Whilst my situation, as always feels somewhat precarious with my stuff. I have enjoyed some respite from clinical depression being in a down phase. The trouble with me and wellbeing, I am always a little suspicious it will come to an end, and life will go back to black. Touch wood it stays even some time longer. And the best way fro me to keep it so is not mess about with my regime too much.
Meeting a friend at mid day for coffee and chats. Well it always turns to family and friends and what matters most. Some of us have family close, and we are pretty close overall, and some of my family will be home from their three week vacation in the US, Florida. I know already my nephews and godson are happy and have had a holiday of a lifetime. It makes me feel good to know they are happy and life is pretty ok for them. Their happiness is infectious for me and helps me feel right with the world.
As to my friend, with so much geographical distance between each, its hard to work out what to do as family stuff is always impacted by health and other more serious concerns.
Everyone it seems is best prepared for what happens with a will. Last wills and testaments! Without a will, whatever we might have, in my case nothing, I still need have a will, just in case. Why? Because if by some stretch I do make good or receive some benefit in the future, I need make sure there is a fair way for whatever it might be go to another generation I guess in my case my nephews and their Dad keeps it safe till they can make use of it in a way which helps and not hinders.
So we talked of hard facts, me and my friend, and I guess they will sort this out. I need only make a simple will. If I have an accident there is a small policy to make good on funeral expenses. And although this is a morbid subject its important there is something to pay to clear final small bills and for the gas for the oven!
Rain or shine or dark I get out on the bike, after Monday and a hypo my blood sugars are all over the place. It takes a while to get them under control. And the biking can make it very awkward to work out how much sugar and food I need to make it all work out.
Fulham is a good meeting and was well attended even though very rainy. And good solid sharing about making life work. Some celebrations for us in recovery, one was I think they said 31 years sober this week. A long time in recovery and they are truly amazing at their age, with all their marbles.
We had a great hour or so, and I actually got fed too! A nice surprise as she made no mention before I got there. So a very happy person sitting here right now.
Fatigue is upon me. I am considering some changes to you tube and my web sites. I feel the videos may continue for now, the pages and writing of my journal too. But my news pages need be less and the work which goes into them is more a labour of love. I see no real evidence people look at them so they may indeed go.
Replaced with photoís of my London Rambles and more time for film reviews. I have not seen a film in ages. So this may start again as my mobility by bike is stable for now.
August 16th 2006 [this time last year]
A Hard Day's Night
What can I do next
Only an hour or so of sleep, hard times right now
I had been feeling pretty awful all day yesterday. Its been tough these last few weeks getting to grips with my situation. The depression has been seeping back in with its usual relentless progress. I am wondering what might be causing the change, and it is simply difficult to work out why.
When I look back, the most obvious changes to my regime have happened some weeks back, the end of my involvement with group therapy in central London, the Soho Centre. And it was a sad time to end, as a friend of some two years standing died from despair and a lapse back into drinking behaviour. It is sad to realise another person I have come to know and be a friend with has ended up like this. Yet I know the reason and know it was beyond my ability to more than anyone else to help. Yet there is that residue of Ego which suggests there was more to be done and help might have been found. Too late and they most likely might have survived had their body been stronger and the lapse less prolonged.
Soho was good for me, and I know it had served its purpose, a refuge and centre for helping me through the worst of early times in recovery. With all they can do, it is sad when we realise that they too can only do so much and the rest is up to us. We are taught self reliance again as best can be done with the resources they have. And we learn most of all to have back up and some form of integration into the community.
My fellowship does this work for me as I do the work for the fellowship, a two way street of support. Indeed the fellowship is my daily place to help sort my mind and feelings out, a place where we, me in particular try find a balanced way of living without extremes.
And even with my keen and daily attendance the dark times are with me again. I realise my physical shape and health donít help me too well. So many impacts from type 1 diabetes and I still have things to be investigated. Yet those things have been with me for over a year and some more like five years. I am getting some help and things to do, and visits and health checks and more digging into me.
And thatís not it either. For when I consider the changes I am dealing with, others go through this and worse on their life journeyís. I am not the only one, or the worst off, yet depression and gloom come back no matter what I do.
The difference at least is I know now what I am dealing with and donít react in fear as gloom is surrounding me. Its just the way it is right now. And the depression will work through I hope. I just know itís a long time setting in, and has been so for weeks, and I donít know how long for.
