Sunday, 24 January 2016

Living with depression

Good afternoon one and all.

It has, once again, been rather a while since I have blogged, but I have had a few things turning round in my little brain recently, so I thought it was about time I started typing.

I've been reflecting on the past 5 years of my life and thinking how dramatically things have changed. 

It led me to think about how things have changed with my depression, and how although I am so much better now, the black dog still refuses to leave my side completely.

I guess I want to try and explain how I manage life now. How I live with my depression.

Firstly, I've had to accept that depression and anxiety will always be part of my life. I will never be rid of them for ever. I've also had to accept that its likely that I will have to stay on my medication long term. I know that I need the medication to level out my brain (or whatever the scientific term is.) Its not been a magical pill that has solved everything, but just as a diabetic need insulin to survive, I need my anti-depressants.

I never imagined that I would be able to work full time again, yet now I am in a job I love working 40 hours a week. Madness really.

But I have to put certain things in place to make sure that I don't get burnt out and frazzled. (Because when I'm over-tired, the black dog just loves to bark in my ear.)

For example, in the week, I would love to go out after work, catch up with friends and do other bits and bobs of socialising. However, I can't. It would just be too much for me. After spending all day talking to customers and putting all my mental energy into work, the evenings are specifically reserved for being a zombie. Lying on the sofa and zoning out. Its annoying, and rather frustrating, but its just the way it has to be right now.

I haven't had a full time job for over 5 years and I'm still adjusting to balancing things out.

So friends and family, please don't be offended by my lack of communication in the week. Its not that I don't think about you, or want to talk to you or see you. Its just my brain can only take so much. And at the end of the day my brain tank is full to bursting and I can't process anything else.

When I'm in this zombie like state in the evening its very tempting to reach for a refreshing glass of wine...But I have to try and stop myself. Its so easy to get into the routine of drinking in the week, but its just not good for my brain. I have to try and find other ways of relaxing.

Which leads me to colouring....I think I have mentioned this before but over the past few months I have discovered colouring books and they are just super duper. A great way to chill me out and focus my energy on something mindless and comforting.

I'm also still knitting away and my new addiction is Wordcrack on the ipad. (I'm beginning to sound like a Grandma I know.)

Having a routine also helps me manage my anxiety levels. Even when I was really poorly I tried to have a routine within the week. I find it reassuring and grounding. Although sometimes I become so reliant on my routine I freak out when things don't go as I expect. Something that I'm working on to improve...

I also want to try and bring some sort of exercise into my routine....I have done a spot of hula hooping in the living room but that's about as far as things have got...

I have good days and bad days just like everyone else. I think the difference now compared to a few years ago is that knowledge that a bad day will pass. Or even if its a bad week, at some point that will pass too. And that's what I have to hold on to. When things were really bad 5 years ago, I couldn't give myself that reassurance as it just felt like I was sinking into an eternal darkness.

As always, I'm not sure if I really have a point or conclusion. Perhaps I'm wondering how people perceive me, whether they think from the outside I look like things are all tickety-boo. When actually each day is still a battle for me. I have to keep praying for the strength to get through each day. And maybe that will never change. I couldn't do it on my own. And not without the big J.C.