Whoa. Time. Out.

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I have been a bit quiet lately.

I have been given (ok told to take) two weeks off work by my headshrinker, which effectively brings me to the end of my term. Things have not been going so well on the mental health front, without further details. Thank God almighty for paid sick leave.

At first, I felt like a bit of a retard (actually “fucktard” was what I thought – that is a rather harsh thing to say to myself). Then I thought “great, goal oriented activity!” Time to get the house spotless, everything organised, exercise every day and such.

Then Ian said “Cilla, you are not well, I don’t care if the house is clean or dinner is cooked, I will help you with the housework. You just need to get well”.

That’s my goal. To get well. Better an inauspicious end to being a trainee than an inauspicious start to being a consultant.

Anhedonia, or inability to enjoy things, is a cardinal symptom of depression, and I have been hit hard with the anhedonia stick. Time for some healthy hedonism. Without the guilt (also a symptom of depression).

The house is quite messy, but I will get to it later, with vintage Britney.

Ok, onto the healthy hedonism.

Yesterday, my mum came around. We played scrabble. She thrashed me. Then she had to go to work, so I wandered into the city. I went to Earl canteen, which is basically a fancy sandwich bar/macaroon-erie. Then I went to the new Myer, all poshed up and looking quite the international department store. I drooled over some Leona Edmiston dresses. Then I went for a wander about the shops and bought some discounted pretties and some tea from TeaToo. I called up Ian and got him to meet me for dinner in the city, and we had a nice dinner on a great summer’s evening outside at the Melbourne Wine Shop.

Today, after a sleep in, hubby, Candy and I went for a walk and got some lunch. Candy was very well behaved, even graciously let some other dogs sniff her butt (she usually gets a bit tetchy around other dogs). She partook of the dog water left out at the cafe.

Tonight, curry night at my friend’s house. I am a bit worried about being around a whole lot of other people, but once I get into it I will probably be fine. Usually I like social gatherings, now, not so much.

I may go for a run tomorrow. No pressure. Maybe a movie in the arvo. I would like to see Black Swan.

I have lost 3.4 kilos since returning from Japan. Not a worm, I don’t think – probably more to do with eating less and exercising more. My appetite has not been brilliant; this is a new thing. I am not deep-coating my feelings in a thick layer of chocolate. I have also been rather fidgety (drug side effect) and am exercising to help with the fatigue. Mostly I can resist the urge to go to bed. I am neither here nor there about this weight loss – it is needed, but reflects a difficult period of time.

I am a bit better already, less anxious. I can actually pee without difficulty and my mouth is not dry and I am not getting as many headaches. I did not realise how bad this was until now. I am usually not a particularly anxious person.

A few people have said to me “what do you have to be depressed about?”. This makes me feel worse; I feel guilty for feeling like I do. I have a lot of things to be very grateful for, and I am grateful, very grateful, I take nothing for granted. Never have. I have worked hard for it all.

But the illness, it’s a bit like I was a vinyl record playing at 63 rpm, and somebody has switched the speed to 41rpm. Plus a dread, a dread of everything. That is how best I can describe it. The pills work marvellously, but take a few weeks to work at full dose, a bit like blood pressure tablets. They are like somebody putting the record back onto 63 rpm, and taking away that horrible sense of dread.

Maybe take a look at beyondblue.org.au, if you have the time or the inclination.

Oh and PS – if any of you are off on a weekday (or on a weekend), and are up for a cuppa tea, I would love to see you 🙂

7 responses »

  1. hiya. Can I make a suggestion about the running? If you’re running outside (which you should! early, before the heat) then don’t take a watch. Take water, if you think you might need it, but otherwise just be outside for an hour in the sunlight. No pressure, just enjoy the movement of your body through the environment, whatever speed that might be at today.

    Good luck.

  2. Well some people don’t realise that you don’t have to have anything to be depressed about to be depressed, that’s the bloody point.

    And totally agree with Louise there, just run and enjoy it, no watch, no pressure.

    Keep weathering the storm matey.

  3. Hey Cill- hope it all sorts itself out- and Ian is sooooo right about launching into a big cleaning regime etc. I am on day shifts all week – but plain clothes so if you are in the city I can step out for cupcakes if required!

  4. Oh Cilla, if there is one thing that makes me want to throttle someone it’s hearing the words “what have you got to be depressed about?” pop out of their mouths. At first I used to feel guilty about being depressed because I “didn’t have anything to feel depressed about”. Once I accepted that it was a mental illness and got over the guilt/embarrassment it was a lot easier to ask for help. The second thing I had to accept was that it is unlikely that I will ever be totally free from depression and nowadays I work on trying to keep physically healthy so that stressful situations are easier to handle and less likely to trigger an episode.

    Thank goodness for running, exercise and our fellow fitness fanatic friends 🙂 x

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