I hate feeling like this. I hate being so unhappy, tired, and anxious all the time. I try to relax with distraction, with breathing exercises, with systematic relaxation, with some of the principles of mindfulness, with making myself go out and about even when I don't feel like it, with music, with the radio, with the telly, with almost anything I can think of, but nothing works long-term. By the end of the day I'm exhausted from lack of sleep the previous night, from anxiety, from flashbacks, from the depression itself, from trying to distract myself from all of this. I run out of ways to cope (or making a pretence of coping), and all the mess comes rising to the surface. I can't sleep. The images, sensations, feelings, anxieties, negative and intrusive thoughts, and all the upset crowd in on me and threaten to drown me. By this time I'm beyond being able to distract myself any further, having had to do so all through the day, and I feel like I'm drowning. I don't sleep. I cry. I toss and turn. I relive the traumas that haunt me. Alone and afraid, feeling weak and vulnerable, I lose myself in my upset.
I was supposed to have gone up to Edinburgh on Saturday and be spending this week up there with my mum and step-dad. When it came to it, I didn't feel able to go and actually needed to stay here where the professional support is trying to hold me up. My mum and step-dad came down to me for Easter instead, and last night/early this morning Mum checked in on me to see if I was asleep. I wasn't. I couldn't. My insides were churning and my mind whirring in never ending arguments with myself, thoughts and general mess. She sat with me, held my hand, and stroked my head like she did when I was a young child. I felt so little, vulnerable, and fragile; and tears slipped from my eyes and dampened my pillow. Eventually I felt safe in Mum's comfort, some of the anxiety was quelled, and sleep came. I stirred a little when Mum got up off the side of my bed and went back to her bed in the living room, but I had been reassured. I turned over and went back to sleep for four and a half hours.
Today I've caught myself chastising myself for needing that little girl comfort, that reassurance, but it helped, and I remind myself that it shouldn't matter that I'm 38 and needing what I had last night. I have to tell myself that whatever I need at the moment to help me feel better, to relax, to have a rest from the brokenness is okay. The chastising part of me continues to poke at me, and it's a battle to keep hold of the gentle, nurturing self. I don't always succeed. In fact, I often don't succeed. I argue with myself and yet somehow manage to lose the argument.
One of the members of the crisis team (CATT) told me today that he thinks I can come through this. I want to believe him because I so hate feeling this way, but I'm so tired that I'm not sure he's right. I do all that I'm asked to help myself - I do more than I'm asked if I can think of anything - but nothing to date has made any great impact on my distress. That, in itself, adds to the distress.
I don't remember if I'd said this to you before or not, but a few months ago I said to my psychologist that depression is a monster that tells you lies. The logical part of my brain still believes this, but the bit that is over-powered by the monster can't hold on to this and believes all that Depression tells me. I'm trapped.