I’ve always been a daydreamer, mind dawdling along some long and winding path with my head in the clouds instead of focusing straight ahead with eyes-on-the-prize. My precious creativity comes from that wonderful wandering place of childlike curiosity, imperceptibly imaginative in its productive playfulness.
It’s one of the ways I know when I’m becoming depressed; I start to lose my idling internal vision, no more lingering within my mind’s eye, no more beautiful blending of chaotic colours as I paint my wistful world of hopes and dreams. Just darkening grey closed-in-ness as my inner light fades and lies dormant for a while.
So I just sit tight and wait it out, hibernate and hide for the duration, until the wonderful day dawns when I can find my wandering way again… 🙂
If only I could capture how it feels
Describe destructive passions as they rise
Record their tightening grip with strength so real
Write down in words my silent, strangled cries.
Such visceral sensations surge and fall
Emotion sickness, writhing hard and fast
Internally I cannot think at all
So overwhelmed by feelings, urgent, vast…
But then the raging storm inside runs still
And empty spirit, hollowed out, bereft
Of every sense and feeling, waits until
A germ of hope can heal whatever’s left.
For now with heavy heart and soulless sigh
Emotional oblivion creeps by…
‘Colour is a power which directly influences the soul’
I wonder sometimes why I love being surrounded with colour so much, and frequently the answer that comes most often straight to mind is ‘Because your internal life is so grey’. I choose to colour my world in bright and strong and vibrant hues, almost proving a point to myself that yes, I can do colour, while inside I regularly feel nothing more than shrouded in a subdued, moody monochrome.
Depression does not provide a sunny-day-colour internal landscape, nor even allow for a veiled silvery sheen like muted moonlight in a clear night sky. Instead it smears my soul with thick, sticky mud, soaks my very fabric with foul, clouded misery until the sheer weight drags me down and I feel chilled to the bone, infused with a deadly damp that refuses to warm my sad, aching heart.
But I refuse to be beaten. And so I keep trying hard to bring colour to my life on the outside, in the hope that some of it may seep inward slightly, brightening the edges my dark dull mood…
All my life I’ve struggled on and off with depression. My first blog was, in fact, an exercise in giving myself a voice, a way of talking openly about it, and to begin with it felt truly liberating. But all too soon feeling obliged to voice my pain so regularly became nothing more than a stressful chore and I yearned to choose silence again, so once my blog became a millstone around my neck I quietly withdrew, and that was that.
My second blog was an attempt to move beyond a depression-based narrative, but still I found I focused too much on my melancholic misery, so that blog, too, soon hit the buffers. My third blog was a deliberate move away from navel-gazing, focusing mainly on poetry and photography, but eventually that tack floundered too.
So here I am on my fourth blog, trying hard not to inflict my affliction on you all in my virtual world while still allowing for the ebb and flow of emotional floods and droughts. Here I try to keep my creative channels open as far as possible and avoid posting the worst of my laments and dirges, however low and down I feel.
Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t, so thank you all for sticking by me through my successes and my silences, it’s very much appreciated 🙂
I was due to attend a regular check-up appointment with my GP yesterday, to discuss the ongoing progress of my current depressive episode, and how I’m finding my medication this time around. Depression has been a recurring issue for me over my lifetime, so I’m used to these uncomfortable appointments and the kinds of difficult converations they require.
I told my GP I was feeling much better than last time we met, and he asked me how much better – if my first visit a couple of months ago had been scored at zero percent, and perfectly well again would be 100%, what percentage did I feel at right now? I thought about it, and answered quite honestly – about 50%. We had a frank chat about this and the upshot is my medication strength has been increased – apparently after this length of time on my current dose I would ideally be sitting at about 80-85%.
So I left with a new prescription and a seeping sinking feeling of failure, as if in spite of my best efforts I had just received a progress report saying ‘Could do better’… I went home and went straight to bed in tears, upset not to be improving more. But my husband hugged me close and reminded me that however disappointed I felt, what matters most is I’m voluntarily getting the help I need to get better again, whatever it takes.
And sure enough after yesterday’s misery the world looks a little brighter today. It may be a bitter pill for me to swallow but I took my required increase in medication without a fuss this morning and am just getting on quietly with getting myself better the best way I can… 🙂
I’ve come to the difficult realisation recently that I tend to live life at arm’s length. Even the people I care for most tell me I can feel decidedly distant from them at times, disconnected and detached, and however uncomfortable it is for me to accept, sometimes I feel it in myself too and know they are right.
In holding on so tight, so carefully to the fragile core that feels essentially me, I inadvertently create protective barriers in my heart. These barriers may well prevent further hurt from entering, but to a certain extent they also act as a shield to deflect the full force of the love that is on offer from others, and stop me from fully returning it too.
I engage cautiously with life, but do not fully commit to immersing myself in it. I remain forever stranded on the shore, wading dejectedly in the shallows and the shadows, existing in the imagined safety of a kind of liminal space where I am neither out nor in, hedging my bets, sitting on the fence, and feeling dismally alone.
My aloneness hurts, but deep down it feels better than the risk of rejection. But I’ve had enough of paddling perpetually on the periphery, restricting myself to always appearing reserved and remote. I want to learn to trust in myself to trust others, to trust in life itself, and move forward to a new level of involvement where I can feel truly comfortable to give life and love my all, come what may…