Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Depression: It Is What It Is...

I've been wanting to write this for a while. Sometimes I get the feeling that people don't understand what it is to be depressed. I can empathise. It's a strange disease, one which is often misrepresented, one which people don't like to talk about and one which has so many myths associated with it.

I want to give my take on it.

When it's bad, it's bad. But throughout it all I am forever grateful for my life. Depression doesn't mean that I walk around in a permanent funk. I'm not an emo. I don't think the world is going to end, or that everything is bad and going to turn out wrong. I often think that my life at that moment is bad. At that particular moment, in those hours when all I can do is beg for it to end. When it's really bad I find it hard to believe that it will better, even though I know it will. But I'm never not grateful. I have had a wonderful life. I've had so many opportunities and I am blessed. I've never doubted that. I'll never doubt that. In a way knowing that makes it harder, because I feel guilty for feeling the way I do given the life that I've had.

But it is what it is.

Depression isn't just something you can shake yourself out of. I wish it was. I hate the person that I've become, and the way which I collapse and fall. I want nothing more than to have a switch, or a button, or something, anything that I could do to turn it all off. To push away the black and be "normal" again, whatever normal is. But I can't. That's not what it's like. And as hard as it is to admit, I wouldn't be me without all the darkness, and everything associated with the depression which I've been through.

Depression doesn't mean that I'm sad. Again, I'm not an emo. Yeah, I'm sad, but I'm not. I know that doesn't make sense, and I haven't managed to find a way to express it properly. It's like...it's like everything has been tainted black, like I'm seeing the world through an old style camera. Like there's a man holding a net over my head through which I can see the sun, and appreciate the sun, but the light of the sun won't pass the mesh of the net. It just...hangs there. And without the sun all the bad things inside which have taken root grow, and out of it comes this horrific beast which spills a darkness toxin, a dark-toxin into my blood...it sounds stupid. That metaphor sounds stupid. There aren't words to properly express what it is I'm trying to say. A better writer could. Better writers have. But for me...depression is a darkness which stops me from feeling.

It is what it is.

There isn't a reason I feel what I do. Yeah, there have been events in my past which may or may not have precipitated what I feel now. And yeah, sometimes things can happen in my day to day life which may push me into that direction and trigger a response. But subconsciously I know that all those things are trivial, that they shouldn't make me feel that way, that they don't deserve this response. It isn't even subconscious. It's a conscious thought. But inside, deep inside, something happens and chemicals start flowing and before long I'm drowning. And when that happens it's so, so hard to pull myself out. I can be perfectly at peace with a triggering event, I can have dealt (countless times) with the things in my past but I can't stop the dark. When it comes it's...the Greek army marching on Troy. The Romans attacking the Celts. Cancer once it's got into the bloodstream. Despite your defences it still comes.

It is what it is.

Somebody once tweeted and said, "Have you ever been happy?" Yes. Of course. You should see me on a normal day. I'm lovely :p I'm a strong, independent young lady who is great in a crisis and deals well with other people's problems (and even her own problems, believe it or not) and knows how to work through things so they become sorted out. I laugh. Loudly and often. I grin like a little child. My life makes me smile. I'm happy. And yet.

And yet.

It is what it is.

I know this may not make sense. It doesn't even make sense to me. But when people say "just be happy" or "just be grateful" or "be more positive" - all of which have been said to me - they don't mean anything because it isn't like that. It has never been like that.

I'm sorry.

And so a quote, from JK Rowling. I came across this recently and it goes a long way to explaining what it is I've been trying to convey:

“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . . . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”


Saturday, 16 March 2013

I don't know...

There’s something I want to say but I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if I’m sad now, or happy. Maybe I’m stuck in the grey inbetween. I don’t know if the pain in my back and kidneys is real or if I’m tired because of something or nothing. I don’t know if I can push myself enough to make it through the next few weeks, or even if I do push myself if it will be enough. I don’t know if this tremor is real. I’m not even 100% certain that this is real. I don’t know if I can do this any more, or if I want to do this any more.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

That is the refrain to which my life currently beats.  


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

"You're not crazy Lexie, you're a Grey"...

