Why do small little words bury so deep? Why do good intentioned thoughts and wishes affect me negatively? How can something so meaningless make me double over with depression?
“I hope 2019 is a good one for you! Positive things coming your way.”
“Are you feeling better?”
Two completely innocent statements! The first I felt a real love and good will from the person. I felt like they really cared. The second again from someone who I know loves and cares for me, just willing me to be well.
What does my brain do? Twist them and make me feel like a failure. For both I end up feeling why do these people have to KEEP asking? Why do they have to wish me well?
The reason is because I’m continually letting them down. Over and over I am a failure at my life. How must it feel to be my friend? How must it feel to be a family member? When consistently I’m not well or I’m up and down like a yo-yo.!
My mind then makes it worse. Do they think I’m making this all up? Do they think I’m seeking their attention? Do they think I like the limelight? Do they think I’m a waste of space because I can’t get well.
Then I start to plan how I am going to increase the efforts to be well and put on a front. Then I am going to try harder to not let them see what is happening inside.
This in turn makes it worse. I spend even longer internalising the feelings than normal. The self harm triples. The isolating behaviour increases. The sense of failure intensifies.
So what’s the answer? Please don’t read this and think you shouldn’t ask how I am or wish me well. Please don’t stop. My rational brain is still in there some where feeling good that people care.
The problem is I have to live with this illness. Most of the time I have it in control enough to function which I have to be grateful for, as many don’t. I have a loving family, great friends and a good job.
The honest answer is I haven’t recovered from my horrific depressive episode 2 years ago. I have in the sense I’m coping and functioning, but inside it’s still messed up. I will keep working on it. Please don’t give up on me.
So today I had good news my broken wrist is healing and my cast could finally come off. It’s great news as it is another step in the road to recovery. But at the same time it now really hurts. I have to wait for physio. I’m not allowed to lift anything than a cup of tea said the consultant. Fun when I have a one year old!
So I was feeling quite upbeat today. It even felt like I had a protective coat on. Nothing could upset me today. Not the lack of sleep last night (thanks Thomas). Not the year 11 assessments that needed marking. Not making small talk with a visitor at work.
I was proud of how I was helping another member of my team. Supporting. Listening to them. Putting stresses into perspective. Trying to help them not get ill like I did last year.
That was until one comment. It is so utterly ridiculous how something so flippant. Something so small brought everything flooding back.
Sitting in the department office at work with two colleagues. One of them was looking for something in her old emails. She stumbled across a lovely email that the team had received after a stressful event. Out loud she remarked how nice an email it was.
It was like being hit by a train. Everything came flooding back. The desperation. The feeling of being a complete failure. The feeling of not being needed by anyone.
Neither of them were to know that the email she briefly referred to was the one that made my suicidal thoughts real. The one that turned the thoughts into plans. The one that one night made me so desperate I wanted to walk out at 10pm to kill my self. The one that resulted in a friend stopping me. The one that meant I hugged my husband so tight that night and cried into him for most of it.
It reminded me that I am still on a road to recovery. For a little while it put me back into the emotions of that day. Neither of the people I was with would have had any idea what was going on in my head at the time. Neither of them would have realised the effect on me.
Of course it wasn’t anyone’s fault. I am happy that the email she was referring to was sent. I am pleased for them. It surprised me that these simple words could have such a powerful affect on me.
Now hours later I’m back wondering how on earth they did. But sometimes it is a smell, a sound or a couple of words that bring back memories. They are still raw for me.