Thursday, 24 January 2019

Off to a flying start, this 2019 thing...

It's been a difficult couple of months.
I came back from Nottingham on a real high. It had gone well, catching up with some old friends, getting a finalist's pin, a relaxing weekend away...All good. I'd received a real boost to my confidence and I was looking forward to getting back to work and doing lots of new cool stuff.
It didn't happen.
I came down. Hard.
Depression is a horrible thing and it's really difficult to explain properly. It's actually an intensely personal thing, different for everybody it affects and so it's really hard to put across how it feels, so I'm not going to go into a great, deep explanation here today. Maybe one day, but not today. Today I'm feeling good and i don't want to dwell on the bad.
Anyway, suffice it to say I had a totally unproductive December. My head-stuff hit me hard and I just couldn't face anything more than getting up and doing the day jobs, and they were a struggle. What I was looking forward to was the Christmas break. When I'm under the depression thing, one of the worst aspects is the guilt. The feeling that I should be working, that there's nothing wrong with me, that I should man up and get out there and all the while the depression is going "Fuck that. You'll only screw it up. What's the point. Lie on the sofa and eat Haribos." And the days go by, each unproductive one adding to the vicious circle.
That's why I was looking forward to Christmas. I'd convinced myself that Christmas was the time when I could have the time off, guilt-free (after all, doesn't everybody?), enjoy myself, and get back to work, refreshed and happy, in the new year. It wasn't a new year resolution. It wasn't a "In the new year I shall beat the depression. Oh, and I'll lose some weight and go to the gym." It was more that I could enjoy a bit of time off, rather than beating myself up over it.
And it bloody worked.
I had a nice, relaxed Christmas with The Better Half. We socialised a bit, ate and drank far too many bad things, went out on new year's eve, the usual. On January 2nd I started my working week with my first shift in the shop, raring to get started again.
24 hours later I was in hospital with the flu, lying with the windows open and a fan on me as they tried to get my core temperature down from it's just-shy-of-really-fucking-serious level. Thankfully, it worked and they let me home the next day, but I spent the next week being essentially unable to do anything other than sleep. I couldn't even read, my head was so mushed. Facebook was the height of my levels of concentration. After ten days of this, I'd started feeling better so I'd gone back to work over the weekend.
The next day I woke up with a secondary sinus and chest infection, which knocked me out for another week. Strangely enough, through all this, the depression didn't kick in. There was no guilt because there was nothing I could do about it. I was ill, end of. It's weird because I know, intellectually, that having depression is as much "being ill" as having the flu, or a broken leg. You may as well say to a person in a wheelchair, "Stop being silly, get up and walk!" as to say to a person with depression, "Why don't you just, y'know, stop being depressed?" but, psychologically, I still beat myself up over it when I'm in the pit.
Anyway. Rambling.
Here I am, three weeks after falling ill. I'm betterer, but still far from 100%. I've been back at work in the shop for a while now and, though it takes it out of me, it's not knocking me for six any more and today I'm actually out in the shed for a couple of hours. I'm tired and weak and I've got no stamina but I'm feeling a little betterer each day.
Taking it slow, taking it easy. I'm writing off January. I'm going to try to get some hours in, but mostly I'm looking forward to starting February fit and well and raring to go.
I might even lose some weight and go to the gym.