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Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Thou only art immortal, the creator and maker of mankind; and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and unto earth shall we return.

For so thou didst ordain when thou createdst me, saying, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

All we go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Excerpt from the Book of Common Prayer

Things are not good. I guess I’m still pretty severely depressed.

The fire raged and the fire burnt and the fire has had its way with me.

I am nothing but dust, a few withered bits of husk, having one last final dance upon the wind.

I am all run out of me: I get up and I go to bed, I go about my business, but it is not me.

The lights are on, yet nobody is at home; she is the girl sitting in the corner of the room, hiding from the shadows.

I nearly tried to sleep on my floor last night because I did not have the motivation to get out of that corner and go to bed.

I have stopped caring now: neither life nor death hold my interest.

I am stuck in a living death from which I seem to have no escape.

This is hell 😦

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The Morning After the Night Before

Yesterday, when talking to the bloke from the Crisis Team, I came up with quite a good analogy for how I felt…

It’s like the morning after the night before… I wake up, and suddenly I’m seeing the Crisis Team, my life is even more of a mess than before, and it’s like… y’know… what the hell happened?

Well, I still feel that way, but now I’ve got a mental hangover to boot. My energy seems to have disappeared when the suicidal urges did, leaving me feeling flat, leaden and unmotivated. As I’m sitting here typing, waves of sadness come rolling along over me, throwing my concentration off. Time sometimes speeds and sometimes crawls, according to no discernable pattern. All I want to do is go back to bed.

I’d forgotten what this was like, how physically wrenching the pain is, how exhausting it is just to go places – never mind doing anything once you’re there.

I should have expected it really – I’ve been through a fairly stressful experience, and one that it would be unrealistic to bounce straight back from. My body and (probably moreso) my mind need time off to destress, relax and repair.

Yet I feel bad about taking that time, and it’s not even really possible at uni – this is an artificial world of deadlines and continous assessment. I haven’t even found the energy to explain to my tutor why I’m encountering difficulties again, why I’m still not better, why I’m still riding this mood rollercoaster a year after I was originally diagnosed.

Perhaps that’s because I don’t know the answer myself. Thought I was doing just fine on 10mg Tally until the rug was swept from under my feet, and I fell down so fast that I had no time to recognise the fall or repell the influx of false beliefs and imperatives.

Come on duloxetine, it’s only you fighting my corner now… better give it your best effort!

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I’ve Been Thinking…

I know night-time thoughts are not the most reliable, but I still feel the same in the cold white light of morning.

I’m not ill, I don’t have any problems other than ones I’ve made myself. I’ve been deluding myself that I can blame them on anything other than my own unwillingness to face up to things.

I should be in uni in about five minutes. Instead I’ve been sitting here immobile for about half an hour, in my pyjamas.

I wish I hadn’t wasted so many people’s time, I wish there was something I could do to change things. I tried antidepressants and they failed, ergo this isn’t a “chemical imbalance”, it’s just bad thoughts, incompetence, unsuitability. If this has all beeen a test, I flunked. Impressively.

I’m not sure what my next step is from here, I don’t want to waste any more people’s time – but if I suddenly disappear off the radar and stop attending appointments, they’ll just get “concerned” and I’ll waste even more of their time. And things will be harder for me if I stop going to the young people’s place, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Time to wake up and smell the “coffee”.

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What is Depression, Anyway?

So… I’ve not done anything particularly crazy since July; I’ve not felt particularly crazy since sometime in August. Things are fairly obviously improved (thanks to the Mirtazzy), and I can finally be trusted to use sharp implements sensibly – rather than running them lightly down my arm while trying to size up where and how long.

I went to a large public event today, and I’m proud with myself for not feeling paranoid, or scared of touch, or like each casual glance is a sharp needle straight into my brain. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised that only a few months ago, attending it would have been impossible.

I’ve come so far in such a short period of time.

And yet, I’m still out of touch with how I feel, and the mechanisms by which silly behaviours and beliefs come out of those feelings. The one thing everyone always wants to know is, “What triggered it?”. And I still don’t know. No answer seems sensible enough. I can’t even explain why I became how I was. How this illness of feelings and thoughts affects my body, my life, my personality. I’m usually percieved as a quiet, gentle, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly kind of person. So what drives me to shout at people… to percieve that nothing can be right in the world till I am dead… to stare into space for hours and not notice that any time has passed at all… to plot my own death in cold blood?

I cannot get my head round this.

Why is that I cannot control these things, while other people manage to live their lives without once troubling “services”? Why I have entered this world at all? This place where one speaks calmly of “behaviours” and “medications” and “services”? I don’t belong here, this is a place for people who are ill. I just don’t think right

EDIT: I’ve been wavering over whether to private this or not. For the moment I’m leaning towards not-private, but don’t be surprised if it disappears again.

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And only You, the Son of man
Can take a leper and let him stand
So lift your hands, they can be held
By someone greater, the great I Am

Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith

I don’t blog about my faith much – partly because I don’t want to sidetrack the blog, partly because I’ve not had cause to.

