Sometimes the internet is bad for your health. I was out, a few weeks ago. I’d been feeling a bit ARGH and anxious over the previous few days, but I went out like a proper human and all was well. I checked my phone en route elsewhere, on the top deck of the 243 (if I spend any more time on that bloody bus route, I might as well just go and live there. By there, I mean curled up on the back seat at the back. Mmm, cosy!) One text, one e-mail. The e-mail unleashed, what can only be described, as absolute horror. I changed my plans, changed my route, got myself to another part of London.
This is all very cryptic, isn’t it?
My night ended up with looking through a greasy bus window, out onto the Thames. I felt as dark and uncertain as it looked, it was freezing outside, windy. I felt like there was no hope, I felt about the impossible conversations I should be having. This is frustrating, so frustrating because I’m trying to put into words something I can’t. No one really knows how to respond to it. “You’ll be okay, it’ll be okay”. Maybe. But, I was definitely not okay. Within a few days, all was fine and dandy. I knew, logically everything would come up roses, because it all has to somehow work out, doesn’t it? And over the past week, just this week, it has been. More than okay. It’s been really, really good and probably in no small part due to the kind of people who I’ve been lucky enough to have around,
Let’s make no bones about it; 2013 has been the most emotionally taxing year of my entire life. I know of people who have gone through so much worse, so I do feel grandoise about making such a statement, but thems the breaks. I’ve spent most of the year scared, uncertain, anxious, depressed and clad in inappropriate short shorts. I’ve been scared about what may or may not lie ahead, I’ve been terrified about my job, I’ve been worried about money, I’ve been so, so scared about how everything that’s happened will affect my beautiful children. I’ve been depressed, I’ve been so down and out and so very much out of fight that I couldn’t make my mind up about what I should eat that day, so I didn’t. I lost a lot of a weight, and then I put it back on again.
The end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 saw me on anti-depressants for the umpteemth time since I was 17. This time it was Setraline (Zoloft) as is commonly prescribed to nursing Mothers. Lovely SSRIs, I thought they’d make everything better. I’d forgotten the side effects, and how long it takes for everything to even out- chemically wise. I spent days, and nights, feeling like I’d taken a lot of E; my heart racing and everything was too loud, too hot, too fast. The worst trip. I had the shakes a lot, and I felt sick. ALL. THE. TIME. It was like being in the early stages of pregnancy. At a bad rave, on a bad trip. Funsies! But, they did stop my anxiety. And they did stop my depression. But that’s because they made everything stop- it’s such a cliché but I couldn’t feel anything. Arguing with my husband? Whatever. Managed my money so badly that my phone was cut off? Okay. That’s fine. I had no opinion, no appetite. Nothing. But I no longer had the urge to lie underwater in a deep bath and never come up for air again, so maybe they did the job they were prescribed for. I started CBT, and that’s when everything changed, and turned a corner. As it turns out, yeah, I was depressed but I didn’t actually have depression. I had, I have, an anxiety disorder and depression was just a particularly lovely add on to it. And quite understandable, really. I think the term used was ‘disordered thinking patterns’, which sounds about right actually.
Anyway. I told my friend (who is so fucking brilliant he deserves his own blogpost, beeteedubs. I’ve been asking him to guestblog for me for ages, he’s got the goods to back it up) and I said I was finding everything, erm, really fucking difficult at the moment. Perhaps I should go back onto anti-depressants? And then he pointed out, and I remembered, that yes- they’d made THE ALL ENCOMPASSING SADNESS go away. Sure. But they’d also make everything else go away, too. All of the feelings. I’m not choosing that this time. I’m not going to be that person anymore, it just doesn’t work for me. Once it did, and now it doesn’t. I choose life. I choose drum and bass. I choose short shorts, and leopard print converses that I’m probably too old to be wearing, certainly at work anyway. I choose to stop hiding. I choose change, and I’m the only person who can make that change. People, friends, casual readers and tangible acquaintances. PLEASE don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not having a big ol’ go at meds at all. They work, they fucking do. They work really well for some people, and maybe if I’d had the confidence to go back to my GP and say ‘Hey, so, erm I kinda feel like these things are slowly killing me, yeah?’ I’d have found the right one for me. But I didn’t, so the right ‘one’ for me…is none.
I can still drink though, right?! Oh good, thankgod for that. Lets get the Gin out, babes.
Thanks for reading.