Sunday, 5 October 2014


Last week I felt blergh.

I wasn't sad or angry or confused or hurt. But I was...

Flat, numb, unfocused.
Unable to concentrate on conversations and simple tasks at home and work.
Not as interested in seeing the lovely guy I'm dating.
Unable to laugh at things I would normally laugh at.
despite the lovely spring weather, smells and sights around me, I found it really hard to appreciate its beauty.

However my desire to consume chocolate was in no way diminished!

For those who are familiar with these feelings, may have an inkling of something that I finally conceded to by the end of the week. The black dog was back.

I had previously felt its back brush up against my leg, its rough tongue lick my hand (ok, taking the analogy too far?) but this was the longest bout of depression that I've had.

I consider myself lucky that I haven't so far been completely crippled, or resorted me to medication. Yet I find its haze exhausting and frustrating.

I was diagnosed with mild depression in the early days of the separation by the counsellor I was lucky enough to be seeing, but this was definitely worse. No, there were no 'hurtful' thoughts that entered my head towards myself or my children, thank God. But for people whose response is basically 'snap out of it/look around you at your lovely children/think that things could be worse/just cheer up', then I can now absolutely testify that those words are useless and insensitive. And luckily I didn't hear them from anyone.

I confessed my suspicion about the depression to the lovely guy, an understanding colleague who caught me unaware at work, and my ex. They are pointing to a hormone IUD I had inserted over a month ago, which has had no negative effect until now. But I don't know if it's that simple... I think there's a whole myriad of factors that contributed to this, and then I came across this article which confirmed some of my thoughts.

The stress of separation. The hormone IUD. A mother with mental illness. My own issues from my upbringing (note I am not a fan of blaming others and I believe in being accountable for yourself, but it does help paint a picture). The sudden reduction in exercising, after having been a regular visitor to the gym for several months. The huge intake of processed foods (well, chocolate). Chronic long term lack of sleep.

So on Friday morning with the kids at their dad's place, I took myself for a run (er, maybe more walking than running!). And when it came time to see the lovely guy for coffee that morning before work, I could at least smile and make chit chat. I'm not implying this is an easy fix, but the fact that I felt a little better as the endorphins started to course through my body, was a relief.

So I can start to feel myself swimming up from the depths and feel things a little clearly. And the lovely guy didn't get freaked out.

So what did I learn? Something I already knew, which is that depression sucks. That this is a journey I'm just starting on. That you just can't pull yourself out of it. But with a bit of time, awareness and patience, I can help make it more tolerable until it passes.

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