It’s an odd thing coming back to yourself after a depressive episode.
In the last few weeks I’ve not felt like myself at all. Everything has felt too difficult, caused anxiety and I’ve wanted to hide. Wanted to lash out and make everyone go away, run away or leave my life in one way or another. However, I’m too aware of letting people down so I carry on with a grimace of a smile, and gosh, I hope no one can tell and finds me miserable. I want to come across as myself however bleak I feel inside.
And now the black clouds are beginning to pass and I’m very uneasily emerging into the light again. My heart is still leaping at small silly things but my laugh is coming more naturally and I’m not dreading everything quite so much. The urge to destroy something in my life is less strong. And I can be proud that I’ve handled this episode better than I’ve handled them in the past.
What bothers me though, is that I’m still not entirely aware what triggers a funk and what helps get me out of it. I think therapy has helped (we’ve been talking about self-soothing again so I’ve been able to confess some of the destructive behaviours that I use to avoid difficult feelings and other people have had the same approaches – I’m not such a freak, I’m not alone) but I don’t think it’s just that. Is it that it’s sunny today? Maybe that I’ve finished a work project.
Whatever it is though, it’s a tiring but fascinating place to be. It feels like you’ve had sunglasses on and suddenly everything is clearer and brighter. If you hear people laughing, you don’t automatically assume that you are the subject, instead it’s a nice sound, the bags under your eyes aren’t quite as ugly as they looked yesterday. It’s not that straightforward but I can’t think how else to describe it.
If you know someone who struggles with depression though, it might be helpful to try and look out for what their triggers might be because sometimes it might be easier for a loved one to spot. Maybe you could work out together how to get through it too.