How am I? It’s a lovely day. The sun is shining through my windows. The house has been invaded by a loveliness of ladybirds, even if they are infected with STDs, I rather like the little crimson critters. The sheets are flapping on the line. And that reminds me, there’s even flapjack in the tin.
How am I really?
Honestly; and the point about my writing is that I am going to be honest with you, the reader; my mental health ain’t too tickety at the moment.
I’m feeling, on World Mental Health Day 2018, like I feel fairly frequently at the moment: I want to curl up and hibernate. If I were a bear I’d be ignoring the returning warmth, setting the out of office alert up (tech bear), tucking myself in and wishing the world nighty night.
I don’t really want to talk to anyone. I planned to phone my mum and my aunt Hilary today, we’re due catch ups. I had a message from my lovely friend Vasanthi this morning. I’ll Whats App video call her in a bit, I thought. There are oodles of texts, messages on FB, emails that I’ve been promising (to myself) that I’ll do tomorrow, and tomorrow. And what does tomorrow do? Well, you know.
When I feel like this, and I’ll try and describe “this” shortly; I have nothing to say and no energy to listen. I mean obviously me writing this is saying something but this is writing. I do this in my own time and giving my wee brain space to conjure up the words, the stuff I’m trying to express. You can’t really do this in a phone call. I also have a instinctive need not to burden anyone. So if I were to ring you today and you asked me how I were, I’d either avoid the question or make a joke out of it. Frankly it is easier to retreat and say nowt.
I did have my friend Malc turn up earlier. Now Malc is lovely and he bobs in unannounced. I’ve twice this week not answered the door when the bell tolled, because I had no wish to see whomever it might have been. If I’m expecting someone and I’m prepared for it, I will be delighted to see you but if I am feeling rubbish, I’ve not had a wash for 2 days and there is literally nothing in our cavernous fridge, I’d rather not be entertaining and I’m sorry but I am unavailable to callers. Malc is different. He redid our kitchen for us and is planning to do some work on our bathroom. He is also not going to notice my greasy hair and will enjoy a flapjack and a cup of hot water while he is here, so has simple needs that even a crap me can satisfy.
I’ve been taking anti-depressants since just after Christmas. Mostly I think they are doing their job, especially when combined with the CBD oil I’m trying for pain etc. However, since my time at the preliminary hearings of the Contaminated Blood Public Inquiry I have slipped down a wee bit of a chasm. I feel a total lack of anything. No motivation, no energy, numb really. I know I need to write a personal witness statement for the Inquiry. I have got all my medical records that I have managed to obtain over the years and made a half arsed attempt to start looking through them but got hardly anywhere and have not touched them for a week. I had a lovely end to last week, seeing mum and dad and spending time with my friend Karen, who made me this stunning bespoke bracelet:
Since then I have lost my smile, my silly, my sanity.
But I’m lucky! I know I’m lucky to have a roof over my head, to have a husband that asks and expects very little of me, and works as hard as a human sized ant. Lucky to not be more ill, lucky to not have more viruses, lucky to be alive! I don’t know why but that knowledge isn’t enough to cheer me up. To stop me feeling a deep dissatisfaction at all I am. To stop my self-loathing flaring up, alarming in its intensity.
I know that depression has no logic to it, it doesn’t discriminate and it is not the preserve of the pessimist or the lacklucklustred. It is what it is and that for me is an all consuming depth of nothing. I know too that hibernating is not the answer, even if it is all I feel capable of. I am fortunate to have the support of friends and family although I admit I avoid that when I’m really low. I don’t want to worry them, or be a burden. But the fact it is there, in the background, like a build up of ladybirds making their presence felt, helps.
Karen, when she gave me the bracelet, gave me a guide to the meaning of each gemstone she used, it read as follows:
Garnet (red) – the warriors stone. A talisman against death and injury, it is said to bring victory, peace and tranquility as well as healing – by stopping the flow of blood (ancients used it in wounds to stop the flow of bleeding).
Citrine (yellow) – carrying the power of the sun, it is warm and comforting, energising and life giving. It encourages fullness of life, fresh beginnings and new pursuits. It does not hold or accumulate negative energy, but rather transmutes, dissipates and grounds it making it extremely protective for the environments. It works out problems on physical levels and transforms thoughts and feelings positively. It never needs to be cleared or cleansed. It also represents positivity and joy.
Spinel (black) – protection from negativity. Black spinel is said to solve the root cause of all physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances.