Me? Really?

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.


13 thoughts on “Me? Really?

  1. This is such a brave post, Helen. I think one of the bravest things that you can do is admit that you need help. I know that we all are just glad that you’re getting the support you need to get through this difficult time and, without wishing to sound glib, I hope you start feeling better soon xxx

  2. I’m so glad you went. I wish I’d gone earlier. There is light at the end of the tunnel – it might be very dim at the moment, but it is there. Within a couple of years I am tablet free, I know when I’m heading downwards and can spot it and correct it. I know how to deal with stress. And I am at the end of the phone or email whenever you want. Hang on in there xx

  3. Well done for making this post Helen, I know it can’t have been easy ❤

    Do you remember that Lamp Post post you made a few years ago, I've thought about it once or twice when heading down the slippery slope and realising the things I was thinking (I'm useless, I'm just being pathetic etc.) and it remains true- you're fabulous and brave and depression doesn't change those things.

    I hope the prescription helps.

  4. I’m echoing what everyone says… you’ve travelled my journey with me and know there is light at the end so hang on in there. x

  5. Am holding you in my thoughts and prayers. Seeking help is the most difficult step, and a very brave one, well done. If you want to chat about it, let me know, I’ve been there.

    Remember you are not useless, you are not failing, you are ill. You are a strong person.

  6. Well done, both for going to the doctor and for this post. And what an excellent job centre lady! It is so easy to slide down without realising it and then feel completely stuck, but there is a way to climb out.

  7. Just repeating what everyone else said Helen, well done for going to the Drs & seeking help. Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers, sending tea & love xx

  8. Sending many many hugs and much love – and a huge well done to you, your doctor and also to the fabulous woman at the job centre. It won’t be an easy journey, but you will get there and at some point you will be able to look back and realise just how far you’ve come.

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