You know that saying ‘what goes up, must come down’? Well, that’s me! Or, more specifically, my mood. I have very high, highs, and very low, lows. Sometimes my lows can turn into a depression, which has happened at various points in my life, sometimes requiring medication and or counselling (of some description) to stabilise me. For me, these periods of depression are usually following a period where I have felt overly stressed be circumstances/situations out of my control. It feels like over the last year my mood has rarely been stable. This last year has been full of a huge highs and lows, I rarely feel like I am in neutral, especially over the last month, but I haven’t really stayed low, until this last month.
But this last month, the switch in my brain has flipped, it’s flipped into low setting. Why? I can tell you any number of possible reasons why; anniversary of Cacia’s stillbirth, living in limbo in the Sandpit for months on end, trying and failing to get pregnant for months on end, the everyday chore of living in the Sandpit as a woman; are just a few of the possible reasons that the flip has switched. All of the above are situational and, unfortunately, out of my control, I just try to not let my reaction get out of control. But really ‘why’, I don’t know, no one knows why anyone’s depression switch gets flipped, all I know is, my switch is flipped and the daily battle against the black hole has begun, again.
I have started to recognise the signs of my slip into the black hole, my first level starts with motivation, or lack of. I find that everything requires effort, getting out of bed, washing, my toothbrush running out of battery and requiring charging feels like a mountain climb of effort on my part to sort! Because, I force myself to do these things, I am cranky, irritable, short fused, which means the rest of my household feels the brunt of my irritation, impatience, anger over the smallest, and ridiculous, perceived infractions. Rock serving the skin on the chicken for Tyrant, had me close to wanting to smash the plate over his head after behaving as though he literally had tried to choke Tyrant in front of me, and not just calmly removing it within a few seconds of her complaining (which he did, by the way!). Tyrants inability to do anything asked of her unless she has been asked to do it 50 times at various sound levels, leaves me seething in anger at her, so much so that I force myself to leave the room, where she is, to calm down. Not easy when she follows me everywhere and gets upset when she can’t immediately physically touch me when she wants to. Bathroom moments rarely have any privacy in my household, the door may be shut and or locked at the start but soon enough after a few minutes of calmly asking her to play/watch tv/wait a minute the constant crying and pestering wins out and I let her in to watch me, or in her words be ‘near’ me, so that I can concentrate for a second and do my business.
After this first level of extreme emotion and lack of motivation, for me, comes numbness. I still have extreme reactions, but they are rare, and complete lack of motivation, but it is tempered with long bouts of numbness. I literally, cannot be bothered to care, or react. For now, I haven’t fully reached this stage yet, but I know that for me my depression is like a slippery slide down, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but I am always trying desperately to scrabble my way up, as I continuously slide down. Until, one day I am at the bottom looking up at a very long tunnel of black, with a pin prick of light a very long way away, at the end. Sometimes, I start the slide, but am able to scrabble to stay at the top of it and look down into the blackness, other times I keep going down, despite my efforts.
For now, I hope my scrabbling keeps me from slipping further, but at least the years have taught me to recognise where I am on the slide into the black hole and hopefully when I need to get help. (Let’s hope the Sandpit has the support I may require). Right now the light is large, with me firmly faced towards it, and the tunnel of black is short in front of me, but I can see the blackness behind me, just waiting for me to tire. Today I am up. But, what goes up, must come down.