It's that time of year again. Like a well-meaning friend, my depression creeps up on me and puts it's hands over my eyes shouting 'Surprise!'.......
I can control the darkness somewhat in the summer months, but it becomes overwhelming in autumn and winter, knowing I have four to six months of darkness and desperation in front of me makes me feel totally helpless.
I have had my usual autumn doctor's appointment. I hate going to the doctor, there's nothing they can do about a chemical imbalance other than give me drugs, they can't make it better or improve my quality of life. I hate sitting there basically complaining while they listen sympathetically. It is also always very, very traumatic as I have to face my depression and actually speak the words I usually conceal.
They had me do the psychometry test for depression, and surprise - I am 'severe'.
I hate this non-illness. It's not real, there is nothing physically wrong with me - except everything is a struggle. It's all in my head, as the saying goes.
My life is a constant effort to hide my unhappiness and misery from those around me. The occasional bouts of agorophobia or paranoia cripple me. the daily effort to remain 'normal' and balanced at work exhausts me.
I'm paying for my stubbornness too. I won't take Prozac in the summer, I refuse to become a Prozac junkie. But when autumn comes and winter looms, I end up worse off as I have to adapt to Prozac again.
My doctor pointed out I should take it all year round - he's right, but I don't want to be that person.
I told my doctor for the first time that I had given up smoking 12 months previously. He agreed that could explain the weight increase, but he also wanted to do the usual full blood work up - testing me for everything from thyroid to cholesterol.
I even had a spyrometry test, to check my lungs, because I am still wheezing and breathless. They were worried I might be asthmatic ('or worse' to quote my doctor!) after 30yrs smoking. My lungs have 90+ capacity so, as I said to the nurse, 'I am just an overweight, middle-aged woman with depression - I might as well start smoking again.'
This middle-aged woman is currently walking on the rim of a black, dank, bottomless pit, with an ugly monster whispering in her ear 'go on, jump.....'