On a busy morning – God knows why it is busy, I don’t seem to have done anything – we sit down, my wife and I, for a cup of tea and a fig roll. She is, as usual, reading something about nursing.
I’m a little ambivalent about today, I need to go into my local town, Wellington, to get some more meds, but the sunshine and blue skies are very open; cloudy weather gives me a feeling of cover, somehow. I used to go into town, many noons ago, and spend hours just window shopping – my wife would go mad, if it was her day off, that I was not at home. Now, there’s only a few days I can manage to have a quick browse. People watch me, and I am not sure who is watching me professionally. If I see something funny, I’m aware I don’t want to smile, in case those people think I am not ‘depressed’ (ie., sad in their book). I don’t want to go for a drink either – unless it is to excess, ‘depressed’ people can’t enjoy things like a quiet drink with friends. In their book.
A friend on Twitter asked how long I have had my illness. Well, I had Valium given to me when I was 14. Between then and age 23/24 I had a number of episodes of depression anxiety, including being unfairly and, in my opinion, illegally sectioned for a few days for a hyperventilation anxiety attack in the street. Part of my PTSD stems from this occurrence. I never saw a psychiatrist again until eight years ago, when I was 49. My present ‘episode’ has been a more chronic one; I have been poorly since 2000, and have not been able to work since then.
This morning is a day I could not work. Too full of nervousness, pitching toward the black crows of anxiety. I’m hoping for no triggers – helicopters, police cars, even dayglo jackets, local crime et al – so that I can get my meds and return home without too much pain. Then I might just manage something worthwhile.
We’ll see. I need to push myself. I am aware that ATOS/DWP have said I will be fit for work in the next 9 months. I need strength.
Right now, I need coffee.
1230hrs, and I am unsure as to why I am nervous and trembling; one of those internal trembles, where you say to a companion, ‘can you see me shaking?’ Ad they respond in the negative. I have decided to get a coffee in the local library and sit there to blog for a bit, maybe that is making me nervous.
My cat lies, contentedly purring, at my side. My pets are so important to my mental health. Their studied look of indifference is refreshing, but their innate ability – or so it seems – to understand mood is calming. I talk to them of course. Luckily they don’t talk back. I never understood how Dr.Doolittle avoided being dragged off to Bedlam in chains, or, as we call it nowadays, being sectioned.
Pets have always helped people who are ill. the mere act of stroking them apparently releases endorphins.
I’m going to have to calm myself, ‘listen to my body’ as one supporter has put it recently. A the moment it’s playing Jean Krupa on speed.
I have to make Belinda’s lunch.
It’s like playing Happy Families: I’ve seen Mr.Blue the bobby, Mrs.Chopper in her helicopter, Mr.Loud the shouter in town.
And I’m having a small problem obtaining my meds.
So, sitting here exposed (nonono, not like that) in the coffee shop attached to the library (who have relieved me of £7.60 for 2 overdue books, bless them), sipping a large latte and wondering if I should check when they close … pauses for breath … I am rather twitchy and visible. Twitchy since visible.
The bile is rising in my throat. But I am sort of half smiling as I write this, so nobody really has a clue. They probably think I’m … well, I don’t know what they think. I know what i think, and I think I’ve done quite enough for the day. I am exhausted, having been out of the house for nearly two hours now. People without a mental illness often fail to realise how tiring it can be for the sufferer. Take it from me, even Sure lets me down.
I’m going to answer some of my mail before scurrying home. I have raspberries for pudding tonight.
I like raspberries.
Made the supper. Did the washing up. Sounds like nothing? It’s like struggling through mud, as if the air is treacle. Every motion a forced one as my mind says lie down! lie down! I’m fighting the lassitude that comes from the effort of being out in the communal areas of town. I’m pleased with the effort I made then, but it’s like a hangover afterward.
The darker evenings – and I’m aware that at the end of the month we see another leap into the darkness by one hour – are more difficult to cope with. Shadows move outside the window on the street, and I am unable to distinguish innocent movement from not-so-innocent. A police car whistles past, and the siren clips at each junction. I’m not able to tell the direction, or whether it has stopped just down the road.
Belinda is home almost on time, so things are a bit easier. A companion is always a help in such circumstances; I am full of admiration for those with mental illness that fight through on their own. It must be an even bleaker hell at times.
Tomorrow I see a therapist at least; and hour when I can spill whatever ails me out, even the groan of incoherence when no words come. In safety. I hope. I have at the back of my mind that, as I go to change to another therapist – due to the local CMHT mucking things about – I may not trust them so much at all; and I’ll be the worse off for it.
Thank you to those who have kept reading. I’m doing my best just to be honest at all times about how I feel, even if it puts me in a negative light.
And this isn’t really about me. I’m just an example of the terrors faced by literally millions of people, some for a short while, some for much longer.
Goodnight. Sleep in peace. And awake in hope.