Depression. What a strange word. My twitter bio describes me in the words of Woody Allen as suffering from chronic dissatisfaction. I guess you could almost say it’s the same thing. Constantly chasing a rainbow is me to a tee. I’m not too sure what it is exactly that I want. I think I know, but as I haven’t reached that level of bliss with my outwardly seeking pursuits, I know for sure it’s an internal transformation which must take place.
Now back to why I have chosen that quote as the header of this blog piece.
I am behaving quite badly. To myself that is. I have taken up smoking around 7 months ago after having quit the habit 10 years ago. I do this to be self destructive. I do it to be rebellious. I do it to say “hey look what I’m doing, and who gives a fuck”. I do it because i don’t care. I’m destroying my health. To the point now where I have had a cold for the past 3 weeks that I cannot seem to shake. To the point where I now have started having to use a ventolin inhaler most days at the gym. To the point where i am noticing my skin isn’t looking as flawless as it used to. It’s a disgusting, filthy, habit.
The other thing that I am afflicted with as you know from my previous posts is insomnia. For those of you that have experienced it, it is the most frustrating thing. You are tired, yet you cannot seem to switch off. I sleep for a couple of hours here and there, tossing and turning, getting up and doing things (the other night I got up and put on a load of washing at 1am). It can be quite comical to an observer. But after almost a year now of near sleepless nights, it is gradually taking its toll. Needing for the first time in years to prop myself up on caffeine to enable me to function. Strange body aches due to lack of rest that have me popping pain killers each night before bed. Bags under my eyes, and of course, the most unpleasant side effect of all – the slipping into of depression. A lack of sleep will do this to you. And often when you fall into this dangerous trap your mind will ferret through old remembered emotions and drag them out to the surface to deal with once more.
And this is why I am behaving quite badly. At times I feel as though I am wandering aimlessly towards a target that I just cannot see. Blanketed through a fog of not knowing what my future will hold. Not knowing for sure where my life might end up. I guess none of us really know what the future will hold.
A big thing for me which has had a huge impact on the direction of my life is my long struggle with infertility. That was something, that at the time broke me irrevocably. But also helped me to become the person I am today. Who that person is though, I’m not entirely sure. Aren’t we all searching for ourselves?
During the 6 years that I tried, and failed to become a mother, I experienced deep grief like nothing else. The thing that really struck me was other people’s reactions to the situation at the time. Pity was high on the list of friends reaction towards me and it only fuelled my own feelings of inadequacy.
Friends announcing their own pregnancies tore me apart. For years I felt as though I was wandering around with a constant lump in my throat about to burst into tears at the mere mention of a baby. My friend Diane will vouch for this. She, like me, went through a similar thing, and we were lucky enough to have found each other to cry on each others shoulders. She will agree with me that it’s nothing short of an isolating experience. At times I felt like a social leper. Never really fitting in.
Baby showers were something that I avoided like the plague. How could I possibly attend an event where I was celebrating someone else’s pregnancy? I could barely even hold someone else’s baby. It’s a selfish thing to think, but as you are going through it you have to do whatever you can to get yourself through. Self preservation is not only a natural instinct but also your duty to your own soul.
As more time passed I came to terms with it and decided that that was something that would just never be a part of my world. And it’s not the worst thing that can happen even though as you’re going through it you’re convinced of nothing but. However it does change the course of what’s to come.
In my solitude, I often think of what the future will look like. I have opportunities that others do not. However when we are faced with a multitude of choices it can sometimes stop us blind in our tracks and only confuse things even more. Go to a restaurant that has 30 different meal choices on the menu and see how simple it is to make a decision. My late Grandmother always told me that the problem these days is we have too much choice.
Do I stay in my large home or do I move to a unit? Do I move to another country or do I stay close to my family? Do I continue doing this job of mine or do I write the book I’ve been wanting to? These are options that not everybody has the luxury of having. And whilst I am grateful, everything ultimately has its price.
So whilst I am at peace with that part of my life, the powerful emotions that gripped me at the time have for some reason bubbled up like a toxic stream and found their way to the surface once again and I have succumbed to the self-pitying state I found myself in many years ago.
Just like we constantly have to work on our body to stay in shape, so too the mind and our emotions. And to use the overworked phrase, I am a work in progress.