This post is for Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the Weak
I have chosen prompt 2 which is What does depression feel like to you?
I have tried to unpick what happens on some of the occasions the Demons visit.
They creep in during the night when the peaceful sleep is momentarily interrupted. They start slowly concentrating on one issue. Questioning your actions – Should you have? Why did you? You should have known better! Useless! Rubbish! Fail, fail, fail! Gradually they up the anti & bring all sorts of things to the front of your mind. They have the pictures – it is so clear. They are SO right. Before you know where you are, your head is spinning.
You wake fully & try to go through the strategies that you have worked out for these times. Eyes closed.
No.1 –Deep breathing, really deep breaths
No.2 – you’re in that lovely hotel, now imagine the walk from the room to the park, all the details.
No.3– name the occupants of each house in Coronation Street
Despite your best efforts sleep does not come back strongly but fitfully.
On waking the demons have left someone different to the one who went to sleep. You can’t face getting out of bed. Why should you? What will you achieve – nothing, just the chance to feel even worse? Of course you do get out of bed otherwise you will have failed but you can’t do anything. You have no idea what to wear. You can’t think about the day. You make a cup of tea & in your head the demons have changed the script. They are no longer reminding you of those decisions you made a complete mess of. Now they become personal. They remind you how fat you are & that it is your weak will that has allowed this weight to pile on. They remind you that you are now going to have to suffer to get rid of it. All the time, on another level it seems, the voices from last night creep back in as well.
You feel heavy. Heavy – physically & emotionally. The picture in your head has no colour. It isn’t that black that the writers write about when describing the pits of a human mind. It is empty. Is there such a colour -empty? It’s as if nothing exists just you & your thoughts. Then you are angry. Not about anything just angry. You snap, you find fault, you lash out.
Later –tears. They are a release & relief. It is a sea that cannot be stopped. You don’t know why you cry, you just do. It is a signal for those close that things are clearing. It may take a while but the worst is over. You are left feeling so tired & bewildered & this can last for a couple of days. Your thoughts then move to -what was that all about? If you are lucky, with support, you can start to unpick the triggers but maybe not. Until the next time.
I suffer with anxiety which can be completely debilitating at times. I hope to start an occasional series on my blog What Will Julia Do Next? about depression / anxiety & its effects on sufferers & those supporting. If you would like to contribute in any way please leave a comment here & I’ll get in touch.