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Head in the black clouds
Posted by katieholland93
25th May 2018

When writing a story I usually would start at the beginning but I fear this post would crash the website if I wrote down my entire life experience so far with depression. Anyway the story has no end. A beginning and a middle, yes, but the rest is still unwritten as I continue to learn to live with my mental health diagnosis.

I once heard someone say that depression is like being colour blind and being told how beautiful the world is. You will understand from the title of this post, not just "clouds" but "black clouds", that I am currently viewing the world in black and white. I guess like living in an old film. Come to think of it a silent movie as I also feel unable to express myself and feel like I have no voice or control over the narrative of the film.

I have bipolar type 2 and I have been told traits of borderline personality disorder, but for me depression has been the most significant state of mind in my experience. I find that my moods can change very quickly, like the click of a finger and bam there we go again and this is very challenging to deal with. Depression is worse for me than any other emotional state as a result of the higher frequency and the increasing intensity every time I have an episode.

Because of depression I have been hospitalised three times in the last couple of years and without this intervention I fear I wouldn't be here writing this post. The "s" word can be difficult to say sometimes but really it is a big part of the story as I have planned to take my own life on those three occasions, having written my notes to loved ones and planning how and when I would carry out the act.

The constants remain during every episode, feelings of there being no point anymore and like there is a better and less painful place for me as it is just too much. But every time I find something new about the depression. Whether that be a new self-destructive coping strategy, a new feeling of struggling to tell the difference between what is real and what is in my head or the inability to cry and talk. There are commonalities, yes, but unique elements too. However, strangely enough each time I go through this it almost feels normal. I was recently asked by my therapist what "normal" means. As with a lot of things about depression from the inside looking out it can be hard to explain, I mean that I have felt like this so many times since my teens that it almost feels familiar. It almost feels as if this is how it is meant to be and how I am meant to feel. Does that sound strange? In my head any feeling of happiness or any other positive emotions almost feel "fake". Everyday is a constant battle with my mind at times like these. The negative self talk, feelings of worthlessness and hatred and generally maintaining that unhelpful narrative in my head, it doesn't serve me well but, and despite having got out of the black hole before, it is so hard to find a way to reconnect with myself, be kind to myself and challenge those thoughts in my head.

People say without the bad we don't know what good is. I guess this is true as I do feel more appreciative when in a good headspace. My favourite quote I think everyone should remember us "An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming". I keep this quote on my desk at work, on my phone at all times and even written down on a coping card to remember that I can do this and hopefully good things are on their way. I have got out of the storm before and I will be able to achieve happiness again. We all will.

As humans we can endure much more than we think. Persistence is key and finding the motivation to help yourself is important. I hope that in my next post I truly believe in some of the things I have said and take my own advice, waking up in the 1960s when colour TV was introduced, no longer in black and white transition.

Anyway to wrap it up I would like to tell you a very short story. In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object's history which adds to its beauty.

Consider this when you feel broken by depression!

Thanks for reading

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