As cold as it ever was. As dark as it ever was. This time, however, something had changed.
Everything that can go wrong in the past week, had gone wrong. My energy suppliers were after an outrageous amount. Any allowance I had been granted while I fought my ill health had been cut off. And, inevitably, no word or sound from my girlfriend.
It really may have finished me off after the weekend I’d endured, feeling my life falling away. Instead, though, thanks to keeping in touch with the Samaritans, and my own sense of burning injustice, I began to fight back.
The energy company were essentially told to do one until they hauled their backsides over to do a meter reading in my presence. My MP was soon on the case to appealing against an inherently unjust decision to cut off any allowance, which would have essentially put a mentally ill person onto the streets.
It paled into insignificance with my shattered heart. 12 days without hearing anything from her. That’s what caused the intervention, via a bathrobe and a tear stained face, from the Samaritans. I had stayed in contact with them every day. I needed to. Soon enough, the sadness was turning into a turning point, to fight back. Stuff the world, don’t get in my way.
So that’s where I was as I sat in reception for the fifth Thursday in a row. People were becoming more chatty in the group. At least among the women. Perhaps it’s a genetic trait for men to keep quiet and women to discuss. I don’t know, I’m no psychiatrist. I’m clearly good at cliches though.
As we take our seats, yep, another therapist, but this time we’re promised he’s staying with us for the last session next week. I’m annoyed, not just by the lack of continuity, or by how inconvenient they’ve made it for me to get therapy. No, that’s mellowing to mere irritation.
I’m annoyed because I bought a torch to guide me through those dark, cracked pavements from the station to therapy. And had left it at home. Such a minor thing but I kept harking back to it. How stupid am I? What a waste of money, money I can’t afford. I’m just so damn useless. What an idiot.
Which led us on nicely to this week’s theme / therapy / lecture. Self esteem. Pah. Not something I’ve had even moderate amounts of ever since childhood. I’ve got by on life low on self belief, lower on self love. Hey, it’s okay though, that’s going to be cured in 90 minutes.
I’m full of cynicism and anger, clearly, but I feel I have a purpose, that I know which direction to be travelling in. Alcoholics call it a moment of clarity. Me? I just see it as getting my own back on life. Soon the bitterness will fade, I’m not that sort of person. I hope the drive stays with me.
It’s reflected in my Generation Game scores on the doors this week – 16, 12, and 24, with a stress level of 6.5. Significantly lower on all depression and stress counts. I’m on my way. I feel that anger turning towards determination, maybe even to a slight self-belief. Good grief.
We go through definitions of self esteem and where it comes from. I’m asked what I would do if my self esteem was higher and how I might think differently. The answers are straightforward.
First of all, I’d be able to see myself as not as ugly as I do now. Despite many years of being in relationships, and the odd fling. I still truly believe I’m physically unattractive, with a downright ugly face. It’ll take some work to get me to think otherwise. Maybe it’ll happen though. But my mind doubts it at the moment.
I’d also be able to confide in family in friends about my depression, instead of suffering in silence for months on end, and may think I can lean on them with any problem, feeling more confident and secure in the process.
There’s then a whole page of filling in about positive qualities about myself to fill in. I’ve always found that difficult. Perhaps it’s a typically British way of mistaking liking yourself for blowing your own trumpet. In any case, I fill up the whole page. I surprise myself with how many good things I can list. My legs especially.
Comfort zones are also talked about. The less we go out, the more the comfort zone shrinks, so the less we do, the less we go out, etc. It makes sense. I’ve been cynical and angry this week, but I know what they’re saying, and have been saying, is right. Perhaps it’s all seeping in, bit by bit.
I head off home, the walk filled with thoughts about how I’m going to fight back, how I’m going to get through this, how I’m going to be me, rather than an empty soul inhabiting an aging body. This at long last, is my time.
The world had better watch out.