The things I’m not saying out loud

I am currently sat in bed crying into my second glass of wine. Wine that I shouldn’t be drinking because I’m the sole carer for my children tonight, as with most nights, and if they wake up in the middle of the night with some sort of medical emergency I want to be competent enough to deal with that, especially given Oliver’s recent leg trouble, and yet here I am sobbing into this glass of wine anyway.

I didn’t want to write another whiny post. I want to tell you all about my awesome birthday yesterday and the fun I’m having lifting weights or the fact that I managed to run yesterday without my foot hurting for the first time in months… but instead all I can think about is trying to relieve this load weighing me down, constantly dragging my weary body into the dirt because writing helps and I can’t afford therapy right now anyway.

And so I sit here in bed, tired but lacking the will to try and sleep (because what’s the point trying when I know I’ll lie here tossing and turning all night anyway?) I’m googling for ideas to fix me, to stop me feeling like my life is spinning out of control and I hit upon article upon article about depression and I keep repeating to myself that I’m not depressed. It’s just hormones. It’s just stress. I’ve got a lot going on at the minute. I am busy. I just need some sleep.

But the truth is I’m not sure sleep is going to stop me from getting to work and staring at my screen for 3 hours achieving nothing because I can’t even formulate a coherant sentence to reply to a client. Sleep isn’t going to stop me being irritated by the very presence of my children because they’ve looked at me wrong, and the rage I have to surpress when they open their mouths and all I hear is whine whine whine. Are hormones really to blame for the utter loneliness and desperation I feel when I climb into bed, alone and insecure? Is it really just stress & busy-ness that makes me want to give up my job, give up my children, lock myself away and hope I fade into the background so that nobody notices I’m only just managing to keep my head above water?

I guess the truth is that I don’t want to admit that I might be depressed. I don’t want to admit that even though in my lifetime I’ve been through experiences that would make the strongest amongst you wince and I’ve carried on without a second thought, that somehow I’m being brought to my knees by imaginary thoughts and fears and I don’t even know what. I don’t want to have to admit that as each day passes it gets harder and harder to pretend that everything is OK and I don’t have a fucking clue where to go from here.

But it might be the sleep. The hormones. That I’m not exercising enough. That I’m not eating the right foods. So I’ll pour this wine back into the bottle, salty tears and all, and I’ll put down my laptop and attempt to sleep. And tomorrow I’ll take another birth control pill to manage the hormones, and vow to run a little bit more, I’ll skip the sugary chocolate and eat regularly to avoid blood sugar dips. I will keep smiling so that I don’t drive away those I need the most with my constant complaining about how shitty life is.

I’ll do everything I need to do to mask the symptoms and hide the pain. Because I just need a good night’s sleep, right?

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21 comments so far

  1. Lucy said:
    On January 8, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    you don’t know me personally but I’ve been reading your posts for quite sometime possibly 2007 but anyway (this is the first time I’ve posted)

    I don’t want to come across as a counsellor but you’ve gone through a major life change last year that has obviously opened up a lot more positive doors for you I.e a new relationship. I don’t know what else you have endured in your life though I think I can guess but anyway the point Im getting at is this;
    you can fool yourself countless times into saying you’re not depressed, it’s all in your mind, blame everything like you said on hormones etc but you know deep down that this is not right and it isn’t you. it’s okay to feel like you’re struggling, that you can’t feel like you can go on, that you need some sort of help what isn’t okay is fooling yourself as that makes it worse. I always go by the saying that without struggle, there is no progress and you find whatever it is that makes you able to cope. it doesn’t have to be counselling, it doesn’t have to be homeopathic remedies and it certainly does not have to be anti depressants (although there is nothing wrong with being on any form of therapy) do what makes YOU feel happy. you have a loving relationship and two wonderful kids as well as a family, but you don’t have to keep fooling yourself. Im speaking from a personal point of view because I have experienced similar life changing events to what you have.

