Depression Diary – my naivety knows no bounds and I lost my voice

I’ve decided that I’ll group everything about depression under the banner of ‘Depression Diary’, to try and keep it clearly separate from everything else I write about on here.

I wrote recently about my naivety at the prospect of my depression returning now that I was taken big steps towards getting the help I need, including putting together a plan that ultimately will see me get back into work and start really moving forwards with my life.

To be perfectly honest, I thought that going to the doctor, telling my friends and my mum – which I finally did last week –and getting in touch with a mental health organisation, would be like a magic bullet. I assumed that, now that I had come clean, so to speak, and got of the rid need to lie and pretend, that I’d be fine going forward. I understood it would take time to be fully functional again and I’m fully committed to taking one step at a time, but I thought that by making peace with everything and pacing myself going forward that I wouldn’t experience any major setbacks. It is safe to say then that this last week and a bit I was pretty frustrated to find that I lost my voice.

What I mean is, I could still talk, but I couldn’t write a thing. I felt empty and completely devoid of any emotion whatsoever. Well actually, at first I just felt vulnerable and exposed, it felt like the whole world knew too much, like I had no privacy and that my thoughts were no longer mine anymore. I was paranoid that people would now be analysing every little word and gesture trying to ascertain what my mental state was at any given moment. I made my peace with that one somewhat but then came the crushing empty feeling. It’s weird to be in a place where you just want to feel something whilst simultaneously hoping that it doesn’t develop into one of those horribly dark depressive episodes. And then comes the return of lying.

You don’t want to say to anyone so soon after telling everyone everything that ‘oh by the way, I’ve kinda felt pretty down these past few days.’ I can’t shake this feeling that now I’ve come out and said ‘hey, I have a problem but I’m taking steps to combat it’, people sort of assume that, well, he’ll be alright now. At the moment I’m feeling this pressure where I feel like I have to get better now otherwise at some point people will say ‘why aren’t you better yet?’

The reason I say my naivety knows no bounds is that I am well aware that for each step you take forward you have to allow yourself the time to assimilate to the new state of affairs. It is absolutely absurd to think that I wouldn’t have some kind of adverse reaction to the amount of mental hurdles I’ve been leaping recently. Part of everything I’ve been feeling is sheer mental exhaustion.

As this weekend arrives though, I can feel myself somewhat returning to normal and the patterns I’ve put in place to deal with situations like this are now ingrained habits, like staying active and exercising and not allowing myself to fall into one of those classic depressive funks of just staying in bed. Movement is life is probably my favourite new motto of the last couple of years.

What I’m most looking forward to over the next few days is getting back into the swing of things writing wise, as this was actually the longest time I went without writing or working on any of my creative projects in years.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the visit and follow. Also, thank you for being forward in this post. This part struck me the most:

    “I understood it would take time to be fully functional again and I’m fully committed to taking one step at a time, but I thought that by making peace with everything and pacing myself going forward that I wouldn’t experience any major setbacks. It is safe to say then that this last week and a bit I was pretty frustrated to find that I lost my voice.”

    Having mental health issues myself and continuing a sort of path to recovery, I’m at times frustrated by the process. Regaining and maintaining functionality. You mention being anxious about people overanalyzing your writing. I found the best approach is to write without apologies. Writing, to me, is therapeutic, and I wanted to blog for a long time, but I too was afraid of assumptions made about me given the kinds of things I post. It helps to remind myself that I have nothing to prove to others, that I am not the diagnosis (if that makes sense), and if writing and posting on a public blog platform helps me express myself better and connect with others more likely to relate, it’s probably a feasible strategy.

    It looks like you write prolifically. So I’ll have tons of material to look forward to. 🙂

    • Thank you for reading and for making such a thoughtful, considered comment.

      It is definitely nice to connect with other people who are going through their own issues and to read about their journeys.

      I completely agree with your sentiments about writing being therapeutic and also about the illness being separate from who you are.

      For me I’ve found it to be the case that practising positive reinforcement by repeating certain things to myself enables me to quickly reach for positive thoughts and actions whenever I feel myself slipping. Of course there are periods of time when you lose sight of those things but by and large I’d say I’m more in control now than I was even say two years ago.

      Thanks again and I’m looking forward to reading your blog.

    • Thanks, I just keep repeating to myself that I need to keep making the right decisions no matter how hard it is right now and later on the payoff will be worth it.

      I hope everything is good with you

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