You really have to persevere if you want to clamber your way out of the mire of depression. My psychiatrist Darren gives me some top tips to be going on with. The first is what he calls, "Sleep hygiene". As odd as this sounds, apparently people generally sleep quite badly and maximising your quality of sleep is essential. He bars me from any activity in my bedroom other than sleep and adult play time. I'm not allowed to watch TV, read, or do anything else that is non-sleep related. I have to keep the room very dark, and slightly cool with a thick warm bed cover. I must wear warm pajamas and refrain from stimulant drinks or over activity before getting into bed to sleep. Just to remind you here, I've got 2 small children who completely disregard any rules about sleeping and will interrupt you with various ailments, sleep difficulties and hideous early waking. Its going to be tough, but I'll give it a go.
I'm also told that I should try very hard to push through my fatigue, paranoia and lack of motivation and still try to do things. The idea here is that spending too much time, hiding away from the world, makes you forget how to go out, interact with people and generally how to live normally. My world has defiantly shrunk since being depressed and off sick from work. I sit on the sofa with my Winnie the poo hot water bottle and stare at the TV whilst dvd's play. I can't really pay attention or take anything in, and I keep falling asleep all over the place.
SO, I give myself a task to do every day. Go out and but a coffee somewhere, try to meet up with a friend, go out and do something in the garden. What this does is stimulate my neurotransmitters and gets me going a bit.I find it hard to make eye contact with people, and any kind of conflict sends me running to the hills in tears, but, I promised myself that I would try. I still manage to do cutting and sticking with the kids, take them to soft play areas and the like, and it truly is exhausting as I have to put so much effort into doing standard stuff.
But its paying off. Learning about your body and mind as a depressive takes time and practice. Things change. Your internal landscape shifts, your priorites are totally different and you have to make allowances for the fact that your brain chemicals are malfuntioning. Some days are a write off and I just cannot get it together and I have to sleep all day, but on the whole the balance of good days versus bad are levelling out, and my fear of returning to the living hell I've been inhabiting seems to be fading.
People speak to you in a whistful reminiscent style, as if you've been away on holiday and they are remembering who you are. And now you're back. Loved ones hold their breathe and hope the recovery will be permanent or at least long lasting.We all stand on the edge of happiness and gaze at it with longing and know we are moving toward the prize. Its within touching distance but its still just out of reach. Its frustrating at times, but I signed up for the entire journey, so I will chase my happiness with vigour and determination. The black dog can take a running jump.