The last twoÂ weeks have been difficult, due toÂ persistent low mood combined withÂ random symptoms of depression taking it in turns to assail me. One day it’s tiredness, the next terrible memory/brain power, then poor concentration, then tearfulness, then listlessness etc etc. Â The worst day was probably when memories of past humiliations kept popping into my head from nowhere. Ugh.
I feel better now, but not completely back to ‘normal’, whatever that is. In many ways it has been an interesting experience, and I noticed someÂ things I might not have expected:
- when this episode started, it seemed really important to know what had triggered it. Now I am out the other side (I hope), I am much less interested
- I am in the middle of a Mindfulness for Recurring Depression course. Mindfulness practice has just not been possible during this fortnightÂ – too difficult to find the motivation, the focus, or even anything to work with. I have been filled with a big impenetrable darkness
- of the Things That Help me the most (exercise, getting up early, 8h sleep, social contact, sunshine), I couldn’t manage exercise or social contact but I needed extra sleep – 3 or 4 more hours a day
- I have been taking aspirin, and thinking itÂ helps
- friends have urged me to see the doctor during this time, and review my decision to stop taking antidepressants. I would give the same advice in their shoes. But I really don’t want to go back on prozac. Why not?
- if this bad spell was a reaction toÂ Raisin’s accident, as I suspect, then it happened two weeks after the event. Why?
- I have been recordingÂ a video diary, and the difference in how I look and speak on bad days and good days is marked. Friends who say they know when I amÂ not well just from hearing me talk might actually be right
Two things come out of this experience. First,Â I am nowÂ on a mission to understand my resistance to going back on the happy pills, and to research the pros and cons of SSRIs so I have the information to make a rational decision. Â It took me so long to escape from the clutches of alcohol, that I am afraid of beingÂ in thrall to another chemical crutch.
The other thing is something mindfulness teaches: acceptance. I need to learn to accept that a bad day does not necessarily mean a relapse, that it is OK to have a bad day, and that it will probably pass.
Thank you everyone for your support during this time.
This video keeps cropping up for some reason, it’s lovely: