I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but it’s difficult to find the right words, and occasionally the right words pop into my head but it tends to be at something-past-insomnia-in-the-morning and just NO to getting out of bed to even scribble with a pen and paper, but then maybe only I think they’re the right words and everyone else will think they’re the wrong words or stupid words or just plain total crap, and how arrogant am I to even think they might be the right words…but then, these words, they are about me, so I do get a bit of authority over whether they are right or wrong, no? And also it’s difficult to find the right time to say these words because life and because if I switch on the laptop I am committing myself to actually writing this post but what if it’s a waste of time and what if my words are really drivel and what if no-one actually cares and do I actually care?? I do care, I care too much to fuck this up. Best to do absolutely nothing at all. Can’t fuck up absolutely nothing at all.
This is my life. Depression and anxiety. Over thinking and under doing. The constant contradiction of the outer and the inner; appearing to be as motivated and functional as an inebriated sloth, yet struggling to calm the screaming mess that is my own mind. From the outside it must look like utter laziness. Inside, however, it feels like someone has bound me and is stamping down on my chest, and at my every attempt to get up and carry on the stamps get harder and more brutal and it takes more and more effort to try to get up, to sit up, to knock back the blows, but I’m trying and I keep on trying. It’s draining and it’s exhausting.
Everything is a big deal. Every little thing in this huge life is a Very Big Deal. Decisions are impossible, unless they are made by someone else. Someone Else is better, more equipped, more responsible, more right than me to make a decision. My decisions are bad decisions. There’s always another option, another possibility, I’ll choose the wrong one. Ask Someone Else.
Doing stuff. Doing stuff is a very difficult thing when the smothering fog of depression and anxiety is swirling. Getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed, getting breakfast for the children, that half hour of a morning – just the thought of that half hour – leaves me feeling like I have been plunged into the depths of a dark ocean after running a sweaty marathon, struggling for breath, drowning, flailing, exhausted. The rest of the day is a grey trench too deep to attempt. Making arrangements? Being sociable? Leaving the house? Not even a possibility.
Talking. Speaking to people like an actual adult? Holding sparkling conversation? Holding any conversation? Stringing a sentence together? Erm, nope.
The worst thing, if there is one worst thing about living with mental illness, is that everything that makes me happy, everything I love to do, things that make me feel like me, that make me thrive, that I know will make me feel even a sliver of a bit better, I just cannot do. There is no space for creativity when the fog gets thick. The voices get to too loud; ‘You’re not good enough’ ‘What’s the point?’ ‘You’ll mess it all up’ ‘You’re not as good as you like to think you are’ ‘Why even bother?’ ‘Who cares?’ ‘You’ll fail’ ‘You’ll fail’ ‘You’ll fail’ ‘You’ll fail’.
So I don’t bother. And I haven’t bothered for a long time. You’ll fail. But I talk, or at least try to convey some kind of garbled “Help me I don’t know what’s happening or what I need but just help, please” to my nearest and dearest. You’ll fail. And most days I get up and I get dressed and I parent and some days I leave the house to socialise with people. You’ll fail. And I go to work. You’ll fail. And some days are less difficult than others. And today I did this post. And tiny little bit by tiny little bit, the screaming mess in my head quietens down half a notch, and that drunken sloth begins to wriggle a little.