I've been living in struggle town for the last few months. In the month leading up to moving house, and the month after I had moved, anxiety had its gnarled claw firmly around my throat. For the first time in a long time I found it hard to go into shopping centres, and avoided them like the plague. Being around people in general was hard, so I isolated myself, and did what just needed to be done on a day to day basis.
Not long after i moved, I finished my medication for the month, and remembered too late that I no longer had any repeats for the prescription. The thought of seeing a new doctor sent me into a panic attack, and I ended up on the phone to my old GP, in tears. Thankfully she is extremely empathetic, and faxed a script to my nearest pharmacy.
The anxiety has settled, thank fuck. I even have a new GP, and can go to the shops now without feeling sick. Unfortunately, anxiety's bedfellow depression has arrived to take over, and like the wet heavy blanket it is, it lies over me, an incubus, sucking the joy and colour out of life.
Having the joy and colour sucked out of your life leaves you numb. A paper thin shell of yourself. I get up, sometimes have a shower, get dressed, get the kids sorted, put a load of washing on, take Aston to school, come home. Have all these plans to do things to pull me out from under that wet heavy blanket, but I've become so entangled in it that I can't seem to lift it off. Instead, it pushes me to the bed, where I lay under it for a couple of hours. Sometimes sleeping, sometimes watching TV mindlessly.
About an hour before its time to walk to school to pick Aston up, I will drag myself from the bed, hang the washing up, clean up the kitchen, contemplate dinner. Do the reverse of the morning, go to bed, get up, do it all again. Interspersed amongst that is taking Laura to work, picking Laura up from work, taking Laura somewhere, picking Laura up from somewhere, taking Nathan somewhere, dropping Aston off, etc etc etc.... I do all that needs to be done... Numbly.
I realised that what I was feeling was really depression only recently. Writing about my experiences of PND, a flicker of recognition occurred. But still I diminished what I was feeling. Once I find a job I'll feel better. Once i settle into the area, It's only been three months since you moved. Once I adjust to living with a man again. Once he adjusts to living with a family. Once Laura has finished her exams. Once I rehome trixie. Once...
A complete stranger broke through my veneer. By simply being a compassionate individual. They were just doing their job. But they did it with empathy. After the appointment, I got into the car and cried. The paper thin shell had cracked.
I made an appointment to see my counsellor back on the Sunshine Coast. I knew that I needed to talk to her. To work through my head. To finally speak the truth to someone. When I saw her, I sobbed. With shame. With relief. With sadness.
How I'm feeling isn't going to be fixed instantaneously. God how I wish it would be though. But, the veneer is broken. I have spoken truth, to not only my counsellor, but to some soul sisters as well. I'm not living a lie anymore. Feeling is returning. Not all joy sunshine and happiness, but being able to cry...It's a relief. Shedding tears is so much better then being numb.
It means I'm still alive.