Waving or Drowning?

4 months into this blog and I’ve been on quite a journey so far: rock bottom,  starting this blog to try and make sense of my life, going to the doctor, sobbing, returning to the doctor, antidepressants, ups and downs, highs and lows, much self analysis, more doctor, therapy, mini melt-down, back up again, neighbours turning to friends, new boiler, new painting, job applications & silent rejections…

…so where am I now? What has changed over these last few months? Are things improving? I am certainly making positive forward steps, but so far the results have been pretty thin on the ground. I am at least still able to function as a human being, still able (just) to force myself into work each day, still able (begrudgingly) to force myself out to see friends and family. I am certainly in a better place than I was when I first went to my doctor, but the trouble is I don’t know if that has anything to do with the medication, therapy and blogging, or whether this is just the natural curve of my depression. How on earth can anyone even pretend to judge that?? I haven’t been diagnosed, but I do wonder if I’m a little bipolar – I don’t display the manic episodes, but my mood definitely swings like a pendulum. My ‘up’ periods make me more sociable, cheery, chatty, confident & outgoing, but the ‘ups’ are always punctuated with the ‘downs’. Unfortunately these downs have been very, very bad in recent months – more than I have been able to cope with.

I would say I’m ‘up’ at the moment, but I can feel it slowly slipping. When I am up, I manage to somehow bury the introspection and think about other stuff. I don’t let myself dwell on every aspect of my life and personality which always results in a downward spiral of self-loathing and despair. I am in fact, able to function like a relatively normal human being, think about things other than myself, involve myself in other peoples lives. It never lasts though. I recognise the warning signs: I start zoning out, shutting down, withdrawing, I become pensive and quiet. I am fighting it now as I type this. I will fight and fight and fight, but I always I get sucked down in the end.

Are the drugs working then? Well, I’m ‘up’ at the moment, but is that the drugs? I’m ‘up’ but actually if I think about it, what I describe as ‘up’, just means that I am not in a black mood. I am able to function better than when I am ‘down’, but actually the root of all my problems are still firmly in place. I’m still trapped in a poisonous work environment, I’ve still got huge issues with my sexuality, I’m still no closer to being able to form an intimate relationship with anyone, I still have no interest in holidays or recording music or the other things that I used to love, I still don’t really have any hopes, dreams or aspirations, I still think my life is a fuck up, I still feel like a failure, I still have very low self-esteem and confidence…. need I go on? All that happens when I am ‘up’, is that all my little walls, barriers and defenses I have built up for myself over the years silently slip back into place and enable me to ignore the truth – I disappear into my happy little bubble of self-deceit where I sit with my eyes closed and my hands over my ears and I sing ‘la la la I’m not listening…’

So now try and look at positives… I decided to fight and went to the doctor. I went onto anti-depressants, I started therapy, I started this blog. I managed to update my cv, I managed to decide what kind of job I should go for and actually applied for jobs – all good, proactive stuff. I’ve made good friends with the gay guys over the road helped them as much as I can with their money woes, I’ve been ‘up’ rather than ‘down’, I’ve… ok struggling now… I’ve… perhaps got the slightest spark of motivation back… I’ve doggedly continued with this blog…

All this I fear, would have happened without the doctors visit, without the Prozac and without the therapy. The more I think about it, the more I’m certain that nothing is really different at all – that all this is that natural bloody curve of my hopeless bloody depression.

I will continue with the medication, I will continue with the therapy and I will continue to fight, but I’m wondering if I am on the right medication and if I have been fully / correctly diagnosed… I’m wondering if all this is enough.

There is still one big, fat, ugly subject I need to write about which I have been willfully ignoring since I started this blog. I will have to truly steel myself for for it, but perhaps confronting it will be the catalyst – the final key to the door of my recovery…

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About RescueMyLife

I am a single man, 45 years old living in London and working in the media. My life is complex and I have decided to try and make some sense of it. I am writing this blog anonymously as I believe that only by remaining anonymous can I be honest and speak freely about my thoughts and feelings. I have no idea where this blog will take me...
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8 Responses to Waving or Drowning?

  1. FoggySoul says:

    Hi ADM,
    First I want to thank you for writing this blog. I relate to you sooo much. I’ve been clinically depressed for about 20 years, and I’m very familiar to those ups and downs you speak of. One minute, or hour, or day you feel so good you think you might be free of the darkness, and then you plunge right back down again. When you say you were trying to figure out ‘why’ you want to do this, I’ve asked myself the same thing as I too, have contemplated starting one of my own. I’m still not quite there yet, but I’m getting closer… and I think the reason I want to do it so much is just to express the pain, the questions, the struggle…. to ‘get it out of me’. And I have a little voice that keeps saying “It might help someone”. And so here I am, reading yours, and I want to say how it has helped me. Just knowing someone else is out there with some similar challenges is somehow comforting, knowing that I’m not alone. And that’s just by skimming the paragraphs. 🙂 I plan to come back here on a clearer day and read everything, as today is super foggy for me and I’m having a really hard time concentrating.
    Again, thankyou for being here. I wish you strength and clarity in your journey and look forward to reading more of your posts very soon.
    Sending hugs, love and light your way,
    Sincerely,
    MyFoggySoul (from Twitter :-))

