You know it’s a bad day, depression-wise, when putting on your shoes is too complex, energetic and difficult an action to manage.
Today was a wasted day. I was supposed to do job hunting stuff, but all I managed was a few minutes of Torah study and a short walk to the shops, plus a cursory bit of davening (prayer). I had to force myself to eat dinner and watch Doctor Who, I really just wanted to curl up in bed and withdraw from the world.
I’ve had a few thoughts:
- I think I need to go back to my parents’ home. I’ve paid the rent at my flat for another month as I had to give a month’s notice, but at the moment I’m too lonely in the flat by myself, staying up too late and sleeping too late. The noise (and sometimes smells) from the builders next door is disruptive too and the flat is uncomfortably hot too much of the time, especially as I can’t open the doors (the main means of ventilation) until I’m dressed, which is late, and I don’t like opening the front door while the builders are around. Moving back in with my parents won’t solve all of that – and it will bring a load of new problems – but it might help with some of it.
- It was brought home to me how useless and self-hating I am at the moment and how off-putting that is to my friends and family, let alone women I might be interested in (not that I am right now). I need to make recovery my top priority. I just don’t have a clue how.
- I forced myself to walk to the shops to get milk, although I didn’t need any urgently. It was a struggle. I feel so unfit. I need to make exercise my top priority, get back into running. Being fitter will make me feel better.
- And getting a job, I need to make that my top priority too. That would boost my self-esteem and income, which would be helpful. It would also make me more attractive if I want to date again.
- And Jewish stuff should be my top priority too. That would help me fit in to my community and make friends. Making friends is a top priority for recovery. And religion could give my life meaning, which is important for recovery. And God said to do it, so it must be important and helpful. So that should definitely be my top priority.
- And volunteering/helping others should be my top priority too. Anyone who has read vaguely patronising stuff about depression knows that helping others is the best way to get better.
So, actually everything I was already trying and failing to do should be my top priority. And I can barely get up and put some cereal in a bowl for breakfast. About the only thing not my top priority is writing, which is about the only thing I enjoy and want to make a career from, although lately I don’t have the headspace for anything other than mental health blogging (I have a growing pile of notes for my book that I haven’t typed up yet). No wonder I’ve spent the last few days feeling totally overwhelmed and in meltdown. I honestly don’t know where to start, but I can’t do everything at once.
Also, I should stop reading the news, because it’s either terrifying stuff about geopolitics or banal stuff about untalented ‘celebrities’ who I have never heard of, often in articles using slang terms I don’t understand. Sometimes it can be both types of article at the same time e.g. when an obscure reality TV star becomes most powerful man in the world.
I just feel wiped out. I do feel that I won’t recover, find another job, fit in to my community, get married, have children… anything I want really. This doesn’t seem like depressive catastrophisation, but a realistic assessment of the evidence. People tell me otherwise, but they seem to be making an unrealistically positive assessment. The history of the last fifteen or twenty years of my life seems to indicate otherwise to me.
I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel that after fifteen or twenty years I should have moved on from this. I feel people only tolerate me and my mental illnesses and my borderline (not even undiagnosed) autism up to a point and beyond that they treat me like I should have more control over my life. But really I feel that I can’t do very much at all so much of the time. I feel if I can’t always convince my parents of this, how can I convince anyone else. Sometimes I feel that people with physical illnesses aren’t treated like this, or with more serious mental illnesses. Sometimes it seems a miracle to me that I can get through a day without even hurting myself, without trying to kill myself. But it’s hard for other people to understand that. I ‘only’ have depression, not a ‘real’ illness like cancer, or even a ‘real’ mental illness like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one where you’re behaviour is noticeably different. I was pretty subdued, downbeat and lacking in self-esteem long before I was officially diagnosed with depression, hence my uncertainty as to whether I’ve been depressed for fifteen years or twenty or longer. I feel so messed up today. I just burst into tears watching Doctor Who. Twice. Admittedly it was The Day of the Doctor, but I have seen it before and knew what was coming. I still cried a little when all the Doctors turned up and again when Tom Baker walked in. Managed to laugh and cry then. I’m such a wreck.