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Monday Oct 11, 2010

I’ve realised how little I put of myself here. I write about my life as if we’re friends catching up over coffee. Not best friends though, the type that catches up every couple of months and goes over the surface but not the kind to tell of a pregnancy scare or the latest antics of your nutjob family.

And it’s odd considering how protective I’ve been of this page, that I change the majority of my friends names, that I hide locations and bars and suburbs purely to blab about what I did over the weekend.

So I’m going to try and stop that, I may protect a post or two but I’m going to try and not be so naff.

So.

I suffer from mild depression.

Considering one parent suffers from clinical depression and the other has some weird hybrid of manic depressive/anxiety I always knew that I was far more likely to be diagnosed with some funky disorder than not.

I saw mood swings, manic behaviour and luckily only 1 or 2 serious cases of depression growing up. I love my parents, adore them and even like them most of the time. But at times they were pretty crap at being the parent and I always felt like somebody needed to keep shit together, and why not me.

So I turn out sensible as fuck. I’m practical. If I’m out on a school night I’m home in time for 8 hours sleep, even if I leave right when it’s getting good. Because working a full day still slightly drunk/painfully hungover is not cool for me. I rarely drink to excess, I’ll be the one holding your hair back and teasing you the next day about it. I’d much prefer to be at home than anywhere else. But most of all I have stuff under control and I try and keep my shit together.

Until about 2 or 3 years ago I realised that a bad day had turned into a bad month, and then a bad year. For no particular reason and I hadn’t really noticed. I was irritable, quick to anger and staying at home only until Beth got worried and I’d put in an appearance and put a smile on and she’d be pacified for a bit.

I was unhappy and sad and I didn’t know what else to do to feel better. I’d tried diet, exercise, meditation, positive thoughts, herbal remedies and I still felt like a sad sack.

I went to my local GP and when she asked what was wrong I burst into tears and told her that I was sad all the time and I didn’t know how.to.make.it.stop.

She prescribed me a mild anti-depressant. I felt relieved. Just that I’d asked for help, that I just couldn’t do it on my own and someone acknowledged it wasn’t normal to feel this way and I didn’t have to keep beating myself up for failing to keep my shit together

After about a month I remember thinking I’d been conned, I felt just the bloody same. I wasn’t euphoric or doped up or anything that I thought taking this type of medication would cause.

Until I realised that I hadn’t had a crying session in the work bathrooms for a good couple of weeks. That I hadn’t woken up every single fucking day wanting to call in sick and stay at home where I didn’t have to deal with anyone. That if something small but irritating occurred I wouldn’t end up furious and crying. That I felt stable and even and not sad. That I could get out of bed each day and not count the hours down until I could get back into it.

Except for a single occurrence of a few hellish months where I had to switch antidepressants because they stopped working I’ve been good. I’ve been not sad, unless I have a reason to be sad. I’ve been upset when I have a reason to be upset. I do know that some things aren’t related to my funky brain chemistry but are simply part of me. It’s just part of my personality to be a bit anti-social, that crying every now and then in the work bathroom is okay (especially if you’ve had a cunty day) and it’s such a bloody relief that while the crazy genes may have been inherited that I’ve got my shit together.

For me antidepressants work. For some people it’s exercise or relationships or working long hours. What’s not cool is trying to fix someone in the way you think will work. That someone being sad has absolutely nothing to do with you. That trying to cheer someone up is not going to work. Whatever gets them through and isn’t destructive is the right course of action for them.

So yes, go team drugs (for me)!

So, that’s it. I’m going to post this and go to sleep and hope I don’t cringe tomorrow when reading this. Good night xx

6 Comments »

Daniel:

What a wonderful post to come back to. Absolutely no need to cringe about this. +1 for team drugs (as you know). x

October 12th, 2010 | 10:46 am
mizanthrop:

Same. To all of the above.

You’ve described the brain chemistry roller-coaster that is living with depression really well.

I was on team drugs from 18-30ish. It was such a fucking relief to not constantly second guess every negative emotion, to wonder if brain chemistry was making yet another mountain out of something that was really just a molehill. For me anti-Ds were an emotional even keel in a packet.

In my early 30s I found things changed for me some how, the meds felt more like they were dictating my moods rather than buffering the major crashes. So I weaned myself off them. Some people close to me have taken this a ‘proof’ that I didn’t need them in the first place. To that I say: bollocks. Our endocrine systems and our brain chemistry, like other parts of our physiology, aren’t static, they change with age and in response to other factors in our health/lives. Anti depressants dragged me through some hugely low moments in my life: PND, agoraphobia and bouts of self harm to name a few. When I needed them I really needed them, I just haven’t needed them recently.

Top post Lucy, blog post honesty FTW!

October 12th, 2010 | 4:46 pm
Mr. Guinness:

Never had any form of depression(that I know of), but the two words that come to mind when I read this blog were, courage, and honesty. Your courage in expressing it all, your honesty in showing us a little more of “Lucy”,…the lady we’ve come to love and respect for who she is. It’s long distance but here’s a big hug from me to you! ( )

October 13th, 2010 | 12:13 am
V:

Team Drugs and Hugs here too 🙂

October 14th, 2010 | 3:19 am

Daniel! You are back! It’s wonderful to have you back even if I won’t receive anymore postcards from places that I’ve never been. Did J take lots of photos? And can I see them please?

Mizanthrop – Thank god, it is such a relief when I meet someone who gets it and understands completely where I’m coming from. I had wondered whether long term your systems evolve and require different types of treatments.

I had no idea you’d gone through all of those things, you’re more fucking awesome than I thought!

Ah Alec, your comments always cheer me up, thank you.

V – Team drugs for the win! Also I’m sad you’ve stopped blogging 🙁

See, it even caused a sad face and all.

October 15th, 2010 | 7:28 am

I admire your candor. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to write about such personal things, even on our anonymous blogs, isn’t it? I often have the same problem.

I wish more often I could, and others would, open up and talk about, oh, whatever. I feel there are many things that people are embarrassed about that they need not be, but because we (the collective we, of course) never talk about, they are. Depression and anxiety are two prime examples.

I forgot where I was going with this, something else on the internet distracted me. Anyway, fantastic post, Lucy. I’m going to go get a snack.

October 18th, 2010 | 5:12 pm
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