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Mood Diary

Frustrated today and angry for some reason. Not at anyone/thing in particular, probably myself. Feel like I’m wasting my life. The inside of my head is screaming at my inaction and apathy. I feel stagnant and like I need to get things moving. I hope this does not make me difficult to be around and I’m paranoid about giving off negative vibes. Don’t want to feel anger. Ugh.

Learning is the only thing for you

The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

T.H White ‘The Once and Future King’

Cocoon

When I’m lying in my bed, it feels safe and warm. Nestled in under the duvet, it feels like I’m protected from the world and no-one can hurt me. I spend far too much time in bed. In fact, that’s where I’ve just spent the last three days, lying still and prostrate, only getting up to visit the bathroom or perhaps make some toast. If I was feeling like really treating myself, I may have brushed my teeth or even had a wash. I don’t know because I can’t really remember. It’s just like all the other times it’s happened, one big blur. I haven’t cried, or talked to anyone- I just lay there and felt nothing.

 It’s been three full days of beautiful, glorious crisp winter weather and crystal clear blue skies. Yet, there I was wasting precious time, time that I haven’t got, huddled in my bed, feeling like sodding doomsday had come. The truly ridiculous thing is that deep down, I know that this is the absolute worst, worst thing to do. The cocoon doesn’t make you feel better.  It thinks it does,  but in reality, it only makes things far worse.  What I think is the thing protecting me, is really the thing that is making me worse. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? (Thanks Alanis.)

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Today I’ve gone into overdrive, I suspect,  to make up for the guilt of wallowing around in a pit of my own seething self-pity for three days.  But this is hardly healthy either is it? I’ve cleaned the house from top to toe, taken off all my sheets, including my valance and under sheet, to be washed and written to an old friend who is expecting a baby on Friday (we’ve grown apart because of my continued self- isolation and recluse-like behaviour over the years and it breaks my heart.) In short, I’ve tried to wipe all evidence from the face of the earth that the last few days have ever happened. I think I may be trying to assuage my guilt. Who knows though? I’m not a shrink.

Still, I’m going to try to make the most of this ‘being- up time.’ It’s a beautiful day outside and I’ve got some lovely, truly comforting and health- giving soup puttering away on the stove ready to be eaten. Hell, I might even brave the big wide world and go for a walk!

My Favourite Literary Mentalists – 2) Hamlet, William Shakespeare

hamlet

” I essentially am not in madness/ But mad in craft”  Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4.

When we first meet Hamlet,  he is grieving for his murdered father and obsessively seeking the truth about his death in order set in motion his plan to take revenge on his uncle Claudius. (Who, lets not forget has committed fratricide, usurped the throne of Denmark and wasted absolutely no time at all bedding Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude). Naturally, Hamlet is more than a little pissed off about this state of affairs and rallies and rages in solitude against the corrupt and claustrophobic atmosphere in the court, bitterly remarking that something is more that a little ‘rotten’ in the state of Denmark. By turns melancholic, discontented, mercurial, paranoid, indecisive and thoughtful to the point of obsession, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide several times throughout the play. In his attempt to feign madness to disconcert Claudius and the court, we see flashes of his quicksilver humour, showmanship and deeply philosophical nature, until, inevitably the play thunders toward its tragic conclusion.  The rest is silence.

This is an interesting read on the nature of Hamlet’s madness and mentions Freud’s theories on Hamlet and the Oedipus complex.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/20/shakespeare-hamlet-dangerous-critchley-webster

Blue

“Blue/Songs are like tattoos/You know I’ve been to sea before/ Crown and anchor me/ Or let me sail away”

Joni Mitchell

This song is so beautiful to me.  In these first lines, I love the duality of both wanting to be ‘anchored’ to something (or someone) yet, at the same time wanting to sail away in to the blue and be free. I felt like I wanted to sail away so desperately today.

Wisteria

“In pale moonlight/the wisteria’s scent/comes from far away”

Yosa Buson

Wisteria

There is a beautiful Wisteria tunnel in my local park,  planted, I think in 1901 when the grounds were being constructed. For years now, it has been a nice place to go when calmness and reflection is needed. Sometimes, just to walk through it on a spring or summer’s day (like the day this photo was taken) brings a huge sense of  happiness and well- being, however fleeting. It’s a pleasure to walk through the old, twisted, sturdy roots, and at the same time to be surrounded by its sweet, beautiful scent, touch its purple flowers on the bridge of my nose and feel the warm, butterfly breeze on my skin.

