I realised the other day that it is now less than a month until I turn 31, which is a pretty scary thought. At least, though, I am in a better mental state to cope with the idea of clocking over another calendar year than I was last year when I clocked over another decade. Although I am still depressed, I am a lot better. I remember spending my birthday last year in a haze of mental, emotional and spiritual pain – so much so that I couldn’t really enjoy my birthday dinner out.
Actually, that was pretty much where I was in May and the beginning of June (minus the birthday dinner, of course). So depressed that I was unable to enjoy anything. I am still pretty detached from the world, though, and I know John feels distance between us at times, although I am doing my best to avoid that. My therapist is pleased that I feel connected with my cats. Does that tell you where I am at? He says I have to start somewhere.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this in my blog previously but my cats have saved my life more than once by curling up on the bed with my and comforting me with their purring. When you are as depressed as I have been, little things like that can really make a difference.
Right now I can hear Mum and John both saying that they have been there for me the whole time, and what about the little (and not so little) things that they do. Haven’t they saved my life? Of course, they have. Many times. But there are times when my depression will not let me reach out to the people who love me, or when the last people on earth I want to see are the very people who do care about me. That’s where the cats come in. No matter how bad I am feeling, they can usually take the edge off it.
Thankfully, as I have said, right now I am doing better than I have in a while. Not sure if it is simply because I haven’t had any work related pressure for a few months…they haven’t even been pressuring me back to work. That’s been a relief, as I did not feel able to cope, mentally, emotionally or physically, with work when they got me go back before. Each time I have felt as though my job would be on the line if I didn’t return to work, which wasn’t really conducive to having a low stress return to work.
Actually, I spoke to the work doctor today about going back to work shortly. I am sort of feeling more positive about it, as I have been the one to initiate the timing, this time, based on how I feel. Although, to be honest, my assessment of my mood and current degree of depression has failed me more than once…I think I am doing better, so I do too much, take on too much or expect too much of myself and CRASH, I am back down in the abyss. I want to avoid that this time.
I have been thinking pretty seriously of ditching my prescribed anti-depressants. I don’t think they are doing much for me at all, and in fact, I believe they are increasing my anxiety and ability to sleep. John doesn’t know this, but I have experimented with not taking them for a few days at a time, and find that although my mood drops, I am significantly less uptight. Oh, I know I am going to get into trouble with John and Mum over this one…
But I am not talking about going without any treatment at all. I was thinking of trying Chinese Medicine or St John’s Wort, or similar. Something not so clinical. Something holistic… A few years ago, prior to knowing I had depression, I went to an acupuncturist to have my hay fever and sinus treated. In addition to giving me a foul tasting powder that I had to put on my tongue once a day to treat that, he also prescribed what he called a “get up and go” tonic since I was feeling very run down, exhausted and drained (yada, yada, yada). It made a difference in my energy levels without making me speedy or increasing my anxiety. I would definitely like to see if Chinese Medicine can help with my depression, as I have heard (admittedly 2nd or 3rd hand) that other people have had good results.
My god, I have rambled here a bit, haven’t I. Well, it serves you right for saying I haven’t posted much lately, doesn’t it?