When Grey's Anatomy came out in 2005 there were billboards advertising it everywhere. I was in Year 10 at this point and loved everything medical. It was already my dream to go to medical school and so my mum recommended I watch it. She later withdrew this statement when she realised that it was mainly about sex and relationships and less about the actual medicine but I told her I was learning stuff from it and she relented, albeit begrudgingly. I still watch it. It's one of my favourite shows.

Meredith used to say this thing. She used to say, "I'm all dark and twisty inside."

My Dad used to say that the only reason I acted the way that I did, ie sad for no reason for weeks on end, was because I wanted to be more like Meredith.

I don't really want to go into all that now, the Dad-me relationship, the possibility of having depression for years but everyone said it was either teenage angst or I "just wanted to be more like Meredith". But it's all there. To summarise: I loved the show, and I thought Meredith and everyone else was great but I did not "act the way I did" because I wanted to be like her. A few years into me feeling like that I began to say "I'm dark and twisty" but it was as a joke, in a reference to Meredith Grey and not because that's what I was aiming for all along.

There's one character, Lexie, who is Meredith's sister. I'm not entirely certain if my love of the name or love of the character came first. When she (spoiler alert!) died at the end of last season I was heartbroken because I felt connected to her, the same way I cried when Dumbledore died. You form bonds with people you don't know, either fictional or real but just not real to you, and you feel their pain. There's a blog post in that as well that I thought I'd already posted but I can't seem to find it.

Anyway, I was listening to music from my "Like" playlist on YouTube and this scene came on:

When Meredith said, "You're not crazy Lexie, you're a Grey" I almost cried. It felt like she was speaking to me. Recently I have felt crazy. I have wondered if I need more help, if this is more than depression, if there is something else, something maybe more sinister going on. And her saying that brought back what my Dad used to say.

Yes, I am dark and twisty. But maybe that's not because I'm crazy, but because I'm me. Or not. Maybe I'm a Grey. Who knows? It is the nature of the future that we don't know what's around the corner but...well, that's life.

And that's it. I wanted to share that with you. That is all.


Friday, 1 March 2013



So, what's new in Bellafonte land? Much of the same really. Work is busy, long and hard. Certainly not made easier by the fact I'm missing loads because my moods are all over the place, for various reasons. 

What reasons, Lexie?

Coming off old meds, starting older meds, then starting new meds in conjunction with the old meds. And iron tablets, which hate me. And...


*Sighs* It's weird. Things happen and I deal. That's the Lexie-way. The Sarah-way. I've always dealt with the things that life throws at me because, hey, it's life, and it's shit and it ain't going to get easier. And that's still happening. I deal. But even if I'm consciously all 'OK, that happened, let's get on', subconsciously, biochemically, I'm a freaking mess. I'm anxious and sad and running out of teaching because I can't take it any more. Anyways, running out of teaching did lead to a very nice text from a boy in my group, and then that same boy being very nice to me when I finally decided to show my face in the hospital again, so it wasn't all doom and gloom, although it was every shade of embarrassing  there is. What colour is embarrassing? Like a sick-green probably, or a dark brown. I added layers of embarrassed when I half skidded out the door because my shoes lost their grip. It was quite comical, and I'm currently all for humour as a coping mechanism. 

I digress. 


Ok, fine. But be warned, this is a rant. 

It upsets me that people now only know me as me, and not old-me. Take the boy I just mentioned. I had a bit of a crush on him in pre-clinical years. We both intercalated. When I started this term I wasn't looking forward to him being in my group because, crush aside, he comes across as a bit of a prick. But he isn't. He's just hiding behind a veil of prickness. Anyway, he didn't know me before, but he knows me now. And now-me is screwed up BIG TIME. And old me was a lot like him - driven, smart. And he doesn't know smart-me. He knows misses-50%-of-teaching-me. 

But even though old-me was all those things new-me is so much more, because of what happened. I'm getting deja vu...I apologise if I've talked about this before. 


I suppose what all this is getting at is...I need to find a way to a) get back to old me, with all the aspects of new-me which aren't crazy but without being normal because normal is over-rated and b) find a way to make my subconscious play ball. 

Also, I probably have hypothyroidism, so my body is falling to pieces in the same way that my mind is. 

As you can tell, it's been a rough few weeks. 

*takes a deep breath*

But, c'est la vie, right? And life isn't a bed of roses. And all that smiles isn't happy, or something. 

I just need to deal. 

You never know, maybe my next post won't be full of angst :p 

Lexie x