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When depression fights back.
Posted by Baz1050
30th Jan 2016

Do you remember when you were young and used to play Super Mario Bros? Or street fighter? And the adrenaline rushing around your body when the health bar depleated because you didn't want to die and start the level again? I think that's the only way I can describe how I feel round about now.

My Car is my thinking ground, its the only place I am alone other than when I am asleep. I was driving home earlier and thinking about how I could stop the depression creeping back anymore than it currently has. Over the past couple of weeks I have been exhausted constantly and am finding it harder and harder to get up and go to the gym before I head to work in the mornings. Usually 40 minutes in the Gym energises me for the rest of the day, however I currently have no spare energy for it. According to the fitbit I wear religiously on my wrist I have been averaging 8 hours of sleep per night for almost a month. So why, when I am getting more sleep than usual am I feeling as if I haven't slept for 10 years? Maybe I am getting too much sleep? No, for me this ties in with the times when I feel low. I realised that a good gauge of my mood is whether I sing along to my iPod on the way to work or not and yesterday I noticed I have not been doing that for a while. It's funny how we pick up on little habits like that.

I have spent the last 48 hours panicking about how I am EVER going to manage completing the degree course I signed up for earlier in the month. My way of turning a negative day into a positive one, the anniversary of when I had planned to have my last living day. The course was something I should of done about five years ago but in my usual style had been putting off.
Fact is I am actually quite clever, I know that. All through school I would take my SATs etc a year early, and I would get an A in everything. I was popular and my reports were always fantastic. I had the perfect balance of working hard and making my peers laugh. That was until aged 14 I suffered from depression for the first time, never asked for help and fell into a black hole that was my mind. I lost a significant amount of weight where I could not physically eat more than one meal a day, my right arm was a mess of scars and I became a pro at lying and acting. I suppose I was high functioning as I went to School every day and worked around 12 hours a week. Outside of that I would sit in my bedroom and lose myself in an xbox game. I honestly believe no one suspected a thing.
Looking back the trigger for this was a new girl coming to the school, being horrible to me and 'stealing' my best friend so that although I was popular and made everyone laugh, I didn't have my best friend anymore. I guess I withdrew from my work as I couldn't concentrate and settled with being 'average' so that no one would pay attention to me. This lasted around a year and I can't remember ever feeling suicidal like I do now that I am older. The 'average' thing stuck because it was easier to fade into the background than be on the top end or bottom end of the spectrum. I guess I thought it was easier not to do something than potentially fail at it. I know I can do more than 'average' though and that is why I am determined that depression cannot beat me.

When I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety in October 2014 I was terrified of being alone, it was the time when my mind would tell me how useless I was, what a loser I was etc etc. Now, I would happily stay in my four walls 24 hours a day. However I know that social time is important and I make a conscious effort to do 2 social things every week at least. Usually this involves meeting a friend one day on the weekend and playing skittles for my local team one evening a week. The rest of my time I hope will see me working through this course. Having a routine is SO important. Without one it is so easy to just lie in bed for hours on end, or play candy crush until the small hours rather than going to sleep at a sensible time.
My sleep hygiene could be improved but I can now fall asleep in a matter of minutes. The trio I have to thank for that are a bottle of lavender linen spray I got from Avon for £2, a cushion my Nan made me about 10 years ago which I can hug and an app I bought for £2.49 on the apple store called 'Sleep Well Hypnosis.' If I stay elsewhere which I rarely tend to do now I find it so hard to sleep without those three things. Its a routine and it works really well for me.

I think the most important thing with fighting depression is trying not to believe what that silly little voice in your head says. People around me tell me that I put too much pressure on myself with some things. Maybe I do, and that is one of my triggers but I find it so hard not to do it. I see what people around me are doing and think 'I want that.' If someone was to ask me what I wanted for the future I would say (in this order!) A good job, a dachshund named Herbie, a flat with no mortgage and an S3 sat on the drive way. Without putting pressure on myself to succeed I would probably never try to do any of those things because I would think it was ok not to and still live with my parents aged 40 with a pet fish named Nemo or something. I want more than that and I need to fight and work to get it. No one is born deserving anything, if you want something you need to be prepared to work for it.

Even on those dark days where we think we cannot go on we can. No-one said it would be easy, but we can do it x

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