Depression: Grey is the new black
When I was younger, I would find myself in deep, dark pockets of depression. I can only describe them as black. I felt as if life was worthless – I felt as if I was worthless – and at my lowest time, I didn’t want to live any more.
I slept whenever I could. I didn’t eat much. I lived on autopilot, often with a smile on my face to hide the emptiness inside.
It was over a decade ago when I was in that ‘black’ place and I thought that depression, at least for me, came packaged up in that way.
I didn’t realise that it could come sneaking back, perhaps not black but in shades of grey. I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t know depression had come back into my life.
These past six months have been challenging and this month so far has been very difficult. But I have my book released next week and I should be over the moon excited and happy. Part of me is pleased because I’ve achieved something that had been on my bucket list for almost 20-years. Yet, I’m not buzzing with excitement.
I thought it was just because I’ve been busy and stressed lately. A book release means a lot more work and I put down my apathy to overwhelm. I would constantly ask myself what the hell was wrong with me – book being published, a chance to get my words out into the world, and I can’t get my act together.
The irony isn’t lost on me that my book is a self help book for women wanting more from life.
Oh, Universe, your sense of humour is wicked.
And of course, those feelings of worthlessness that I knew from those dark black days came back but not quite as I knew them before.
I’ve been berating myself for not writing, for not wanting to write, for not being social enough, for not doing enough, for trying to do too much, for not feeling passionate about things, for letting things slide, for not being organised…. the list goes on.
It’s like I have half of me reminding me of the things I need to be doing to move my life along nicely (and enjoyable things too) and the other half just doesn’t care. And then I can’t work out why I don’t care and blame self-sabotage.
In the past, depression has been black bleakness but it’s never been prolonged apathy, it’s never been subtle.
This morning, I was talking to my husband and I told him I felt empty. Totally empty. My head feels empty, my heart feels empty most of the time. Sometimes I feel as if I’m witnessing life and it’s happening around me.
I feel like a shell.
I recognised ’empty’ as ‘depressed’ when I said those words.
Nights of not sleeping or waking up in a panic. Apathy. Anxiety. Lose of interest in the things that used to bring pleasure. Finding it difficult to be motivated. Not wanting to engage in life.
I didn’t put them together – each part its own separate problem and not a symptom of something greater. I’ve spent months feeling this way.
And I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was my fault. I didn’t see depression sneak behind and come into my life when I wasn’t looking for it.
I’ve seen it now. I know it’s there. It didn’t beat me last time and I won’t let it take me down now.
Onwards and upwards.