It’s been about two years since I started this blog. I must admit that when I started I had never thought that depression would still be such a prominent feature in my life. I have been on quite the journey but am still only now learning more about my depression. About what causes it to worsen, and how to make it better.
Alas I should have guessed that working as a lab technician would affect my depression in ‘new and interesting’ ways. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Who are ‘they’ anyway? Why didn’t I see this coming? I now fully appreciate just how big a part my energy levels have to play in keeping depression at bay. 37+ hours a week was very demanding. I lasted about a month before I spectacularly unravelled. Very melodramatic language, yes, but I believe it is justified. I could not cope with the full schedule. I tried, I really enjoyed the environment and being around my colleagues. I love love love the chemistry, making up solutions, cleaning glassware, preparing experiments. I was overjoyed to be active and revelled in my new-found responsibility and vigour. Well, whoops. It is probably no surprise that after landing the dream job, when it went bad it went real bad real quick.
I am not proud of the person I become when my depression takes hold. I become selfish, spiteful and generally unpleasant. This time, however, I took a very self-destructive turn. I became more suicidal than I care to admit. I am ashamed to admit that I deliberately hurt myself and in so doing hurt those I care about most. From mid November when the proverbial shit hit the fan, all I can remember is a blur. I was briefly on diazepam. I went to A & E, feeling suicidal with the intent of severely hurting myself at least. I saw a fair few psychiatrists, had calls to the emergency psychiatric support line, and then had a big change in medication. Mirtazapine, propanolol, zopiclone and hydroxyzine hydrochloride were added to my ‘cocktail’; my pregabalin and fluoxetine were increased too. I have only since Christmas stopped zopiclone, reduced the pregabalin back to pre-crisis levels and become less drowsy. I didn’t drive for 2 months, and can now just manage a 5 minute drive before feeling tired. And I’m now trusted around sharp objects at least! It was kind of hysterically funny that I wrapped Christmas presents using nail scissors to cut the paper (not allowed any bigger sharp things!)
I feel drained, my arms and shoulders feel kind of heavy and getting some true normality still feels far away and at times unobtainable. I have been declared unfit for work and in a true set of bad circumstances, which are actually probably for the best, I have apparently not been employed at all since October, and therefore don’t have a job to go back to. I’ll be lucky if I get paid, too. The thought of going back was only making me panic a lot anyway. This all sounds quite dire, but I am trying to give a grounded, realistic account of what has happened. I desperately want some perspective over it all! My head is still fuzzy and I find it hard to think straight. Or think at all, to be honest. I don’t know if the exhaustion will go away, I don’t know when I’ll be buying my own food, cooking my own meals and I have no clue when I’ll be ready to approach working again.
Joe has been a true gem, putting up with the very worst side of me and encouraging every last bit of progress. I am so grateful for all Joe has done for me, and feel privileged to still have him by my side. Words do not give my gratitude justice. I’m not sure what else I really want to write. I don’t know what I really hoped to achieve by writing, but this is an update for you at least, blogosphere. I’ll try to write again soon.
Thanks for reading,