Survival Tuesday August 27, 2019
I am currently experiencing a depression. I'm scared of it. It's by no means the first; I think I've had bouts since my childhood, but these days they seem more debilitating and to go on longer.
It fills my body with heavy tension, stones in my stomach, lead in my limbs and fear racing round my brain, turning any thought dark and potent with dread. It makes me frightened of people; that they will see me and judge my failure to cope, my shame, lack of resilience and I see their suggestions as damning criticisms. It makes me crawl back into bed rather than get up and face the day, though I know that bed is a place it will assail me worst, where my defences are lower.
I know what I say to others who feel this way; It's not your fault, accept the feelings and let them pass, don't fight them. Locate your inner paralysed child and take their hand, be kind and take one step at a time. Sometimes I tell myself that it deepens my understanding. Mostly I'd rather forgo that understanding and not feel intermittently awful... but apparently it's not a choice. And I am not alone, despite feeling it. This community helps. I mostly lurk but have had real help from other's postings, knowing that they know the same desperation sometimes and that it passes eventually. Once RATG responded to a wail of anguish from me, telling me to hang on in there, make tea, drink it, live. And it enabled me to do just that.
Writing this has stopped me returning to bed and to the demons of attack. Instead I've sat and written and drunk my tea as I did so and now I feel able to get washed and dressed and perhaps do a few things to alleviate the creeping chaos. Writing helps me when I remember to do it. It's the mental equivalent of clearing off the table or washing up (neither of which I am very good at...). Shifting and sorting and reorganising thoughts and feelings into something that feels more manageable and allows me to feel a glimmer of competence and authority. My frightened overwhelmed child part is no longer alone and cowering but has a compassionate adult alongside. It's not a cure but it allows a momentary change of view and the more I practice that, the better I may get at it.
A Moodscope member.
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.