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi MyFoggySoul,
      Thanks for reading my blog and for your nice words of support. I have sometimes wondered, but I am pretty sure that the benefits of writing this blog outweigh the negatives. The negatives are that sometimes writing a post can send you spiraling downwards and leave you utterly spent. Other times it feels like an enormous release. I wouldn’t be able to do it at all unless I was completely anonymous. You have nothing to lose by starting your own blog and everything to gain. The great thing about being anonymous is that you can say whatever you like without fear of repercussion. The most wonderful thing about writing this blog has been the contact with people like yourself. Realizing that someone might find some small comfort in my ramblings makes the whole thing feel worthwhile. I honestly believed I’d get bored and give up after a couple of weeks as that is my usual form and I never thought I’d be a blogger! But to my own amazement I’ve stuck at it.
      I look forward to reading yours soon…!
      All the best
      RML

  2. petlamb2 says:

    Good grief my friend you are hard on yourself. Can we also just stand back and rather than note all the things you haven’t done maybe just pause to look at what you are doing. Are you washing your clothes? Are you feeding and caring for your cats? What would the guys across the way say – I bet they have found your support and having you to listen to them invaluable. We all look at the bad points. I do it myself but your penultimate paragraph is so full of determination and of focus – don’t knock it. Some of the issues you have addressed in your blog have been enormaous – OK so it sounds like there is one big thing left to put to bed but you will do it.

    It is very odd just trying to get to know someone fomr their writing but you sound like a compassionate man. Maybe try directing some of that compassion towards yourself. I wish you well on your continued journey. I wish too that I could continue to keep reading of your development but I regret I am at the end of my road. I have been fighting too long and I have no heart left in me. I aim to sort a few things out and then will seek to take my leave. God bless you Caramel – I know you don’t do religion but I used to and it used to feel good. For some reason I don’t even feel worthy of that any more.

    With love.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi petlamb2, I would thank you for your comment but I believe I understand exactly what’s going on here and what you are really saying in the 2nd half of your comment and I want you to stop right there! I’ll have no farewell speeches from you!!! You say I’m hard on myself, yes I am, but you are also too hard on yourself. Whatever you think you still have the spark and you still have a heart and it is not yet time for you my friend. Go and see your doctor – now!, have a couple of glasses of wine, dust off your copy off Abba Gold, try and keep yourself too busy to think. Whatever you do, do not give me the farewell speech that is not fair. You hang in there and bloody well fight!
      If things have really got that bad, please at least call the Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 or email them on jo@samaritans.org
      RML

      • petlamb2 says:

        OK – I am suitably contrite. Took your advice and spoke to Samaritans but Abba Gold – good grief! The spark is a little dull but I promise to try and nurture it. It is just that I am so so tired. Also probably compunded by venfalxaine discontinuation syndrome. Don’t ever let anyone give you venlafaxine, it is a good anti-depressant but can lead to serotonin toxicity and then you can’t stop taking it because of the discontinuation affects.
        It’s a bit early for wine but a croissant and hot coffee will help. Just the thing in between clearing up the mess from my younger son who has special needs and is occasionally doubly incontinent.

        What I really want, is to be held in the arms of a strong man….to tell me all will be well. Well you were that strong man for me last night. The arms may have been virtual but their effect was felt. Thank you. I apologise for causing you distress.
        Anne x

      • RescueMyLife says:

        I’m really glad you’re ok – you gave me quite a scare!
        Now, don’t you go knocking Abba Gold, sometimes there’s nothing better for lifting the spirits than kicking back & strutting your stuff to a blast of good old Dancing Queen or SOS… admittedly I generally listen on headphones behind a firmly closed door so no one ever finds out!
        It must be incredibly tough looking after a special needs kid – you have my utmost admiration. I’m also glad I was able to help yesterday – I understand the yearning for a strong protector – may we both find that one day….
        I will take your advice about Venlafaxine and steer well clear.
        Stay strong Anne
        RML

  3. Izzi says:

    Stevie Smith reference, so very pleased!!!!
    Hold on in there. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt from my current social worker is that it is so important for us to stay in the world and keep going. It is fatal to give up.
    Everyone at my work knows I’m bipolar and that’s been OK for me but each situation is different.
    Keep at it hon
    Love
    !zzi
    http://www.juggleglass.com

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Thanks Izzi. I agree that it is really important to keep your feet firmly planted in the real world as much as possible – if you give in to the urge to hide behind closed doors, nothing good will ultimately come of it. Every situation is indeed different, and sometimes a couple of days of solitude is helpful to calm the mind and regroup when things are getting bad – the world cannot and should not be ignored forever though.
      Thanks for your words of support – as always it is comforting to know you are not alone in these things.
      RML

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