I walked into the GP’s consulting room this morning with no real idea where to start talking. I came out fifteen minutes later clutching a tissue in one hand and a prescription for Fluoxetine (Prozac) in the other. Gosh.
Again, blogging has suffered recently. Life has been a bit chaotic. Anyway, here I am and this post feels a bit odd to write, as I have a very ‘me? really?’ feeling about it all.
Funny how you really don’t notice the gentle slide into depression. My partner J even tried his very best to tell me in the summer that I may well be depressed and he thought I should go and see a doctor. I argued back, nicely, till I was blue in the face. Of course I wasn’t depressed. I listed all the reasons I could think of why I couldn’t possibly be. Mainly because I had no thoughts of wanting to die, and I knew that even in my most stressed moments, I had hope that things would get better.
They did. I perked up. Especially as summer turned to autumn. And then I started to drift downwards again without even really noticing. I got behind on laundry (well, I’m always behind on laundry; I mean I got seriously behind). Unconsciously, I stopped doing efficient food shops. From being someone who has made meal plans each week and shopped according to them for several years now, I turned into a person who got to teatime every day and thought ‘shit, what are we having for tea?’. I began to cry more at the drop of a hat and began to worry about things that had never stressed me out before. It became my new normal and I didn’t even notice things had changed.
Then I needed to pour a lot of time and energy into supporting a family member through their own depression diagnosis. We looked up symptoms on the internet. Some of them began to ring a few bells in my own mind. Struggling to sleep? Tick. Crying all the time? Tick. Feeling tired and not wanting to do things I previously loved? Tick.
Mostly I was (am) floundering desperately through the chaos of life, and the circumstances I find myself in at the moment. Feeling like I’m drowning, and crucially, without even realising it properly until very recently, I can’t see any way out at the moment. I’m stuck in the chaos, notcopingnotcopingnotcopingnotcoping and can’t actually visualise myself coping effectively ever again, right now.
I still can’t quite come to terms with ‘I’m depressed’. It still feels far too much like ‘I’m useless because I can’t cope’ to me. But I would never, never think that of, or say that to, a depressed friend, or to my family member, so I need to work on not saying it to myself either.
I only went to the GP on the advice of my jobcentre plus advisor, who listened to my woes last Thursday as I explained the set of circumstances which had led me to not look for any work at all for the previous fortnight. If I don’t look for work, and prove I have done so, I don’t get any money. It is that simple. She, wonderful lady, understood, put the previous fortnight’s failure to jobseek down to ‘domestic emergency’ and strongly suggested I see my GP. I cried (no surprise there). I’m now signed off from job seeking for the next fortnight. If she hadn’t urged me in that direction, I would undoubtedly still be struggling.
Why is it so difficult for us to admit, even to ourselves, that we aren’t coping, I wonder?
Anyway, here I am, admitting it. I’m on antidepressants for the first time in my 39 years. Watch this space. I can’t quite picture it myself, but maybe in a few weeks I will be able to see a way out of the fog I seem to be living in.