But oh, it brings back memories too. Scent- memories, sense- memories, real memories. Memories of our old house. The wisteria crawling up the veranda in the front garden.  Our beautiful, old, happy, family home- before the floor became the ceiling and the ceiling became the floor and everything got so topsy-turvy.

I’ve always loved that smell, but it’s bitter- sweet. Even its name reminds me of the precise feeling it gives me. Wistfulness, mixed with nostalgia, mixed with happiness and the past.

A list of things that depression sometimes makes me feel

Some Physical Things:

Lethargic. Aching. Unbalanced. Clumsy. Uncoordinated. Shattered. Blurred vision. Wiped out. Clammy hands. Dry mouth. Sick in the morning. Poor hearing. Butterflies in stomach. Difficulty swallowing. Breathlessness. Stomach turning over. Needing to retch. Acid reflux. Light-headed. Loose Bowels. Dizzy. Heart palpitations. Heavy. Unable to move. Tingling in hands and feet. Shortness of breath. Panic attack. Clammy hands. Cold sweats. Aching skin. Stiff muscles. Goosebumps on flesh. Exhausted.

Some Psychological Things:

Dislocated. Alienated. Paranoid. Hopeless. Melancholic. Hysterical. Impassive. Cold. Numb. Outcast. Withdrawn. Meaningless. Self- Destructive. Isolated. Desolate. Disengaged. Angry. Sardonic. Scared. Empty. Calcified. Rootless. Raging. Impotent. Guilty. Worried. Terrified. Foreboding. Annoyed. Uneasy. Emotionless. Empty. Adrift. Indifferent. Passionate. Emotional. Sensitive. Negative. Resigned. Fatalistic. Hopeful. Worthless. Brave. Surreal. Doomed. Exhausted.

And that’s just before breakfast. It’s no picnic.

Mission Statement

Through this blog, I sincerely hope to start picking my way slowly through the last decade or so of my life, in order to make sense of some of the chaos and upheaval that has taken place in my past. I hope that, by understanding and exploring some of the major turning points in my life so far, it will help me to understand how to deal better with living with depression and to help me to, finally, express all of the feelings and emotions that have been building up inside of me for so long. I have come to believe that, ‘expression is the enemy of depression,’ and this will be my attempt at just that. I’m completely fed up with taking it lying down, so this is my stab at some kind of fight. I will probably make hundreds of mistakes, as I’m completely new to blogging, but I would very much like it to be a learning process as well as a creative and restorative one. I don’t think I will work my way chronologically through the timeline of my life (who knows? It’s an experiment.) Instead I intend to tell my stories  (some happy, some extremely sad, and yes, some even funny!) as honestly and truthfully as I possibly can, sometimes in the context of songs, books, plays, art, poems that I have loved and have meant a great deal to me over the years.  If it’s relevant and I’m interested in it (I’m interested in most things) then sooner or later it will probably make its way into these pages. I welcome any comments or feedback along the way, this is a completely new, and slightly intimidating, world for me! I hope you can join me on this journey (of sorts) it will be lovely to have you along.

Pledge

Life’s is a funny old thing isn’t it? Today, completely out of the blue, I decided that I would like to write something down about my life. Put down something, anything, that would actually try to make some sense of the last decade (and a bit) that has changed me and my life so completely. So, with a deep breath and a heart full of apprehension, here is my first post on my first ever blog. And it’s dedicated to anyone who has ever felt depressed, not just a bit blue from time-to-time though. No, I’m talking to anyone that has ever felt as though they were standing on the outside of life, looking in at the other people, getting on with things and being happy, being ‘normal’. To anyone who has ever felt like complete shit because, yet again, for the third day running, they can’t lift their sorry, sad, aching body from their beds because the thought of facing the world is simply too terrifying to face. To anyone who has given up, dropped out, shut down, turned off. To anyone who feels that their precious voice has been taken from them because of one stupid word. To anyone who has ever felt like going to the top of a cliff and screaming at the top of their lungs, just to let the anger and sadness and pain go somewhere other than inside themselves. And to anyone who feels alone. You’re not, I feel it too.