Monday, 26 May 2008

Getting over it

I blame the Huge Lorry. This one. It was the interview he gave when he said that he first realised that he was depressed when he was spending a day stock-car racing and realised that, while everyone else was excited, he was bored. He also said that he didn't look forward to the future. Having a medical background, he recognised the symptoms and promptly checked himself in with a psychotherapist.

'Nonsense', I thought. 'Stock-car racing, how pointless, I'd be bored too and I can't even bear to contemplate the future, and I'm not depressed.... Oh."

I worried about it after that. My mind dwelt on it, and I wished I hadn't read the article. I concluded that I didn't know whether I would be diagnosed as depressed or not (looking back, I would have been, but that doesn't mean I'd have been any the better for such a description), but I didn't see that it mattered, as I was quite happy in my pessimism, I felt safer if I lived in the present, neither looking forward nor back, and I couldn't be bothered to talk about it with a stranger. I'd talked things through with family and friends and I'd rather just get on with what I had to do and not make a fuss, because the thought of that was stressful in itself.

What I did do was make sure I enjoyed every little thing that I could. Although I didn't, for quite some years, care at all if I lived or died, I might as well take pleasure in things while I was here. And I made every effort not to become upset by small problems, although I found this very hard for a long time. Anything at all - or sometimes nothing at all - might send me into a feeling of misery and despair that would last for several days. I never told anyone as I could function quite well and the men I lived with were not particularly observant or intuitive and were not likely to notice if I was quiet and distant for a bit.

What put me right was time and being very kind to myself. Now, my feelings were caused by events and general stress. I'm not depressive by nature and I don't suffer from a depressive illness. I'm not suggesting for one minute that other people, necessarily, would or should cope as I did. I'm talking about me and me only and, as I said yesterday, I had a lot of support and a generally happy family life which gave me every opportunity to recover from the feelings that had taken quite some years to build up.

What I would not have done, by the way, was take on an acting role as a depressed maverick, addicted to painkillers, with an abrasive personality. That would have made me worse. Being frivolous, cheerful and hooting with laughter every time a chap pinched my bum did me much more good in the long run. So, also, was doing quite a lot of voluntary work. It made me focus on others and not feel sorry for myself.

I've been fine for nearly two years. I can contemplate old age and no longer want to not reach it. I can be upset, indignant, angry, though I'm none of these things all that often because I am so ... oh gosh, hostage to fortune alert ... happy. I know of course that all good things could come to an end this very minute, but that makes me all the keener to appreciate them while I have them.

This was meant to be a precursor to another post, but it became too long. I also think I've said too much about myself, but there we go.

6 comments:

Orangeblossoms said...

i loved the honesty of this post..... and the voice.... your voice!

Clarissa said...

Mchwwwwwa! That's a loud kiss on your cheek as I give you a hug. Thunderous, brave approach. I applaud, also without judgement of others' approaches.

The Manic Street Preacher said...

depression is like paranoia.

You aren't paranoid they're all after you.

You aren't depressed you just feel pissed off.

Wanna share the t-shirt?

Vodka helps babe x

Z said...

I didn't tell anyone how I felt until I was better, then I told my daughter. I'd talked to myself a lot, though...

Manic, darling, I'll climb in your t-shirt with you

Gordie said...

Wouldn't it be great if tee-shirts were like blogs, and when you saw one you liked, you could add a comment?

Your voice, your honesty, and your bum are all worth pinching... I mean undulating, or emulating.

luckyzmom said...

Thanks for being so candid. About a dozen years ago my dearest friend was depressed and contemplating the new wonder drug Prosac. I talked her into calling each other weekly (we live on different sides of the country), instead. We both made it through some depressing situations. It really does help to talk about it.