One of my very close friends commented that my blog ‘glamourises clinical depression’, as if it’s a life-changing happy event to look forward to! I realised I have been focussing more on the good than the daily irritants of this illness. So, today, I want to start by sharing some not so-good aspects of my current situation.
I have been on medicines and therapy etc. for almost 8 months now – and I don’t see myself a “100% healthy” anytime soon. It is draining, on the biggest repository of patience and hope, I have. And if not for my amazing family, I might have given up long back.
My hands shake, not sure if it is all the time or only when I focus on them. The other day I was trying to apply eyeliner and just couldn’t focus on getting it right. It’s both hands and increasing.
I have nightmares, EVERYDAY. Irrespective of how my day went, the night is always horrifying. Some nightmares that I remember relate to someone trying to hurt/kill me or my family, or am searching for my son and not finding him anywhere, or am at a photoshoot and I freeze holding the camera (none of the buttons make any sense). There are so many days I try not to fall asleep for as late as possible, and am yet to have a nightmare-free day.
I have strange scabs on my scalp. They are painful and irritating. I have tried all possible home-remedies and now, finally, a good dermatologist, although, am yet to see a positive change. The good part is that the dermatologist was able to explain that this is possible for depressives – my body is treating my hair as foreign objects to be fought! Yeah, yeah!… I know, that sounds weird.
I don’t like talking to people anymore. So, my phone has been on ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ mode since December 2015. I am now able to make short calls and meet a small group of friends occasionally – however, that is also very draining for me. If I am meeting a friend, and chatting for some time, my brain freezes and I feel like there are a million worms crawling inside my head (that always reminds me of medusa). I recently forced myself to do a month long intensive language course where I had to meet a lot of strangers everyday …I was amazed at how good it was going. But the magic didn’t last too long…. in a couple of weeks, I started having panic attacks in class.
So there are a zillion things which still break my heart everyday. There are a zillion times I cry just, because I want to go back in time and be the silly 38 year-old who lived in her fairy tale. A part of me knows it is all leading to a beautiful transition (like the husband says “caterpillar to butterfly!”), but then a part of me doesn’t want to be a beautiful butterfly – I was a very happy caterpillar who did not want to change.
More than half of 2016 is gone and I have no idea where it went. And yes, that does make me sad! But then, there is this big happy optimistic part of me that takes over and forces me to enjoy the change and have fun. That is the part which keeps me going and makes the transition beautiful.
So as for the survival tip- let me begin by telling you: I don’t like to-do lists! I am not a planner! I don’t even like booking hotels or flights and like to keep everything fluid on vacations. However, one of the tips someone suggested initially in December was to make a to-do list of maximum 5 things for the day and another list for the month. And keep them very very simple – hence, increasing the probability of completing them. For example, my list for the days in January included making my bed before going out of the bedroom, one short meditation before getting out of bed, one kind act (doesn’t matter how big or small), shower and take the meds. It might sound ridiculously simple but trust me, I didn’t achieve all on most days. But just completing a simple task like, making the bed, would calm me down and give me energy and focus to at least try getting out of the room. It worked for me, I hope it works for one of you too.
Too much gyaan for a day … catch you later soon!