A sign that this particular trough of depression has bottomed out. Putting my thoughts into print for the second time in a week. Usually when I can’t face the world, spreading my fingers across a keyboard for everyone to know is the last thing on my mind. Not now though. You can see the blood of my cut here.
Another sign was trawling through media sites and photo files, looking through old pics. It would’ve been a painful, painful experience just a day or two ago. This time around, well the eyes still watered and I sighed, but no floods of tears.
The best indicator, however, was a chance meeting. Rooting through stuff, I came across something by someone I hadn’t spoken to for about five years. Not by choice, we just sort of drifted out of the habit of staying in touch, then life and love took over.
I sent a message to her, not expecting any reply. We’d long since lost contact, after all. Yet, within a few minutes, there she was, delighted to see me, albeit in the virtual sense. She, too, had no real idea why we drifted apart. One of those things I guess.
Now, at the time we were close, she was known to me, and by everyone else, as Bitchy. It was another of those ironic things. She’s funny, friendly, smart, self deprecating, and enjoys seeing other people achieve. The real complete opposite.
It being so long, though, I was caught between calling her Bitchy or her actual name. I decided on the curiously British solution. Avoid saying any name at all. Instead we chatted and chatted.
Something I didn’t know about Bitchy, which made it especially karmaic in terms of timing, was her obviously extensive knowledge of depression and other mental health issues. I talked, Bitchy listened. It was almost like therapy except I wasn’t in a grimy, scruffy room.
Bitchy eventually, when I let her, talk. She came up with some real words of wisdom too, not applicable just to me but to anyone who is or has suffered. It will do well to remember these.
“Don’t expect someone else to cure you of it, i.e. new relationships.”
It’s so, so true, and something I’ve adhered to down the decades. It’s hard sometimes though. You feel as if the world will be a better place without you, then someone comes along. All of a sudden things are looking up.
The danger is to associate the close, intimate, positive feeling when a new relationship starts, to everything in life. In each other aspect, nothing has changed, so the probability is at least something that was leaving you feeling helpless and suicidal before is still lurking. You can date someone with depression, but dating doesn’t delete depression.
“Counselling can be mind blowing. Be open to change.”
This is something I was more circumspect of. Whether it be group therapy, online, or one-on-one, there’s never been that moment of clarity of Road To Damascus turnaround, where everything suddenly works out in my mind. I’ve been cynical to it but pleasantly surprised by some of its results, and that’s it.
That’s the thing, though, cynicism. Because of it I haven’t really been open to change. It’s only been on my terms, listening to therapy, and then deciding ‘yes, this bit’s good, okay, but no that bit isn’t, dismiss that’. Being open to change is something I haven’t been.
There were, of course, loads of other things we chatted about, catching up on things, on old times, how people were. It touched me, though, that within a few minutes of talking to her after a five year absence, I was confiding, and we were bosom buddies again, just like that.
Maybe I’ve been too hard on myself all these years. Well, I know I have, with that voice in my mind telling me how useless, how undesirable, how worthless I am most days. But even without the depressive mood, I’ve not given myself enough credit for being who I am.
The fact that someone so willingly wants to be in touch with me after so long a break shows that I must have something about me that people like or admire. Sure, soon enough, that voice in my head will formulate a negative reasoning, but at the moment, I’m enjoying feeling slightly better about myself. All because of someone Bitchy.
What to do next? Well, keep in touch and make sure the periods between getting together are counted in days instead of years. Another thing is to not only remember those words she uttered, but at least try to act on the ones I haven’t done so far.
Above all, be myself. Because despite what my mind says, all the indications show I’m a better person than I think I am.
You see? I really am getting better …..