    I’ve probably waffled on too much and I probably sound like I should be the next dalai lama or something but I just want you to know that although we have never met or even spoke, that you’re not and never will be alone. I wish you all the best and hope you feel better, however long that will take, time is a great healer.

    ps. sorry if my punctuation is really bad I’m writing on my phone x

    Reply
  2. Meggan said:
    On January 9, 2015 at 1:49 am

    *holds your hand from across the pond*

    I’m kind of struggling with this too, for completely different reasons. I think it’s important to acknowledge that depression can be a chemical imbalance – like, it’s not a moral failure if you end up with depression. It’s more like having an injury. WHICH, as I’m sure you are familiar, if you ignore the injury and try to push yourself too hard you may end up “injuring” yourself further.

    I feel like I’m not articulating this right. What I am trying to say is that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s not your fault. Try not to feel like you have to power through and tough it out. (Easier said than done, I know.)

    Lots of love.

    Reply
    • Vixx said:
      On January 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      I’m replying to Meggan, too, so you BOTH know how incredible you are, and how you both need to know that it’s okay not to feel okay sometimes. If the feeling persists, you’re not being failures. As Meggan says: sometimes it’s – HONESTLY – simply down to a chemical imbalance, but you’ve been through a lot recently, and it’s wholly natural to feel down when there’s been so much uncertainty/change.

      Head to the GP, and see what options might be available to you. People can be negative about meds, but there’s nothing wrong with anti-depressants when prescribed and used correctly (and usually in tandem with talking therapy.)

      It’s weird to say I care when I’m anonymous words on a screen, but know that you’re loved, and that it’s okay not to be okay. I’m always here – just holler/email/DM/whatever and I’m happy to talk.

      <3

      Reply
  3. Amanda said:
    On January 9, 2015 at 3:47 am

    I know this won’t really help but *hugs* anyway. There’s nothing I could say, or do, except support you and hope that some day you come through what you’re in, whether that’s depression or stress and hormones, or some combination of both. Lots of hugs.

    Reply
  4. Kya said:
    On January 9, 2015 at 7:11 am

    When you are fighting an invisible illness, sometimes you are your own worst enemy, because you don’t want to admit that it is there, or that you are just being stupid and need to pull it together. It often makes things a lot worse, because you are pushing everything deeper into yourself and when it surfaces again, it’s back with revenge.

    Everyone of us goes through depression and stress in a different way. I can only try and understand through my own, and it can be so hard.

    I can remember the horrible frustration and rage, because everything felt so tight and bound that I would often explode. Medication helped with that. I know the lethargic, inability to concentrate and try and continue on with the normal things because everything seems like some form of distorted reality and does anything matter at all? Medication helped a little, but I still have to battle it.

    Seeking help is not easy either. If you have a visible wound, you can see what it is, or have a general idea of how it’s going to be fixed. You probably even no the cause of that wound too. When you have a hidden one, that is different. You often don’t know what caused it or even completely understand what is happening. I have had trouble trying to explain things to doctors, so sometimes I would write things down to show them.

    You are not weak. I won’t say to stay strong, because sometimes when we continually try and do that, it makes the problem even worse. I will say that I hope you can get the support that you need to be able to endure this and help yourself. I also hope that people around you will understand too and that you may get support from them too.

    Reply
  5. Katherine said:
    On January 9, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Hey hun! It really does sound like you might be depressed. I know NHS covers different courses and other services that could help. At the very least they might have some information on local support groups where you can go and talk with others in similar situations. My mom did something exactly like that after she and my dad separated when I was 3-4 years old, it really helped her.

    Sending warm wishes and cuddles, you can always hit me up on Twitter if you need to chat. <3

    Reply
  6. Helen said:
    On January 9, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Couldn’t read this and then not comment. You’re not alone in feeling this way *hug*

    Maybe you are depressed. Maybe it is just sleep you need. Maybe your hormones are just being bitches to you at the moment. Whatever it is, you’re not alone and it’s ok to ask for help and support, whether it’s on or offline.

