Hmmmm, absence is meant to make the heart grow fonder. How often is that case, though? After all, my longish absence from the world of interweb highway matters isn’t the result of a permanent upturn in the health of my mind and soul. Quite the opposite.
As ever, it’s been mostly down to another absence, that of my partner. Try as I might, I can’t get over losing her. She’s still the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and my last thought before I go to bed at night, with innumerable more during the day.
It feels as if my heart’s been ripped out of me in spite of everything I’ve achieved to make my life that much better. Dealt with debts – check. Found a full time paid job – check. Take regular exercise – check. Attend a variety of activities – well, you get the idea. Everything I’ve thought, and therapists have recommended, I need to do to get my headspace back in a good place is being done.
Yet still, although admittedly there’s been the occasional good day, there’s an intense sadness lurking within me, and often overwhelming me, a pain that physically goes through my body as well as heart and soul. If there aren’t tears streaming from me, then they’re at the very edge of my eyelids. I can’t go on like this.
Yet there’s plenty of plus points in my life now, that are pretty trivial and almost meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but help everyday living go that little bit better. One thing is, after so many years, my credit rating is improved now to such a point that I’ve been issued with a credit card.
It’s nothing in itself, and the occasions I’ve used it, I’ve paid off what I spent in full within a few days. It’s purely the convenience of it all. One thing I bought was travel tickets over Christmas and Hogmanay. Without having that card I’d have missed a couple of bargains. Very minor, but gave me a little warm feeling of simply being able to do that.
As for work, I’ve been told by a number of people in managerial lines that they’ve been impressed at how well I’ve taken to things. I knew if I was given the chance I would be an asset for anyone prepared to take a punt. It’s heartening to be proven to be correct.
Not only that, but a regular wage coming in means decent food is affordable, rather than the normal mix and match of fruit, veg, and cheap processed foods. The benefits of that are obvious and are richly enjoyed.
Yet despite all that, the demons in my mind take such a grip on me. At work, it tells me how useless I am, that eventually I’ll be found out, and every error I make, however minor and even when corrected, is pounced upon, and I hear that voice whispering that it’s yet more proof of being unfit to do the job, no matter what anyone says.
It was that turmoil which earlier today lead me to seeing my immediate line manager, after I had sought help from my GP and therapy services. I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. To say he was surprised was an understatement, which I guess shows how little notice companies take of application forms, where I disclosed what illnesses I had.
I seem to have mastered one of those tricks people with depression try to learn, that of concealing their state of mind to all and sundry. He said that, by my demeanour and behaviour in the workplace, he would never have guessed there was anything wrong at all, that I was just a good worker doing their job.
The bottom line is that they’re very keen for me to progress my career with them, and that calling it a day will be an absolute last resort, not a first response, as well as encouraging me to seek the help I need. That’s so reassuring, knowing that work will support me as much as they can.
In a way, though, that’s the frustrating thing. It’s getting to the point where almost everything that was wrong in my life, which were factors in my depression, have either been eradicated completely or changed into a positive.
Yet for some reason it’s not enough. Every morning, without fail, is the familar feeling that I’ve had my heart ripped out of me, an involuntary build-up of tears, and that voice in my mind telling me everything I don’t want to hear, ensuring I feel worthless and miserable.
I don’t know how to combat it. I’m out of ideas. I don’t want to die, which is a solution many people tragically take. I just want the pain to end. I don’t know how to stop it either. Maybe one day I’ll find the answer. In the meantime, despite the many positives now in my life, I’ll have to put up with feeling awful.
Hello darkness, my old friend.