Thursday, 12 August 2010

Darkness before dawn

I have suffered from depression since my teens. I have spent a lot of energy pretending everything's fine, that the periods of utter despair, crying for hours on end, and sleeplessness are nothing to worry about. I don't use this as an excuse, mostly because very few people have any idea what's going on. Outwardly I seem fine, I have passed exams, graduated uni, held down jobs all the while feeling like I'm shattered into pieces on the inside.
I don't know what feeling happy really is, there's just this incessant darkness. Sometimes it lessens and I function better then. I used to describe it as 'falling down the rabbithole', because I don't know how else to describe the feeling of approaching sadness, bleakness.
I am not medicated. I don't want drugs to control my emotions, I fear being turned into a blank slate, unable to truly feel anything, and without a shred of creativity left. An automaton.
There are days when getting out of bed is all but impossible, when I break down, when I feel completely numbed.
There are other days, when it is possible to go to work, to go to class, to spend time among people without feeling like I'm suffocating.
From 17 to 21 was possibly the worst time. I skipped a lot of school, didn't too very well in my A Levels, sometimes I'm still amazed I got into uni at all, let alone completed my degree. But I did. Because some part of me really wanted to, to fight back, to be strong, to push the darkness away.
It comes in waves, like right now. I can feel it closing in, feel close to curling up and shutting the world out. Stress encourages it. I'm stressed about my job, I still have no start date, no idea what's going on, no money. I don't know what's going on with my Masters course, there's a paranoid part of me that imagines I didn't actually get in, that I'm the one that's got it all wrong, and the reason nothing (booklists, term dates) has appeared is because I'm not actually expected there in September. The darkness feeds on this stress and worry, it makes it stronger.
I don't ask for sympathy, I know everyone struggles, I know there are people fighting far harder battles than mine. I want to keep fighting though, I don't want to let the darkness wash over me again. It crushes everything in it's path.
If my posting is a little (more) sporadic, it's because I'm trying to deal with these issues, if I can sort out the things making me worry, I'm hoping I can fend off the rest for now. One day I know I'm going to have to decide how I want this to be. I can't live my whole life feeling like this. It holds me back, it's draining, and I'm sick of being tired all the time.
Please bear with me.


  1. I recently wrote a blog post about "Writers and Suicide" - not that I think that's what you're intending. Unless it is, in which case, please email me, I'm here to talk when you need someone to talk to - and many writers suffer from depression. I'm not sure why...

    Perhaps it's because as writers we have a lot on our minds.

    Seriously, we not only have to deal with the crappy REAL world we live in but deal with all the conflict driven FAKE worlds in our head.

    We not only have to deal with our complicated lives but all the complex lives of our characters that wont stop talking to us. We're living many lives at once and it's stressful.

    Also, many people don't understand what we go through and that compounds the problem.

    My advice, take it one day at a time, don't stress to much about the things you can't control. You sound like a fighter and that's good.

    Email me or leave a comment on my blog if you need anything.


  2. I'm ok, thank you so much for your concern. I just need some time out I think, to work through the stuff that's making me feel like this.
    I think creative people are more prone to depression, possibly because the way our brains work or something.
    I need all those people in my head to be quiet! I can't write their stories when I'm struggling with my own.
    I should be ok, this comes and goes. One week I'm fine, the next I'm struggling to get up and function.
    When I'm feeling less weird I'll post again. I just need to focus on things and resolve myself.
    Thank you again for your kind words. xx.


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