    I know your little ones aren’t babies and haven’t been for some time, but if you did want to anonymously talk to someone, you could try here: http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/about-Us/contact-us.html#.VK-jDHs5-Uk

    I have emailed them in the past and just letting it out to someone and getting a response back helped.

    x

    Reply
  7. Kelly said:
    On January 9, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Hey – there are far more qualified friends and randoms than I to give advice. Just want to say your not alone. Have had depression and beat it into the ground. Focus on positives and cry as much as you need (people honestly don’t mind). For me what helped was making a plan. It can be as little as ‘get up and send kids to school’ or as much as ‘become president of the world’. Having something realistic to work towards helps get you through the day to day cr**.

    Reply
    • Jem said:
      On January 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks Kelly, I appreciate it. To be honest it’s plans, todo lists and goals that are keeping me going – top of the list is usually “get out of bed” because some days that feels like the hardest part of it all!

      Reply
      • Kelly said:
        On January 23, 2015 at 10:39 am

        Ok – so I had a random thought in the shower today (there was a genuine thought train, I don’t generally think about strangers blogs in the shower…).

        When I ran / gymed / [did anything more than sit on sofa eating chocolate] I enjoyed it but I would be really crabby the day after. I also had to take pain killers every weekend as had terrible headaches. I didn’t think anything of it at the time as put down to bad sleep, not enough coffee, etc, etc.

        I had bad neck pain one day at work. Normally I would click my neck and it would go away but this time I could not move on one side. I went to see a physio, turns out all those workplace assessment forms were not a waste of time and leaning over a laptop at work and home had severely screwed up my neck. The weekend headaches were caused as I was actually trying to look up and the strain was killing my muscles. The post-run crabiness was because my neck muscles were so tight it was screwing up the muscles down my spine (for reference I am 6ft with with 32in legs – you should be able to get an idea of how long my spine is / how grumpy I was).

        So, I went to physio once a fortnight for a couple of months and they helped relieve the pain and gave me exercises to help relieve daily stress. I was suddenly a LOT less grumpy, didn’t snap and was not always in pain. Saved my then engagement from going down the pooper.

        This probably won’t help with the emotional things you are going through but if you work in an office it might explain grumpiness / snapping. My daughter was born a couple of years back and every so often I get really short tempered and snap at her for the slightest thing. I know at that point I need to go to physio and get a top up. Doesn’t make everything perfect but it definitely does help my temper.

        Hopefully this may help you. Physio is definitely cheaper than shrinks and even if it just makes your relationship with your children better then it is worth it.

        Reply
        • Jem said:
          On January 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

          Funny you should mention that – I’ve been meaning to see a physio about my foot. I know that the frustration of the recurring issues which are preventing me from running is adding to my stress and stopping me from getting that “mental release” so I probably should prioritise it. I’ll look into it when I get paid I think.

  8. Chantelle said:
    On January 12, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t know what to say, except that we support you and want you to be happy. You’ve achieved so much in so little time, that it’s hard to imagine that it would be easy or stress-free. Give yourself credit. However, if it turns out that you are depressed, I hope that you’re able to get help for it without feeling ashamed. If you can, please seek out a professional.

    Reply
  9. Catherine said:
    On January 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I’m sorry you are feeling this way. it is truly the worst when everything is going well and yet you can’t enjoy it. I just want to say: forget the labels. Maybe you are depressed, maybe not, but forgetting that, if you’re feeling low there’s no harm and no shame in reaching out even if you don’t think its depression. The GP would, or should, be glad to have you come to him before it gets “really bad” You don’t have to say the D word, just describe your symptoms and get your options and I think, most importantly, going to see a counsellor or just talking it out to someone may really help. Of course, this is just my opinion. and it may be hormones but in my experience- my hormones do make me feel a bit weaker/make my mental health symptoms worse in some ways but they don’t create anything that isn’t already there.

    Reply
    • Jem said:
      On January 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      I think you’re right Catherine. I think hormonal fluctuations aren’t helping but – attempting to look at this objectively – are not the root cause.

      Reply
  10. Courtney said:
    On January 18, 2015 at 12:07 am

    so I read this last night and cried. For you and for me because you’d think having dealt with depression for years upon years, that I’d have recognized the signs in myself. Anyway. Not about me. But my point is that you’re not alone. And you have support and I know we don’t know each other all that well, but please feel free and comfortable to email me or whatever, to vent or talk or anything.

    Reply

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