stamp and scratch their way around my brain. It has been another sorry start to a year in many ways, but the first quarter of 2012 had also been a time of many little victories.
At the beginning of the first quarter (the beginning of Lent Term) Dr Goth and Mr Polar invited me to stay at the "Mr Polar's Home for Mentally Divergent Wimmins", or just "home" for DrG & MrP. I accepted and that first weekend of the term I moved some stuff over and The Mater helped with the project, very kindly, I have to say. It has not been easy for her to not only have me at home after years and years of my being in London, but also having me at home and trying to understand depression, firstly, and secondly how depression is affecting her daughter.
Much as I may be incredibly frustrated or hurt by some of the reactions my current state of mental illness has elicited (from some amongst my friends and family), I do understand that it is not at all easy to know what to do when faced with a grown woman (especially if she's your child) who is apparently incapable of looking after her own well-being or even caring about these things. This is not something a Mr Bump sticky plaster can fix, nor even a hug, a cup of tea and a fluffy bunny on my lap (although all of these things are lovely and make me very happy).
This is something that is serious, that is almost impossible to quantify or describe, painful yet numbing, low mood yet high emotions, crippling yet exhausting, folding yet unfolding, utterly debilitating and inescapably isolating. The isolation is bidirectional. It comes from within me, I neither have the desire nor the ability to engage in what is going on around me for I am exhausted by the constant chatterings and batterings of the DMoDs; it also comes from without, others withdraw because I am uncommunicative which a person might perceive as aloof, uninterested, uncaring, lazy or rude. I am none of those negative things (despite what the Monkeys might say) - I am just lost in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, it seems.
These things aside I was looking forward to being a bridesmaid at my friend's wedding in March. At the end of February things went a bit to pot again and I had started to shut down from the world once more. I hadn't noticed. Dr Goth had and she encouraged me to go back to the GP. In early March a friend of mine died and it really shook me. I hadn't realized she had recently got out of hospital, but I'm glad she didn't die there, strange though that may sound. Jackie had fought hard, but the last couple of years had been especially difficult. Jackie was just 44 years old. Six years older than me. It sucked and hurt so much. Every death of a person you have known and loved is painful. Sadly, I have lost many friends in the last 20 years - it's what happens when you work for a charity run by people with complex heart conditions. You make friends quickly and sadly, you sometimes lose them just as quickly.
The following week I saw the Practice Sister and she upped The Happy Pills by another 50mg. Two months on and I'm not sure it's made the slightest bit of difference.
Anyway, as I walked out of the GP surgery I just started to panic massively about the upcoming wedding and just felt that I couldn't be involved. I had missed the hen party, I hadn't met up with the other girls, I was just retreating further into my shell.
After much prayer, panic, wringing of hands and arguing with myself, I emailed the Holy Handcrafter of Antioch and explained why I couldn't do the bridesmaid thing. The HHA was - understandably - upset, but totally understanding. She was most gracious on the wedding day too. Had it not been for the fact that I had a lift all the way to Jorvik, I don't think I would have made it at all. Not out of not wanting to be there, but because the fear of the outdoors outweighs everything else at the moment.
The wedding though was an absolute joy and delight. The bride looked more radiant than I have ever seen her look; I was really stoked that all her Pagan friends came to the church service - which included Holy Communion - a very important factor for the HHA and her Viking. It was a most amazing witness to the Glory and Lordship of God and the church was literally filled to the rafters with His presence and the company of angels. It was awesome!
Since then, though, the Monkeys have been pissing me off with their constant yawing. I am utterly exhausted. It took me almost three weeks to write one essay because my brain just will NOT engage and focus.
And now, my first exam of this year is tomorrow, 14th May, and revision has been S-L-O-W and virtually non-existent because of this pigging brainstall. Ah well, it'll be an interesting afternoon on the morrow. In fact, I am sure that it will be OK. I have a peace about it (which I hope I am not mistaking a denial for...).
Glory to God for his faithfulness and his love and his mercy. Heaven knows how much I need those things!
Take care all,