Or, she shouldn’t have.
I lack an answer to the above conundrum. Even as my fingers are beavering away on the qwerty of dreams I even lack the conviction that I will see this through. Will I finish the post, will I publish it, or will like most things will I bottle it?
All a bit dramatic isn’t it. What on earth is she building to? Before I get there, I would like to take a short but not irrelevant diversion.
There is online publisher of blogs, pieces, written by people who also have chronic sufferings. I read it as do some others who are afflicted. Recently a post caught my eye, the title and suggested content resonated, emblazoned in a beacon of hope. I was compelled to open, to read and then I would be uplifted and I would rejoice. Sadly I was not to rejoice. What started so well, ended like a Disney film. All loose ends tied up neatly in a bow, no doubt tied by a couple of helpful sparrows, with a self righteous happily ever after.
I was cheated. I may also have been too harsh, but nonetheless cheated I felt.
I can’t go in to literal detail and I may skirt around the edges where my pride has built a barrier. Gosh, can you see the awkwardness oozing out of my words? The stumble blocks of embarrassment getting in the way of my writing? Either as a result of the challenges I face or almost certainly as a result of prolonged steroid use, I have been battling the demon of depression for about 18 months, at least. I don’t like that word, so for the purposes of this entry I shall call it Derek.
When Derek first came on the scene I fought him off quite easily. My logical brain donned the boxing gloves and got rid. I knew that the chemical poison of steroids were making my brain do all sorts. It’s a well known side effect and I have succumbed to a lot of the others. My brain is a bit of a peach when it is faced with new chemicals. It didn’t go through a teenage trial of selected narcotics and, until 3 ish years ago, the most action it had was from a jagerbomb (or 37) and the odd ibuprofen.
18 months down the line and not only has Derek been hitting the gym and bulking up, he sits quite comfortably as a permanent resident with his slippers on, armchair taken hostage and full remote control dictatorship. Derek is stronger than I am now. My logical brain is often no where to be seen, having been bound by Derek’s darkness or hidden in Cowardice Corner sporting a casual rocking motion.
Derek does have quiet days, I like to think of it as karma. When my head is on form nothing can bring me down. We have learned before that I am blessed with the true wealth of love. I have unbreakable friendships and a family who will always be there for me. I know my strengths and I am not unaware of my weaknesses; on paper I should be dancing on cloud 9.
There is medication that is for the dampening of Derek’s darkness, however 18 months I am sceptical as to the effectiveness and continued prognosis. I have enough chemical cocktails to shake up as it is. Downside is, they are not reducing and if anything the dose is increasing again. Not sure that’s really the idea.
There isn’t a blanket approach for how to evict Derek. For some tablets work, others simply need to talk it out and some use hobbies as an outlet. For me, I am currently ticking off all of the above to no great avail. I have specific people I can talk to, all with varying degrees of detail, that are within my inner circle. Evidently I write a blog as an outlet but I am also a hobby baker and utilise cake making as a distraction. Yet I find myself perpetually at the mercy of Derek and his ways.
There are, I’m sure, fortunate and lucky people who are only visited for a short time by Derek or one of his gang. I take my metaphorical hat off to them and wish them the best, but for me, and a fair few people I have known, there is no Disney ending as yet. No birds and squirrels coming together to wrap me up in a happily ever after ribbon bow.
It needs to be highlighted that reaching out, asking for help or even talking about things is the biggest hurdle. A cliff edge for alcoholics, mental health sufferers and everyone in between.
To listen is great, to listen without judgement is better still. Those of us who are truly blessed will have someone that really hears you.
The most painful thing that can happen to someone who reaches out is to be rebutted. Accidentally, unintentionally or deliberately, however it is dressed is irrelevant, brushing off the tentative olive branch for help and support can be irreparable. That, perhaps minor action, has the power to banish the sufferer to the shell of solitude. In that example Derek wins.
So where am I now? After a rather emotive showdown with Derek last night. I am certainly in a better place today and he has been placated with some duct tape. Can I promise that tomorrow will be a sunny day? I cannot. I can say however that I will make the effort to be more open with those who didn’t dismiss me, I will take comfort in the knowledge that however bad I think things are, they could actually be a whole lot worse.
I have so many reasons to smile and Derek has none, so I know I can beat this.