Yet it seems a shame not to mention it, so here goes. If anyone dislikes me after reading this post, then I can only extend my apologies, and suggest that at least now you’re not under an illusion as to the sort of person I am.

I’m a Christian (as you’ve probably already noticed, given the quote at the top of this page). If you like labels, I’m an Evangelical Anglican. For the benefit of those overseas, I should point out that in England, the term Evangelical is not synonymous with “fundamentalist” or “Bible belt”. Rather, it defines certain beliefs I have about the Bible, Jesus’s death on the cross, and living out my faith. It also tends to imply a worship tradition that is plain, simple, and accessible – no “bells and smells”.

It’s not a crutch to lean on when times get hard, though I will not deny that it has brought me comfort.

It’s not a delusion for the simple-minded, for some of the cleverest people I have known have been devout Christians.

It’s not mass hysteria, for my journey to faith was a solitary one.

My life would be much easier without God. Yet to deny him would be like cutting off a limb. I can no more comprehend doing so than I can comprehend suddenly choosing not to breathe.

It’s not all that easy to be religious and depressed. There seems to be a way of thinking that says that if you’re a depressed Christian, you just lack faith. That if you have God, you shouldn’t need therapy.

Yet the Bible speaks many times of depression. There are whole psalms that center around how depressed the singer is.

I rejoice with those who have found healing, and pray that they continue to stay well. I’ve spent hours on my knees (both metaphorically and literally) praying “Why not me?”. But deep within I know that that stems from impatience. God works on a different timescale – to him, our coming and going is like the blink of an eye. And though I have and am finding healing, it’s an ongoing process, involving many different people, and stretching over decades. So I continue to concentrate on working out my salvation, in fear, trembling, and trusting. The illness will either go, or not – if I’m stuck managing it for the rest of my life, then so be.

There’s another aspect to it – if you believe in an afterlife, then suicide is a much smaller barrier. Many are the nights when I’ve cried, and cried, longing for a closer togetherness with God – longing to come home into the arms of the only Father who has brought me up and guided me since I was a child. My “suicide song” (if there is such a thing) is “And Your Praise Goes On” by Chris Rice. It really sums up how I feel. Because when I feel that life is just too much, that I can’t cope, that I want to throw the towel in, it’s not through lack of faith in God. If I ever do commit suicide, I want people to celebrate my life regardless. Because my memory should not be tarred by the manner of my death.

But the stillness moves and the silence yields
And not a single beat is lost
You can hear the chorus in the fields
Taking up where we left off

And when my final breath You lend
I’ll thank You for the life You gave
But that won’t mean the praises end
‘Cause I won’t be silenced by the grave!

And Your Praise Goes On by Chris Rice

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The Tears Won’t Come

Slumped in the middle of a half-cleaned room, Hoover still in hand.
But the tears won’t come.

The storm of my emotions gathers round, seaching out a nook, a cranny, a weakness.
But the tears won’t come.

I can feel the blood coursing through my veins, keeping me alive, so close to my skin.
But the tears won’t come.

Thanatos beckons, tells me of treasures he holds, and the blessed peace he brings.
But the tears won’t come.

And so I sit, weathering the storm, making that dreadful decision over and over again:
I choose life!

And the tears?
They still don’t come.

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Blah

The gallows in my garden, people say,
Is new and neat and adequately tall;
I tie the noose on in a knowing way
As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours on the wall
Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”
The strangest whim has seized me. . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

from A Ballad of Suicide, G.K Chesterton

I feel flat, dog-tired, and unreal. I’m sure this cannot be my life. I’m only keeping the place of some other Chouette… but deep in my heart, I know that it’s not so.

Each day I wake up, I make the continuing decision to face up to the continuing trainwreck I’ve made of my life… or do I mean the trainwreck that my life has made of me?

I was asked yesterday, did I feel my depressions came “from within me”, or were they triggered by external events? The answer people always seem to have pushed at me is the latter… all I could say was “I don’t know, I wish I did”. Because sometimes I’ve been happy, sometimes I’ve been sad, and quite a lot of the sad times have been when it would be more appropriate to be happy. I don’t walk down the street bawling my eyes out on a nice sunny day for the fun of it, y’know? (not that I’ve done that recently – don’t feel like crying, and the days are drizzly and gloomy). But there have been enough potential triggers that I don’t think I could ever know, and the thought of even trying is daunting enough that I’d rather kill myself there and then to avoid a slow torturous death by psychoanalysis… (ha).

I want to be me, all the things I could have been, all the things I could have made of my life. I want to …

…but I don’t want. I want to stay here, curled up in my bed, forever. They can dig me up in a couple of thousands years and display me in a museum as a fascinating insight into 20th Century Man.

I don’t care.

(and yes, it looks like I’m still depressed. T-minus 3 hours till my next dose of Mitazzy – thanks Hannah for that neat pet name!)

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