What's behind that smile?

A few weeks ago I was reading the Daily Mail (don't judge me), when I came across this article - Smiling Depression - This totally describes me. In the early stages of my spiral down into depression, you'd never know by looking at me. Outwardly, I'll have a big smile on my face, I'll be making jokes and I'll be the usual social butterfly. Inside however, that black stone will be growing in my chest. That's the best way I can describe it, a black stone. Think of a sphere, dark as granite. I swear that when I'm depressed, I feel heavier (not just because of the comfort eating)... It honestly feels like something physical is weighing me down and everything slows down. 


I have only really just realised the extent of this new cycle of depression. I now realise it has been coming for a long while, but to begin with, not even Nickie knew. I was smiling and hiding/ignoring beginnings of the fall. At that point, I hadn't yet reached the edge of the cliff, the slope was gentle and easy to manage. The stone was a mere grain. I guess that was around September; money was getting tight, I'd been off work for over a month and I still hadn't had a scan. Come October and NYC and I the slope was getting steeper. I was still hiding it well, the pain I felt in New York wasn't just my back ache, but the growing knotted ball of depression characterised by guilt, anxiety and stomach problems.


Returning from New York threw me off the cliff. I came back to emails which threw me majorly off kilter, declined debit/credit cards and Nickie's new job which took her out of the house for 13 hours each day. Add jet lag and I was no longer functioning. Even at this point, I was convincing myself (and Nickie) that this was nothing more than post-holiday blues. By Halloween, I was immersed in full on moderate-to-severe depression (as diagnosed by my doctor). Later that week I began taking mood stabilisers. That was just over a week ago.


Since then my sleep patterns have been erratic to say the least. I am sleeping 1.5 nights out of three and as such I am exhausted most of the time. On the nights I do sleep, it is through sheer exhaustion, following a full night awake. I cry myself to sleep, my brain fogged with memories of bad and/or embarrassing experiences from my past. There's a tiny voice (not literally), which reminds me of that time when I... (insert painful anecdote here). Right now it's almost 4am and I have not slept a wink. Worse still, I have kept Nickie up all night. She has been so amazingly understanding and supportive throughout this, researching the condition, holding me when the tears come, loving me and just plain being there. But I know that this is killing her. I also know that if she could take away black stone in my chest and insert it into her own chest, she would. I feel like it would be better all round if I just went to my Mum's for a while, but I know she'd worry more being unable to see me every day. 


I ache from typing this so I'm going to sign off...


Suggestions and help is most welcome.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reflections on the Manchester Bomb from "That Woman"

Notes From the Queer Ghetto

WOMANchester - Female DJs are KILLING the scene