(This ain’t no sexy post. It’s a rant of sorts in which I talk – possibly pointlessly – about depression as it is for me)
You may or may not have noticed that, on occasion, I’ll more or less disappear for a week or so. Scandarella will see no content. My Twitter page will be full of tweets spewed out by a plugin that keeps it looking active when I’m not around. My emails go unanswered, DMs get pushed to one side.
But all of that is the stinky icing on a shit cake I’ll have been baking for weeks behind the scenes. Before I make the decision to not write, many other things in my life will already be getting neglected.
The first thing that suffers is my mind. I kinda forget how to speak it. Things that bother me seem small at first, so I opt to keep silent. Then bigger things happen, and I think, well I didn’t complain about that last thing, so I’ll look petty if I moan this time. My mouth remains shut. And more happens, then more, and it all starts to build up inside of my head until there’s so much in there I want to scream that things are not okay, but by the time I reach that point I no longer know how to say my piece.
So I close myself down. I become distant, uncaring, cruel. Oddly, it’s those who haven’t caused me any grief who bear the brunt of all that bottled up anger turned to spite. The ones who do upset me? They’re often the last to know.
They start to figure it out when the sourness within me begins to show on the outside. My skin is the first sign. I stop using the lotions and potions that keep a myriad of conditions at bay. Rosacea deepens, acne returns, bits of my face flake away to join the flecks of dandruff on my shoulders. It hurts. It stings and itches and looks dreadful. But I don’t care.
My hair is the next thing to be neglected. I avoid the hairdressers, so those split ends keep right on splitting. They travel up my hair shaft and I end up with a ratty, frizzy mess that snaps at the lightest touch. Clumps fall out because I’m not using the shampoos that help with a scalp condition I have. And I get more and more grey hair, great big blocks of it, and though people point it out I just shrug. Who gives a fuck?
Instead of letting myself see what a mess I’m allowing myself to become, I just start on abusing my body. I’m already hugely overweight, dangerously so, but I’ll eat that 12” pizza all to myself and wash it down with a pint of fizzy pop. I’ll eat six doughnuts one after the other and wash those down with a cream topped latte, then go back for the rest of the doughnuts because I might as well.
My body balloons. None of my clothes fit so I don’t go outside, I just stay in and stew in my own putrid juices. And anyone who comes near me has no choice but to indulge the beast because they learn pretty quickly that if they try to save it they’ll get bitten. Relationships become strained and eventually the people I love start to avoid me.
And finally, my home suffers. Until a week ago, I hadn’t cleaned my house for nearly four months. Everything was rotten. The floors, walls, and windows were all dusty and mucky. I had no clean underwear so just didn’t bother wearing any. The only things I’ve looked after were my kid and my cats, and that’s only because I was obligated to do so. The Fella has tried to help but there’s only so much he can do after and in between his 12-hour shifts.
This is the point where my writing usually begins to suffer. The point where that one thing in the world that usually demands my attention for hours at a time holds no appeal for me at all.
And the cause of all this? Reactive depression. The first time I was diagnosed with it was when my kid was small. I thought I had the baby blues, but my doctor told me otherwise. At that time, I took medication, and I took it each time after until I passed my mid-twenties. We were trying for a baby at that time, so I didn’t want to take anti-depressants. When I realised that PCOS had rendered me infertile depression struck again, then again when I had to deal with the Fella’s affair. Since then I’ve not cared enough to even go to the doctors about it when it happens, never mind seek relief.
But this time things have been different.
I have been different.
Because after this latest bout set in back in May, I decided that I won’t allow myself to be controlled by depression any longer.
I’ve been fighting it tooth and nail. Trying to stay present both at home and online. Talking about my problems with the people I have those problems with rather than holding it in. I’ve been speaking my mind. Defending myself, defending my loved ones. Taking care of myself, taking time out when I need it, being around people when I need to.
Instead of letting myself turn into a frightful mess I’ve worked to be different. Since June, I’ve worked with my doctor to discover that I have a few food intolerances and a lot of vitamin deficiencies. My hormones are a shit show, too. Because of that I’ve changed my lotions and potions to more effective ones. I’ve looked after my hair, stopped biting my nails, made sure I’ve showered twice a day. Instead of eating pizza and the usual shit that accompanies it, I’ve started eating simple home cooked meals and have lost 22lb to date.
And just this past week, I’ve been away from my laptop not because I didn’t want to write, but because I’ve cleaned my house from top to bottom. The place has never been so clean. I swear to god, even my floors are shining like shit on a barn door.
I feel good. I’m looking better. I’m happier in myself, my boys are happy, my kitties are happy, and so is the rest of my family. And now that I’ve put my house in order it’s time for me to sit my arse down and write some stuff.
I thought that this, an explanation (and apology) to my readers and those companies awaiting reviews, would be a good place to start. I know I’ll still go quiet from time to time, but I won’t let myself be swamped again. If I find that happening, I know where my doctor is.