I know how difficult it can be to talk about how you’re feeling when you’re truly depressed. If other people are unaware of your struggles, you don’t want to burden them. Part of you feels weak and that it’s all your own fault for feeling so miserable when you think about all the positives in your life and all the negatives other people have to suffer elsewhere in the world.
Before I was diagnosed, I didn’t talk to anyone about the extent of my depression. A good friend at school could tell I wasn’t happy in my final year, but even he didn’t grasp the full extent of my first full-blown depressive episode. My Ex-Hubby knew for years that I wasn’t perhaps the most mentally stable of people, and he almost got me to the GP on one occasion when I spent a full week in bed, crying and refusing to go to work. The health visitor picked up on “baby blues” after Porglet Minimus but I was never taken seriously…because I didn’t explain how serious it was.
Part of the problem was that I didn’t understand it myself. People with BPD can find it almost impossible to label their emotions because they get so overwhelming so fast. With some DBT under my belt, and a lot of help from a psychologist, I’ve learnt to tease my emotions apart and be more mindful of them. I know right now, for instance, that I’m clinically depressed and it’s not “just” a BPD depression where changing the situation changes my mood. I could win the lottery tomorrow and still feel miserable someplace inside.
However, the difference now is that I talk about how I’m feeling; here on this blog, on the phone with Lovely Boyfriend when he’s away, snuggled up with him when he’s home. I spent yesterday with my Step-Mum and told her how I’d been feeling. We parted with a real hug (not one of those duty hugs) and the promise to have a more regular lunch/shopping session together where we could talk (and a text later offering support and love).
It’s still difficult to explain what goes on in my head, because I’m not fully in control of it and words abandon me when I’m like this. But I know it’s important to talk it over with different people.
Tomorrow is my first appointment with the Community Mental Health Team in a couple of years. I don’t know the woman my appointment is with, which will make things awkward for me, but I’m hoping to come away feeling better and more positive that I can get through this latest episode. I spend four years working on the BPD, the recurrent depression wasn’t really a focus. I have all sorts of techniques I can use to work my way out of a BPD funk, but not this. I’m not used to dealing with feeling tired and lethargic all the time. My way out of it all in 2008 led to 2.5 years in hospital and many overnight stays in other hospitals being fed Parvolex through a drip. By talking openly, I hope that option finally disappears from my thoughts.