I am such a ninny. I've written about depression here before but so long ago that I forgot that I suffered. Yes, I said that. I plain gone and forgot. So, as you do, I stopped taking my meds about three months ago, and about six weeks ago I said to my doctor friend Sue, who I ride with, "I stopped taking my meds, and I feel fine! And it was only a tiny dose. I don't think I need them. I'm so happy. I live in a beautiful place. I walk every day. I have a gorgeous man who loves me..." She looks at me and she says, plainly "Wait till the three month mark." And here I am. Tiny anxious thoughts starting trickling in to my head last week, just silly things, and I thought I hadn't had enough sleep. And yesterday, full on "I suck" mode. Not fun. Even now, I'm still ahead of it, still looking down on, can still see it as a thing, so it hasn't fully taken over, but I know it's there. It's harder to lose myself in the beech trees and the bracken. It's harder to enjoy food. It's harder to see the comedy in situations. It's harder to feel lighthearted. It's harder to not assign (malicious) intent to other people's actions. Harder not to take things personally. Harder to Be The Lighthouse (Yogi Bhajan).
Don't be a ninny: take your meds. Don't believe that you're above them.
My friend who runs a recovery center for depression, addiction, anxiety and so on, says that one of the things he does with the young people he helps is that he takes them out on the street in London and says, "help someone." And he will point them towards a tourist with a map, and say "Go and see if you can point them in the right direction. He probably wants to get to Harrods." And it works. The person feels better because he has reached out to someone else, and he's thought about someone other than himself.
Depression makes the world smaller, shrinks it down, and doesn't allow you to see the huge bountifulness of it all. It lowers the sky. It makes things feel disjointed, not connected. Happiness feels transcendent, big, optimistic, magnanimous, light. Depression feels little, mean even, dark. You don't have enough to give anyone else.
Earlier today I asked my lovely man to go to London. It's not that I don't want him here. He's amazing with me. For example, on Sunday night, when I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling and not really sure what to do with myself, he lay by me, with his book, and unselfconsciously reached out his hand for mine. It made me cry. I thought "Here am I feeling useless and crap and this lovely man is just lying next to me, supporting me." I didn't feel worthy. But sometimes I can't imagine anyone would want to be with someone who is in this state. It's prickly, a little mean, not particularly loveable.
The opposite of this is the way you feel when you've been plucking up the courage to go in the sea and you decide that you must go, but the sea is cold, and yet you go in anyway, and it's cold but refreshing and you swim, and you keep swimming and it begins to feel warmer. And when you come out, you feel so good that you don't care that your hair is a mess or your tummy is sticking out or your nose is running. Your skin is shimmering and salty, you just feel yourself, your true essence.
That's the piece that's missing. So I will speak with the lovely Dr Joe on the phone tonight and we'll try to get this taken care of. I don't want to miss a thing.
(For more on feeling crap and dealing with sadness and depression, please do read the lovely Tania Kindersley's blog, especially this piece. She inspires me every day.)
Mine is a minor ailment in comparison to many. And I thank you for allowing me to express it here, because even this downloading (and I do it better in writing than I do in person) helps. Knowing that it can be shared and knowing that other people experience similar things (like Tania) makes everything much much much more deal-able. I don't like myself when I am this way but I know that that in itself is a symptom, and that I need to embrace it. I encourage everyone to reach out and share these things with friends, or keep a diary. The mere fact that we can crack it open and let it out helps it see some sunlight, helps it heal.