My depression and why I sometimes let the tidal wave wash over me

eminared_deepimpact
Deep Impact and that damn tidal wave

For #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek I thought I’d write about my own experience of depression and how sometimes I just need to embrace the darkness of it all.

Please don’t think you need to, or that I endorse this as a coping mechanism, it’s just for me and may ring true with some of you.

If you feel like your depression is unmanageable or that you might harm yourself then please do seek help from your GP, counsellor or an organisation like the Samaritans. You’re not a burden, you’re a human that deserves love and kindness.

The way we walk about depression sometimes sucks

There’s a lot of ‘fighting’ language used when it comes to illness, especially chronic, mental and cancer. We’re told to ‘survive’, ‘battle’, ‘fight’, ‘beat’ and ‘kick’ our way to health. This language can you leave you feeling like you aren’t doing enough or aren’t trying enough to be positive in the face of pain. I don’t see illness being as linear as that…

Toxic positivity is something that rears its ugly head around this subject too. Being told to ‘chin up’, ‘it’ll pass’ and ‘dance through the storm to find the rainbow’ leaves me cold. To condense very complex health matters into these meme-able sayings feels inhuman.

Depression = Deep Impact?

When I think of depression I sometimes see it as the huge tidal wave at the end of the film Deep Impact. It’s vast, will engulf you whole and inevitably sweep some loved ones along too.

I stand on the shore and look up at it, it’s ferocious and unwieldy, it scares me and it wants to do so but there are times that I stop trying to hold it back and I just shout ‘COME ON YOU FUCKER’.

When this happens I know to write off the day, I don’t even try and be happy or put on a smile. I just be, in the darkness, under the water, swept along by a CGI wave.

Tidal wave habits:

I listen to music that will perpetuate my mood and bum me out – I’m looking at you James Blake, Lana Del Rey, Mac Miller and FKA Twiggs. I wallow in it. Today, Lady Gaga has released a song that encapsulates my entire tidal wave mood but is A POP BANGER, so I dance instead….

It’s coming down on me
Water like misery
It’s coming down on me
I’m ready, rain on me

I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive
Rain on me, rain, rain
Rain on me, rain, rain

I Google pictures of celebrity couples that broke up and left me devastated. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett and Kerry Katona and Bryan McFadden. How could you ruin love for me? HOW COULD YOU?

I will fester in my own filth. Clothing won’t be changed, hair not brushed, teeth not cleaned and I will enjoy my state of being.

I will have a teaspoon of many, many things in jars… peanut butter, chutney, pickle, jam, honey, treacle, pesto and anything delicious looking.. nothing is safe from me and my spoon.

Bed is my friend and I stay in it, wrap myself up in a duvet and snuggle in, like a bear preparing for a hibernation or when a spider cocoons it’s prey for later. 

I withdraw from friends and family. I don’t like that I do this but I hate feeling like I’m a burden, real or imagined. 

Comparison is the thief of joy, but I like to compare and despair myself to people on instagram which makes me feel super shit!

A Star is Born, Fleabag, The Notebook and Up are just some films and TV that enter my brain, even if I don’t watch them I like to agonise over the sadness, the finality of relationships breaking down and the feeling of emptiness. 

Does the tidal wave end?

Yes, it does, and I think the point I’m trying to make is that we don’t always have to pretend to be happy, coping or ok – we can just be.

One bad day, week or month does not a lifetime make. There is always tomorrow, or a tiny chink of light to be found. If you can’t find it, don’t worry…. no pressure.

Here are some organisations that help me, hope they can help you too.

Blurt, Heads About the Waves, Beat Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation

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