Monday, 30 January 2017

MH Monday: My depression made me unpredictable

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When I was in my teens, my depression use to make me very unpredictable, to the point where I became reckless. When I got really down I would take myself off for walks late at night, not letting anyone know where I was going and not picking up my phone when they called. I would lock myself in the bathroom and just cry despairingly for hours. My behaviour was very spontaneous and completely depended on my mood. I think I just stopped caring about what happened to me; almost hoped that something bad would happen to me when I was out late at night, although thankfully it never did. I felt like I deserved to be punished, and it was probably a small cry for help.

Gradually, I became more rational, and with that my behaviour became more predictable. When I started university it was more difficult to take myself off on walks, because I was in a new city that I knew nothing about - I started to be scared of what might actually happen to me. Over the last couple of years, when I have been low in mood, I have tended to just stay in bed and cry. This perhaps isn't the best coping mechanism ever, but it is predictable and safe for me. I can't hurt myself, or be hurt, whilst lying in bed and trying to sleep it off.

This perhaps shows the progression of my depression, and how I learnt to cope with it better. Part of it is probably because I wanted to stop worrying people so much, and another part of it is because I was starting to gradually overcome my illness.

I actually had a bit of a low day today for the first time in a couple of months, and I'm not entirely sure what triggered it. Maybe it was because I haven't been sleeping that well recently, or maybe it was just the Monday blues. But I found myself stuck in bed, crying, and not being able to function as I should or get myself out of the house and into placement. However, I now know exactly how to deal with it - I emailed my consultant explaining that I wouldn't be in today, got back into bed, and had a long sleep. When I woke up, I put on Gossip Girl and made myself some lunch. I haven't pushed myself at all, and I've made sure that I have looked after myself - and it was exactly what I needed, as I feel much better, if a little fragile, this evening.

I now know to listen to my body and its needs, as if I had pushed myself today it would just have made it worse, and instead of taking one day off I would have had to have taken a few off, just to recover.

I may have recovered from my depression, but there is still a small ingrained part of me that will occasionally need a day off and some TLC. And that's okay - as long as I listen to my mind and body I know I'm going to be alright, and will most likely be my happy self again tomorrow morning.
I'm proud of the woman I am today because I went through one hell of a time becoming her.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see that you have found a way of coping with those down days without putting yourself in a bad situation (like potentially dangerous walks at night, etc.)
    I've recently realised that I am pretty much recovered from my depression too, only having a few down days here and there with some anxiety mixed in. It's so important to share these experiences because it generally helps other people understand what they are going through/that they too can recover.