The Depression Debates

Statements from my depressed self, and retorts from the person I'm trying to be.

Forgotten.

Today I remembered this blog for maybe the first time in 2 years. I’d forgotten how useful it was to counter my negative automatic thoughts. Of course, my memory was jogged by a mental health professional reminding me that self-harm isn’t a constructive way for me to cope with my persistent low mood… so clearly I needed this.

So, you’re back in the warm comforting bosom of NHS mental health services. 2 years without medication might seem like a triumph, but it is not a failure to be reliant on the pills again

Accessing support is your least favourite venture, so pat on the back for attending workshops, seeing your doctor on the regular and taking tablets (almost) every day

Relapse =/= failure

Although today was hard, it was useful to face up to unpleasant truths about your relationship with self harm

Try to keep on top of regular catharsis: use this blog, chat to Samaritans, go to the gym

Be proud that there exists a community through which you can express your downs

Better.

Sometimes I convince myself that I’m ok now, that I don’t get those suicidal or self-hatred thoughts. I know better than that. I wish I could be better

Recovering from/coping with a mental illness is an ongoing process, don’t worry that you’ll never see the end when you’re still on the track

Those things might never ever go away fully, but remind yourself that they are fewer and less frequent than they once were and they can be improved upon even further

You are better… Than you were! And you may one day be “well”

Alone.

So I have a new girlfriend. And she has depression. Triggering and “interesting”. Maybe I am better off alone?

Realistically you like this girl and you know you do

Statistically, partners who both have mental health problems at a low level are more likely to last (you read that somewhere)

Don’t end things because she wants to open up to you when you repeatedly asked her to. This is new, and of course there are going to be things you didn’t think about, but ultimately, you’re coping and you are smitten; keep at it

Having depression, and spending time with others who have depression being hard does NOT mean that you should be alone

Spending time with people like you is actually pretty good

Being with this girl causes all your insecurities to flare up, you feel not good enough for her every day

But she feels the same. You are working through these things together

As much as you have this dilemma in your head often, you know you won’t break up with her because the good she makes you feel outweighs the anxiety. Massively

Maybe you aren’t good enough for her, but all you can do is be the best that you are. If it doesn’t work out, you gave everything you had, and that’s all anyone can do

Depression makes this worse, but new relationships are anxiety-inducing for everyone

Learning to be with someone is hard, but you can approach it in a logical way: know your limits, keep a dialogue with her about this, and make sure to find time for yourself

Fifth date.

So there’s a new lady, because I don’t stay away for long? She is gorgeous, really super nice and good fun to hang around with. The problem is that I can’t understand why someone who fits all those criteria would then want to be around me, never mind date me! It’s really hard to remain well when there is such pressure on the underlying insecurities

It’s ok to be bloody scared about this stuff. So many people are anyway, this girl herself is kinda scared, and they haven’t had the shit that you have in terms of understanding themselves from a relationship stand point

Be frank with her. Admitting you are scared or need help or need space is not bad

Better to talk to her than lead her on, after all she is lovely!

Look at you having a pretty date, maybe shut up with the worrying and the self criticism for like one second. She seems to want to spend time with you, use this as motivation in your progress towards being well

Or at the very least keep around a new friend who is very fun to kiss 😀

Dragging.

I’m feeling worse and worse lately terrified that the feelings of self hatred and anger are coming back and there’s nothing I can do

It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok

Of course you’re scared, but even if it is coming back, there is no shame in going back on antidepressants

Reach out to people

All those people who offered help any time you needed may have been giving empty promises but it’s their own stupid fault then

Don’t worry or beat yourself up over this, that definitely will not help

It’s so hard

Homeless.

The house I’m living in has been sold, and I am entitled to very little notice/tenancy rights given the contract I signed initially. As a result I have now one week to find somewhere else to live and move into it. As I am poor, badly employed and mentally ill I am struggling with finding somewhere, either through being too anxious to look/meet people, having such a small budget or having to work my stupid midday hours. As a result, I’m fraught with worry, barely sleeping and getting worse by the day. Halp

Admittedly this is just a really stressful position, and even your sane and well employed housemate is finding this period to be panic-inducing

So mentally, the fact that you’re even managing to get to work and to view some places is good

And I understand that might not seem enough, but you are doing excellently to work beyond your normal limits

You are very lucky to have a great set of friends who have all offered sofas and spare rooms and even to let you have their bed, so you will not be out on the streets

But being dependent on others makes you feel super guilty, it’s how things started to go wrong with last partner

Remember that if you can find somewhere in the next week, that it’s likely you’ll actually be in a better situation, i.e. you’ll have WiFi and a full-sized oven and maybe even a Washing Machine. Imagine how nice it’ll be to have a real life again

This was probably the worst time for my mother to have a downswing. She is saying that as children we treat her like shit and only use her when we need something, this means that any hope of asking for financial or moral support in this move has been taken away; I can’t allow myself to walk into a situation where she has a reason to scream at me

Remember that your mother’s mood swings, whilst upsetting, are now no longer your problem, the beauty of moving out in the first place. It may not be fun staying on people’s floors, but at least you won’t get called a “disgrace” on a regular basis

Through all her bullshit, she is maddened because she wants to hear from us more often, if you actually went to her in need, she would do her best to support you (though financially she’s not much better off than you are)

She loves you, you know that, she says it and shows it. She just blows up a lot as well

Be thankful that you had the opportunity to stop living with her, you are at least independent in that sense

Work.

I am writing this post from my job as a waitress/barista. It is the first full time shift I have done in any work place in 18 months and I feel not only exhausted but emotionally drained

This shows the importance of self care and how well you must be looking after yourself with the time you’ve got. Well done

It’s ok that it’s a bit of a struggle. Half the battle is getting into a routine, it’ll get easier

At least you are at work. The time of unemployment was even harder and more exhausting

Irritating that your boss gave your lunch to someone else though

Clingy.

I am the worst at dating. I need so much constant reassurance that I’m doing ok. I need regular and thoughtful contact. I need to be told I am good enough, and I scare people away with my intensity

It sucks balls that people find you hard to date. But maybe that just means they’re not the right people for you! It’s all about compatibility

Almost everyone finds the dating game hard, and there are tonnes of clingy people who find themselves in relationships

It’s really hard coping with negative beliefs about yourself, but it is even harder when you guess at how a date might perceive you. Given your attitude to you, the chances of you having a positive outlook on it are super low

Remember how everyone told you to focus on just you for a little while? Yeah? Maybe do that

Cried.

Today I lost control. I shouted and cried at people who are trying to help (even with patronising advice). I feel ashamed and embarrassed

Being so low that you (sp)lash out is understandable given the circumstances

You are fighting an uphill battle without medical intervention for the first time in years, and have had a total life upheaval (as well as making your usual stupid mistakes), it is natural to break sometimes

Surely breaking in front of people you love is much better than keeping emotions in and pretending

There is no shame in falling apart

Train.

Getting a train home that I can afford involves being up at 7am. I am currently on the early commuter train with angry copassengers and needing about 4 more hours of sleep

Well now. This may be a somewhat depressing situation, but put in another way, it is a distinct advantage to kickstart your routine on a Monday

As for the other commuters, pay them no mind. You’d be angry if you were up at this time every day too

Looking on the bright side is hard when even the bright side seems dull

But, you did have a lovely weekend with family and have chosen a cost-effective way of travelling home