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Human shadows. Friday April 17, 2015

I love my new flat. I love the freedom it affords me. And I'm not often proud (like, never) but I love what I've done with it - all on a shoe-string too.

Living alone doesn't scare me because there is always something to occupy my mind with. But then, somewhere around January I took a sickening nose dive and for the last two weeks I've lived mostly back at my mum's.

Knowing that this is what I needed was a positive step. Sadly, however, it's caused all the ugly faces in my head to start with their toxic, negative chatter: 'You can't live alone! 'Have you made a huge mistake?' 'Yes! Because you're hopeless!'

What I've learned though is this:

A depressed person should not be left alone. You see, in previous depressions, unable to cope with seeing people, I've always pulled up the draw bridge and shut up shop. But I've always lived at home. Ergo, there has still been some form of human contact and distraction.

For the depressed individual, every hour can seem interminable; a slow, quiet form of torture at the mercy of monsters in your head.

Now I'm starting to have moments where I can see sunbeams at the end of the tunnel, my gut still tells me it was absolutely the right move (again showing the importance of not making rash decisions when low).

It may not be possible to move in with a friend or family member when you hit a depression but never underestimate the importance of human contact in recovery. Even if only for an hour or so propped up in a café, or sat in the library, pretending to read.

It can be of great comfort (I would imagine) to feel a reassuring hand on our back when awaking from a nightmare. So too, feeling the motion of humans around us can bring solace when we're feeling little more than a spectral shadow.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 6:39am

Poor Suzy. You take care now, and be kind to yourself. You will be fine with proper help, and you already know this . The awful voices telling you you're hopeless are indeed part of the depression. I know you have the sort of fighting spirit that'll see you through. You are so right about not isolating yourself. And your Mum must feel comforted physically having you under her roof while you have been low, rather than worrying about you in your flat. No? Best of luck with it all.

Hopeful One Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 7:09am

Hi Suzy- sorry to read that you are going through a downer.A cyber hug is winging its way to you.I will include you in my meditation too.You are absolutely right that a warm understanding compassionate kind human contact aids recovery no end.But it must be that kind of contact.A contact that merely berates one for your state of one's mind is in is worse than useless.I imagine you will find that sort of contact staying with your Mum while the storm passes away.But how about being exactly the same to yourself i.e warm understanding compassionate kind while you are going through this down phase. ?John Donne put it all best"No man is an island ,entire of its own,we are part of the continent ,part of the main."

Anonymous Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 7:39am

Hi Suzy. Next week I'm putting together a staying well plan with my CPN. Your post reminds me of a key thing I must promise myself to do when I feel the shadows returning. Those times when I've least felt like making human contact it is exactly what has gone towards helping me(even if it has felt so difficult to do!). It is a means to at least turn down the volume on the negative chatter inside if only for a while until the storm passes and my other self emerges. Best wishes and thanks. Jen

Rupert Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 8:24am

I agree with everything you say Suzy. Apart from anything else I think it is important to be in the presence of other human beings to see that life does carry on and that despite all the awful voices in your head you are part of that process and people are happy for you to be around them. Rupert

Julia Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 8:45am

Oh Suzy. I am so sorry to read you had to move back home even though it was obviously the answer to do this. Your new life in the flat sounded lovely. You have such a warm loving family so say a big thank you to them for getting you better. With the better weather I want to picture you walking on tbat coastal path. I don't know what you look like but I have a lovely picture of you in my mind. Love x

Anonymous Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 9:00am

Suzy I think moving back to a place where you are safe and loved is just perfect. When I'm down I hold my son's hand it's all I need to keep on going through the treacle. The mother child bond, at best, can be the lifeline. Enjoy making your new home and then invite people in.. Good luck

Anonymous Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 9:03am

This has been a big mistake of mine recently. I moved to a new city where I have found it difficult to settle and make friends. I am sharing a house with young people who regard me as a dinosaur. I often end up in the pub just reading the paper or watching sport on the tv which is not helping financially or for well-being. I am trying to move back to my birth area and settle there but that needs a decent job. Do value the family you have, even if living alone is the long-term solution.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 10:45am

Suzy - you are so right. Do not make important decisions when you are low. Living independently is the right thing for you, just not right at the moment. Great blog that reminds us that we do need people! Especially when we don't want them!

Anonymous Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 5:08pm

Thank you for your words; they helped me and I feel absolute empathy with what you experience. Wishing you better times.

Anonymous Fri, Apr 17th 2015 @ 5:18pm

True sentiments /wisdom , thanks

Anonymous Sat, Apr 18th 2015 @ 7:20am

Hello Suzy, what a great place you are at if you can see the nosedive and see how to pull up. Doesn't matter where you stay to help it along and you're definitely able to live in your flat...the nosedive would likely have come anyway! You'll get back there. Saw on a chalkboard - "Taking a step back after a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha". Going to have that one tattooed inside my eyelids!! Wishing better days soon, love ratg xx.

Dee Sun, Apr 19th 2015 @ 2:47pm

Thank you Les for the poem, Dee

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