I love writing my blog now. It has been a wonderful cathartic help over this dark period of my life. It has been a lifeline in some ways because when you are going through depression and life crisis it takes time and the way things are today and obviously everyone has their own life to live, responsibilities and what not there also comes a kind of empathy fatigue. Eventually people disappear. I understand it. No one wants to be around a depressed, mentally struggling person its a downer! It’s tiring.
The flip-side is some of them also assume you are getting better and probably getting on with your life, back at work, seeing other friends etcetera. It is hard for those who haven’t been through it to fathom the process and how long it can take. And some have always said ‘you know I am here for you when you need me, call me anytime’, but of course, I don’t. I don’t like to burden people.
Sometimes I still have what is like a guilt that people will be thinking ‘oh she’s a drama queen, wallowing in self pity’ and ‘oh no, not this shit still’. That is how the mind works when you have been mentally stuck for years, the needle stuck in the groove of the 45 (7 inch records made of vinyl, 45 rpm, old music reference for you youngsters out there!). Lack of self esteem and confidence.
I still get the odd message ‘how are you doing?’ and then there is Facebook and its messenger etc. Which I do tend to use on good days and keep in touch there. But I haven’t really been in a position to cement good friendships over the years for many reasons; my sons’ illness, my periods of depression, moving around interstate etc. Friendships are a two way street and I just couldn’t do it. Consequently, I have alot of ‘friends’ or acquaintances but not many that have been consistently there sadly. Hard to admit but true. And in depressed times you isolate anyway, you don’t want people to see you failing.
It’s OK though because I have always preferred to deal with things on my own, and in honesty I tend to go into self imposed isolation for periods of time when I am trying to deal with things. I prefer it. Whether good or bad. I had a lady at the fish and chip shop the other day,( she owns the shop, nice lady about my age and single too, we’ve had some great chats)…I shouted myself (bought for myself) some fish and chips after I had taken a walk..say to me ‘Hey, how are you? Where have you been? Did you go back over to America? Still going to the gym you look great’ (!), I said ‘no, things did not go well and I had a bit of breakdown actually, self imposed exile to try sort things’…and she said ‘Oh my god, not you, I don’t believe it you are always so amazingly friendly, bright and positive’..I smiled at that, I had forgotten that there was a time I was so incredibly happy (I thought) in the months reconnecting with and leading up to going to see Joe, I had managed to kick 17 years of anti depressants, I was in love, lost 15 kilos in weight I didn’t know I had. Had a great tan, fit and healthy. Even though the Narc roundabout was in full swing when it was good I was so high on life. He made me feel good. (And bad, but I never recognised it for what it was at that stage…)
I am starting to reflect again, but this time I find the change coming. The pain associated firstly with him is starting to dissipate. I think, I feel and let it run its course, if I shed a tear I shed a tear..there are far less than there was and the sting and ache does not come as much. I also reflect on past pain and am starting to do the same with it…a kind of compartmentalisation…trying to make order of the chaos..one issue at a time.
This morning when I woke I felt lighter than I have felt in a long time, the techniques I am using are working and I am starting to feel proud of myself strangely…its a whole new realm.
At one stage I considered the lackey band ( Elastic band – Aussie’s tend to abbreviate everything to its shortest form!) treatment I had read about where a woman had been in a very painful relationship and was trying to get over and not go back even though he was trying to, so she got a lackey band and put it around her wrist. Every time she started to feel and think about the warm but false memories of her ex she would pull at the band and it would slap against her wrist obviously causing a stinging pain and much discomfort…over a short time it served to remind her of how her ex and the situation made her feel and she found herself over it! I laugh when I think of that, it still makes me giggle!
But this is what the marvelous world of blogging has brought. I’ve had people write to me, like my blog, follow etc, not many but it is starting to happen more and then I read their blogs and personal experiences and I am blown away by some of the amazing stories of mental toughness, growth and success that has stemmed from their journeys. Alot of inspiration and just a bit of craziness which helps me to realise I am not the only freak in this show of life!
Each day there are more good things to add to my gratefulness diary (psych is pleased with it’s progress too!). So, like yesterday I will continue the formula. Take a walk, write and just give myself the time I need. I am smiling today and it is coming naturally…..all in time…patience grasshopper…x