So I’ve been having a rough time lately, the last month has been kind of bad. Making myself come into work has been really hard too. I mean, I’m managing it, but it feels a tiny bit like showing up to school drunk. (Which, naturally, I’ve never done.) It’s like you’re showing up to all the classes, and making the same lecture notes, but having a totally different experience from everyone else in the room. My thinking is foggy, my coordination is off, and my thoughts stumble around like drunkards, rather than the straight rational lines that preside when I’m in a less depressed state of mind. Holding myself together enough to do 7.5 hours of work a day is taking a ridiculous amount of energy.
And at some point you start to wonder if anyone else has noticed yet. I mean some times I feel like I’m moving so slowly through time that the response delay would be noticeable, and sometimes I’m moving so quickly and frantically that the air around me almost jitters with it. Yet I’m sitting here feeling like somehow I’m getting away with this, and somehow I’m managing to mask it enough that it hasn’t drawn any negative attention.
The feeling of getting away with this should feel half gleeful, and half full of dread. Instead, most of the time it doesn’t. Its just a thought that floats through the rest of the fog every-so often. “You’re getting away with it. Huh. Must be doing something right.”
Frankly I’m scared that if I fall any further into depression here that it’s going to affect my work… I’m going to stop getting away with it - and it’s a relief to note that this is still a terrifying prospect. Well… mostly terrifying – there is a small part of me that finds the idea of letting this affect my job wrongly attractive - if I’m fired then I won’t have to keep trying so hard. I won’t have to keep getting up. I could just go to bed and stay there for weeks at a time. Or at least I could until the rent money runs out.
I know I’m not doing so well when ideas like that start popping up. I find myself scheming for ways I can justify not getting up that day. I got an awful stomach bug a couple of weeks ago, and I was sick enough that I lost 7kgs in less than a week. Despite feeling near death, and the small matter of spending days on end in fetal position on the bathroom floor, I was relieved. Finally a real reason to take sick leave.
It’s important to note that I don’t let myself take sick-leave just because I’m feeling depressed that day – I know myself, and that’s a slippery slope I can’t afford to lead myself onto.
Life in general is not being so helpful with the depression. If I had it my way everything would just stop for a bit, but instead, life marches on, and somehow I find myself in the middle of various pieces of drama in my personal life. Then I stumbled across information about a good friend that I wish to god I could take three steps back from and erase. So on top of the drama and the ‘OhMyGodDelete’, I still have ambitious financial plans that require attention and managing. I need to go to the supermarket. My laundry is so stacked up that I’m completely out of pants. Also towels. And sheets. And that’s saying nothing of the underpants situation, which is getting desperate.
It’s like, I’m barely functioning here, and it’s taking every ounce of sanity remaining, and energy to keep myself on-track at work, and quite frankly, everything else is going to have to wait. So I’m not doing my dishes tonight. And I’m not going to attempt to have conversations with the friends that I’m overdue for a catch-up with, because I. Can’t. Even. The washing will just have to hold on. I still have skirts. I’ll just be the girl who wears a lot of skirts. And who needs sheets? My fuzzy blankets are warmer anyway.
The depression isn’t going to last forever*, but until it lifts, I’m running on empty and making do, and that’s just fine for now.
* That is a link to Stephen Fry talking about his manic depression in a way that really resonates with me. I think it’s a hopeful analogy, so I make a point of listening to it whenever I need a reminder that it can’t rain all the time.