When our kids were young, they experimented and learned about cause and effect with a light switch.
It may seem like a simple thing but hitting the switch and watching the lights come on was a great thing to experience as they cottoned on to how doing something would make something else happen.
But what if there is no switch?
My most recent blog before this one (https://wp.me/p8spCk-dB) highlighted exactly how well life was going, new job, ripper house, kids settled at school and the like, but for some reason it all derailed on Saturday.
It’s one of those unfortunate parts of mental illness, the element that problems can strike at any time, without warning and suddenly you are in a tailspin.
We’ve heard it all before that mental illness can strike anybody at any time – male, female, tall, short, happy, sad, rich or poor.
I am lucky, my depressive phases are usually few and far between but this week has been a tough one for no apparent reason.
It all kicked off on Saturday, waking up feeling like bed was the safest place to be and not wanting to get out. We had a wedding to go for which seemed like the worst idea in the world and leaving the house was going to be a challenge. Sunday was a write off and the last three days at work, my bright and shiny new job, have been a fight.
I still love the job, it’s been challenging, rewarding and the staff I work with have made me feel so welcome and have helped me settle in remarkably well, it’s just this dark haze that is masking the shine and sanding back the lustre.
I’ve had some difficult clients this week, a couple of drug addicts, one who will be staying at Her Majesty’s pleasure in the near future and a couple of absolute rippers. I can’t talk to much about them due to privacy reasons, but this week has been confronting on a couple of counts, not helped by feeling as flat a tack.
So how does one deal with it when the haze descends?
This time, I hibernated.
Tuesday night after work I put on my most comfortable trackies and hoodie and curled up in front of a movie I had not seen for a long time, like since before I met Sarah long time – Austin Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me.
It was an interesting twist on a depressive phase, I was able to smile and laugh even though I was feeling down.
It did remind me of a conversation I had with one of my good mates this week who is battling depression. You are allowed to have fun was the theme of the chat.
Just because you have no motivation, feeling blue and lacking the desire to deal with people doesn’t mean something isn’t funny.
For example, when Fat Bastard sings the line, “Sexy man, sexy man, eat a lion a sexy man can,” it’s still funny.
The hardest part of a phase, manic or depressive, is putting on the suit. I’ve spoken about this before.
While something that is funny is still funny, it’s the dealing with the general public trying to maintain your regular enthusiasm levels, ability to interact and be part of decent society is the battle.
The suit can be like a reverse force field, protecting the general public from what is really going on in my mind. It prevents friends, family and the populous at large from having my thoughts and comments thrust upon them. For example, I wanted to say a few things at the wedding we went to based on my mood at the time, but by putting the suit on, I refrained from expressing an opinion that might not have fully reflected me on a “normal” day.
I wrote this mostly last night, when it seemed at its worst and planned to finish it tonight, which I have done. It might seem strange, it did to me, but just like the switch the kids played with, it seems this phased passed as inexplicably as it started.
Tonight I am writing, putting together some uni exam prep and enjoying life again.
It will pass if you let it.