The medication helps with the chemical imbalance and this I know for sure, without mucking it up with any other fixes along the way. My easiest way to fix it to oblivion was certainly alcohol, it made the passage of time go as depression had its way. I am sure it made it worse, but blackout always seemed better than those long nights and fearful anxieties.
Now its insomnia and darkness, and patience and anxious to an extent. It needs a patient mind to deal with the depression I feel now. And it just changes everything.
Feelings get exaggerated and thoughts keep going out of control as my head gets more and more tired, and fatigue sets in. But its been this way for months as a change in medication was needed for diabetic maintenance and my use of one anti depressant stopped and something else took its place.
Why now? It must be fatigue and it must be insomnia, it must be this or that. But it makes no difference right now, as long as I do the right things.
One thing I have learned through all the years of depression is simply to deal with it now, one day only, today. When I get lost in old memories or start trying to focus on the future, I will aggravate everything which is just about living today.
My health experts offered me some sleeping pills, and I had to say no, its no good, it leads to unhealthy dependence and I know where that takes me, back to oblivion and worse maybe to drink. And that will kill me slowly, or quickly I donít know or want to find out.
So I need to be patient and get on with today. I do some writing and keep as best focussed on now. I try to read, but reading is no good. I try to do some study and get a little done. And I try to write and express myself, and today its hard work.
I do keep on trying and it does help me keep a handle on just the one day. Watching TV, if concentration allows, I might see the end of something, but cannot recall the beginningÖ
I am tired and fatigue makes me distort what seems quite normal and makes it feel worse. Its just the way it is today. I only got an hour or so of sleep last night as per usual and awake again.
And what can I do? I accept it as part of living as best it can be. I got to my fellowship and share whatís going on, when I can share of course, and thatís sometimes hard. Its easier when asked how I am to just say Iím ok, when in reality I am far from it, but then if I cannot make things change I bet they canít either. But I share when Iím down and get some support as can be given. Thatís what fellowship is.
More than anything I have found acceptance is really the key. Because I know while I am having a bad time of it, I can make it worse by trying to fix it or get a fix from the GP or Psychiatric help with more than is good for me, or I can live with it and be patient and see how long this time it takes to find some place called normal.
Normal for me is simply an ordinary day where I get some sleep and do something useful beyond myself. I need to help others like me, which is what the fellowship helps me do, and I need another purpose and making a living. I con only do so much today and realise pushing too hard will make things worse.
So I am listening to myself, and seeking good news, accepting what there is, even when its just a sliver of being ok. And expressing my views and my outlook on life, as news helps me keep close to everything about just this one day. And most of all doing something to help others who feel as bad as me and worse, by just being there for an hour or so in a fellowship meeting and sharing my stuff when I can talk.
I know the real answer to much of this is keeping myself ticking over and doing what I can. I get frustrated by having problems getting about, but the pain is worth it, because isolation will surely do for me as much as I feel the need to be on my own when the depression gets as bad as it will.
When I accept my depression as it is, I can get through the day, when I realise I donít have control over it, it does not control me more than its extent. When I realised I need patience to let things run their course, I stop trying to use my will and my ego to tell me Iím well when I am patently not.
And I have stopped listening to people who think its possible to cognitively think my way out of depression which is a chemical imbalance. That is absolutely nuts and will drive me mad.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has a role to play. If depression is a reactive type, and there is a particular emotional cause, we can find out about it. Cognitive therapy helps us do our own investigation. A lot of us know our reactive causes.
Therapy is ok, when therapists have experience turning knowledge into practical steps to help change mood and feelings back to normal. Cognitive therapy without practical steps to ordinary living is worse than useless, it makes people more depressed and hung up on events and history.
The only place I have found, either as a counsellor myself or a person in recovery from illness is in fellowships who know ways to get back to normal living, and usually just a day at a time. Self help is pretty useless without some support and leads to trying to fix ourselves without practical clues how. And frustration and our own feelings of fear and self hatred make us feel even more depressed and isolated.
My only way to keep faith with myself is regular and sustained meetings with people who keep well and work and practice new ways of living normally. Bloody hard and difficult when all we want is most likely to hide away and give up.
It would be the easy way out for me to just inject too much insulin and be gone. I would miss those moments when it is worth all the aggravation of depression. Those moments when we feel joy and happiness, for however long it lasts. And that is what I know today. Tomorrow is another day, another story, another day at a time with help from those who know their business and mine.
copyright© don oddy