Sunrise.

I know the exact moment the depression lifted. My mum came in to say good morning one day and sat on the end of my bed, and the light hit her face in just the most beautiful way and for the first time I saw the lines on her skin and the colour of her eyes. It was the weirdest feeling; it was as though someone had finally given me glasses I never knew I needed.

Every few days after that I’d just suddenly see something in such remarkable detail I’d never noticed before. The world had texture all of a sudden, and light seemed to be reacting with every surface to create a world more beautiful than I’d ever known. I looked in the mirror one day and my face had changed shape. My skin had pores and my eyes were lighter and for the first time in my life I realised I have really great cheekbones.

That was a over a month ago now, and since then whenever I look in the mirror I see something else I hadn’t noticed before. I have the most delightful little lines forming around my eyes when I smile now, and I pull faces in mirrors just to watch them and remember that I smile enough that it has imprinted on my skin.

I’ve shown signs of depression since I was seven years old. And one day seventeen years later, it vanished. Just like that.

Training wheels.

I have a letter from a psychiatrist stating that I am mentally stable. I laughed when I opened it, then hurtled down the stairs, waved it at my mum, and burst into tears in the kitchen.

I also have a letter for the same psychiatrist confirming a formal diagnosis of OCD. I’d been chasing one of those for years. I really wanted to be firmly stamped with that label, with the notion that maybe if I knew for sure what it was then I could stop it. Turns out it’s just three words on a sheet of paper, folded haphazardly by an assistant, and promptly lost upon receipt. The diagnosis just meant they recommended a medication that left me so nauseated I didn’t sleep for three days.

So. I have an anticlimactic diagnosis (and a few bonus ones), but I am mentally stable, and I have been completely unmedicated for three months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an anxious mess, but I’m a functional anxious mess who goes to work every day, answers messages occasionally, and finds joy in little things.

I’m writing this today following a few days of shaking and nausea and the odd bit of crying. Someone at work was ill and a friend was ill and I accidentally read an entire book in the garden today and my brain’s trying to convince me that I have sun stroke. I still have a long way to go. But six months ago even, this would have broken me.

 

A long, dark tunnel.

It’s been a while.

I write this from the eye of a storm, in a pleasantly cold room, to the sound of a stranger sneezing somewhere out in the still night. I have been having constant, consecutive panic attacks for around two weeks now and I am exhausted to the point of calm. The nausea has subsided a little, my tongue doesn’t feel like a dry sponge, and my heart is not deafeningly loud in my ears. In this moment, I am okay.

My heart and spirit are thoroughly broken and the jar I keep the pieces in doesn’t have a lid; trying to keep them all together and not lose any pieces of myself is taking a lot of energy. And it’s not been entirely successful. I have definitely lost pieces of myself, stained a few, and damaged others irreparably. But in the process I’ve found a few coloured buttons and leaves and shells to fill up the empty space with, to make sure my jar is still full.

I’ve had flu twice, one concussion, four months of wearing sunglasses indoors, a handful of suicidal nights and a few more suicidal days. One police helicopter and two ambulances. A couple of severe reactions. One week in hospital with a hole in my spine. One addiction and 40 days sober. Three high-speed journeys down the stairs on my arse. Three full months off sick.

Two baby dogs. A few new friends. Five little tattoos. So many books read and miles walked and sunrises watched. A few thousand words written. A job I loved and hated and loved. A huge amount of nights survived against the odds. One week of bliss; remission; joy.

So many things survived this past 12 months that should be seen as strength and that I am trying to see as strength. I’ve lost friendships because every sentence I say begins with “I” and I can’t afford to dislike myself any more than absolutely necessary. I haven’t the energy to listen and respond, or to humour your epiphanies, or to pretend I know who the people you talk about are. My head is so full of static that your words mutate on the way through it and they come across harsh and impatient and ignorant, and I need to hide so I don’t snap.

My therapist asked me who I am and I’m still not sure but I’m working on it.

All I eat is pudding, but I didn’t cry today!

I have emotions again!!!1!

They came back in a messy way; the bad ones first, then the intolerable ones, then the dangerous ones, and now the friendly ones, too. Bit of a rubbish time for it to happen, but I am pleased to say that I can feel this particular shitty situation like a normal human being and that what I’ve been experiencing the past week or so is grief and sadness but NOT depression. And this is good. This is healthy.

The meds are finally right, the new therapist is lovely, the major problem is isolated, my friends are incredible, and there is once more hope on the horizon. Today I even made plans for when I’m 25. 

Onwards and upwards!

Peace.

I’m in a war of swords and guns and all I have to fight back with is a wooden spoon.

My brain wants me dead. My brain tells me to close my eyes and  jump off bridges and play in traffic and let knives slip. It tells me these things in the same way it tells me to remove my hand from a hot oven tray; it seems like a sensible course of action. The dog is currently whining away at the bottom of the stairs thinking I hate her for skipping two walks now, but I don’t really trust myself to be that close to a road today.

Medication has increased to the maximum level and if I ever remember to call during daylight hours I am being referred to therapy again. I’m lonely and I’m scared and I’m dreading the winter.

But if Robin Williams could make it to sixty-three years old then I can hold on too. Bloody proud of that man.

Summer never looked so dark.

There’s a weird sort of restlessness that accompanies despair. It’s always at my lowest that I feel I have the most energy, and I refer to those times as my dangerous moods because complete, inconsolable misery in conjunction with a sudden burst of energy lands me in a very dangerous frame of mind where just about anything is possible.

I have spent the past few weeks drifting in and out of despair. Little Miss Relapse is still in full force and I’m genuinely worried this time. I have surrendered the keys to my mechanical steed, I have not been offended when my mum locks the car doors when I’m inside, and I have an appointment with my doctor next week.

 

Really struggling at the moment.

Not broken, just bent.

I am little miss relapse. I am a flurry of bad decisions and strange dreams and unfriendly internal organs. I took a full time job, just for a month, and tomorrow I have to ask if I can leave early because it is making me ill to the extent that I am once more not allowed to operate machinery.

I feel naff. I feel sad. I feel heavy. When the courage arises I shall call my doctor and ask for more help, but that is for some reason proving a pretty difficult thing to do.

Any words/.gifs of encouragement would be greatly appreciated at the moment!

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