So this is Christmas…

December is my favourite month. I love the build up to Christmas. Always have done. I love the weather getting colder and having to get all wrapped up. I love writing my Christmas list – planning for months what I’m going to get everyone. That feeling of knowing you’ve got someone the perfect gift. I put my decorations up as close to 1st December as possible. I love having the lights up, my little fibre optic tree twinkling away.

Christmas Eve is often my favourite day. Finishing early at work, then wrapping up the last of the presents, going to my mum’s for spicy parsnip soup then Christmas Carols in the square. I love it. We stand in pretty much the same spot every year and I see people I don’t see much, if at all, during the rest of the year. And the day itself – a lazy morning with Christmas breakfast – smoked salmon, mascarpone cheese, croissants, bagels. Then maybe a trip to the pub, or a little walk. Then presents. I’m always in charge of presents! Handing them out from under the tree. Making it last as long as possible. Far too excited about giving out my own presents, feeling nervous as they get opened. Hoping that I’ve got it right. And Christmas dinner is always amazing – never turkey, often fillets of beef, with all the trimmings. Love it.

Except this year, I’m not excited. In fact, the thought of the whole thing is terrifying me. I haven’t made a list, I have managed to buy a few presents but that happened by chance. I can’t stand the thought of writing cards, of putting up decorations, of going shopping.

I’ve talked about my depression – in earlier blogs and a lot on twitter. Some people may well think I do all that to get a bit of attention. But really it’s because I’m sick of hiding it. Sick of telling people I’m fine when I’m so obviously not. This period of depression, right now, is the worst I’ve ever had. I went to the counsellor today and my depression score has increased. I’ve moved from the top of the moderately severe category to the bottom of the severe category. I’ve got worse.

This has hit me hard. I want so much to be better. I don’t want to be feeling like this any longer. I don’t want to sleep all day long. I don’t want my biggest achievement in a day to be getting dressed.

A few weeks ago I thought I’d hit my lowest point. I went to meet up with some local Twitter people. I had organised a mini-Tweet up. A few people turned up. A few lovely people. But I felt a bit crap that I hadn’t managed to get more people along. A lot crap, actually. Then I felt myself slipping away from the group. I had nothing to say, I couldn’t get involved with the conversations, couldn’t make a decision about where to go. We walked to another pub after a bit and I held back. I couldn’t face going inside and talking to everyone some more. I needed to go home. I talked to someone I know a bit better than the others and he offered to tell them I wasn’t feeling well and needed to go home. I talked to him for a bit longer, but he had to go so then I walked to the train station. By this time I was in a bit of a state. A lot of a state, actually. I knew that I couldn’t go on like this. I hated myself for not being able to talk to people for just a few hours. I missed my train and sat on the platform openly crying. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be on my own. Another person from the group got to the station – the tweet up had fizzled out. I felt worse – I’d not only ruined my night, but that of everyone else who had bothered to come out. He was very kind. He sat with me until his train came and gave me a hug before he left.

By the time I got home I was inconsolable and I couldn’t cope with being here anymore. I took 10 antidepressants. I had no clue what they would or wouldn’t do, and I didn’t care. In that split second I wanted to be gone. For it all to be over. Then, all of a sudden it hit me just how stupid I was being. I texted my sister who came right over and called me an ambulance. I went to hospital and was very well looked after. Luckily no physical damage had been done. The crisis team came to see me. And the nurse was amazing. Let me talk and talk for about an hour. (The doctor was hideous, but that’s another story).

It was an awful night, but it wasn’t rock bottom. Right now is rock bottom. I’m back off sick. I sleep all the time. My last blog was about me starting CBT. My doctor and the mental health team have decided that I’m not ready for that. So I’ve started therapy. It’s tough. So tough. We are concentrating on the assault. I’m so angry that the bastard who did that to me is still having such an impact on my life. Thinking about him makes me freeze. That night plays over and over in my mind. And what happened afterwards makes me despair. I had a career, I loved my job. Now I’m not working and I hate that. I feel useless and pathetic. I read or hear about people’s days at work and I’m so jealous.

I’m going to get through this because I have a number of wonderful people in my life. Friends, family, people I’ve only ever talked to on Twitter, people I’ve met in person from Twitter who seem to get me. I know I’m incredibly lucky in that respect. But fuck, it feels like a bloody huge mountain to climb. I want a day where I don’t cry. Where I achieve more than getting dressed and doing a bit of washing up. I want to look forward to things again. To Christmas, to seeing friends, to going out and having fun. I feel like this huge burden on everyone. And that feeling gets bigger and bigger as Christmas approaches. I’m dreading it. I never thought I would. But I’m dreading  Christmas. And if I’m dreading my favourite time of year then what hope is there?

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1 Comment

  1. Hayley

     /  December 7, 2011

    Oh, I am so sorry that you are struggling so much!! I am not about to tell you that I know what you are going through because I don’t, but I know how those symptoms feel. If it is any consolation I am going through them at the moment too. Can you not spend time at your sisters? She most likely is feeling pretty hopeless wondering what she can do to help you. I’m sure she would like to be able to look after you. I think you need company. When I was at my very lowest I was lucky enough to have a close older friend who I now consider to be my ‘mother’. She asked me to move in with her and her husband for a while she could look after me! I wasn’t sure at the time. I believed that I should never drag anyone else down with me and that was sure to happen if I stayed there. After some persuasion I did and it was the best thing I did. If I wanted to be alone I stayed in my room, they respected that I needed my space, but they were there when I needed to cry, shout and be angry with the world. It was just the support network I needed. No going back to a empty flat to cry on my own. I slowly began to be able to cope with day to day things.
    I hope that you can find a similar support network. Even if it’s just being strong enough to call a friend and asking them to come and stay with you for the night when you need to.
    I hope I have helped a little even if it’s just to let you know that you aren’t alone.
    Take care of yourself and pull all the ranks in close.
    Hayley x


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