Just out of reach…
Depression is a bugger.
It’s a fact. An absolute shite.
It takes away your you-ness and leave behind a doppleganger who looks like you, sounds like you…but certainly isn’t you. You are locked inside a glass cabinet, soundproofed, but watching what the alt-you is doing and saying and how it is screwing up your life, unable to get it to hear you banging on the window trying to stop it.
It fucks you over, takes away your tact, your skill at dealing with people, your patience, everything that you have worked for years trying to develop in yourself. It leaves you stuck. Helpless. It has a go at ruining your work, your home, your relationships. It takes away your sense of self. It takes away your ability to think. It takes away every part of you that you like and leaves behind an empty husk of a body, with a shell-shocked and tired mind.
And there is nothing you can do about it. You feel hopeless against it. You feel like you are the worst person in the world. You are worthless and that there is no reason why any one would want to be with you. You push people away. You push people away.
I have felt all this. This has been me, my life…well what could be called a life for the past 18 or so months. And like I have said before I have no idea why. That doesn’t matter anyway. It’s hard enough trying to deal with the whole shit-ness of it all, I don’t think I have the capacity to think of the why quite yet.
But I am feeling a little bit better. I have most importantly had my meds changed. I was on Citalopram, but the side effects…they got to much for me. The initial side effects I could cope with, indeed I got over the nausea and the headaches and the tiredness quite quickly, but after time, the OTHER side effects. The ones that ended up depressing me more than the actual depression got to much for me. These are the side effects that can best be listed as…private…but if you google them…fairly common.
I had these for a few months. In fact I had them when I went to see the RAF Psychiatrist for the last time in November. I told him of the effects and how they made me feel and his reply was damning. ‘Well, those are the breaks really. Either you take the meds and feel better, or you stop taking them and feel worse…’
I hated that man. I had no rapport with him. It seemed he wanted to give me the meds and then all would be good. I think I was seeing him, just to make sure that I wasn’t thinking of harming myself (which I never have, by the way).
I left his office with one word under my breath, and then, sucked it in for a month or so more and then went to see my new Civvi doc when I needed more tablets. He was more understanding, and has shifted me from Citalopram to Cymbalta which we can only hope affects me less in the same way as the old meds!
But oh! The side effects of switching. The tiredness. Loss of appetite. The tiredness. I mention that twice simply because it is the worst I have ever come across. The wave of sleep just hits me and I just have to go to sleep…normally just after eating…it is a massive hammer blow that knocks me out.
Which is not good. Because, dear reader, here is the second of my admissions. You see I am also a full time carer. My wife, as you may know has not been well, but she has actually been Medically Discharged from the Army due to an injury sustained a few years ago whilst on exercise. She compressed a couple of vertebrae in her neck carrying a heavy load, and these were fused in a German hospital.
The human body being the human body though tries to repair itself and sometimes can ‘overdo’ the repair and this has resulted in a bone over-growth into the central canal through her neck vertebrae which has impinged on the nerves that feed her right hand. With lots of neck and arm pain, and no feeling in her fingers she takes lots of drug – heavy duty painkillers that would result in a drugs test not only flagging a fail, but also playing the trumpets and setting of a siren to call the cops immediately.
She cannot do a lot of the things that an normal 39…sorry babe…37 year old do. She can’t walk far due to the neck pain, she can’t drive, she can’t lie in bed comfortably…she takes many and various drugs that knock her sideways. Somedays she doesn’t move for the pain and the drugs knocking her out.
This means I do everything. Thankfully, we have the two armed forces pensions coming in which gives us a modest (if we don’t want too much) income, and we’ll have a small mortgage on this place once we buy it, a mortgage that is much less than renting it. So it means that I don’t have to go out and work full time, which means I can be here all the more to look after her and my daughter.
But this impinges on my depression. I feel angry (again) at the illness and at the drugs and at the whole bloody world, and I can’t seem to find a coping strategy to overcome it. And I want to overcome it, because if I do, I really think that the whole bloody depression thing would be licked then. it might not be a reason for the depression, but in solving it, it might be enough to give me a breathing space and to get my head back in order and to start to really enjoy life again.
I do enjoy my life, but it is not a full life. That fog; the fog of my depression; is always around me…And dealing with my wife’s illness and injury is one of the reasons I call it a fog. I can see there is a way of dealing with it, but I just can’t bloody find the buggering thing. It’s just out of reach andI won’t be able to cure myself until I can grasp it.