It’s been awhile. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll know talking about my depression and anxiety has been a large part of my blog over the years. However, if you’re new, you may be confused as there’s now only 4 posts here, we’re in the middle of getting everything sorted and there’s not much talk of anything apart from eyes.
I did mention at the start of the first eye post that things were pretty bad and eluded to it throughout the two posts. For a little while I may have continued my honest posting on facebook/IG or snapchat but at some point that all stopped. At some point, my reaction of queries was simply “Going ok here”. Mostly, I didn’t feel bad, as so often it’s not a real question is it; “How are you?” is another way of acknowledging someone. We say it and move on, rarely expecting (or maybe even wanting) a real answer.
Throughout James’ recovery, it simply became a necessity. I had no choice but to keep things going and I could feel the breakdown juuuust under the surface. Bubbling away. I knew the moment I said anything real, anything of substance, I would be a mess of emotions, overwhelm and tears. There was no room for any of that. It became about survival, I had to grit my teeth and keep on.
There was some guilt around no longer sharing my story, I knew from so many messages that when I spoke out it helped others. Words like ‘hypocrite’ and ‘fraud’, ‘failure’, ‘liar’ tumbled around my head in the quiet moments (ha!). I’d always figured talking about it was the whole point of going through this – why suffer and not help others through their own hard times? I had to add it to the guilt pile.
There were moments when I felt there was too much and we would be blessed with a speck of light to keep going. Firstly, one of James’ work friends made us some meals to heat up. I still remember the relief which rippled through me at that kindness, knowing there were three meals I wouldn’t have to worry about deciding on and cooking. It was glorious (and delicious).
During the school holidays, a mum of one of Ellie’s closest friends arrived with a bag full of snacks for the munchies, knowing we wouldn’t have money to buy those little things. They were able to enjoy little treats throughout and I was able to make them last to use them to help fill out the first week of school lunches. Such a seemingly simple act took a great weight off my shoulders.
Towards the end of James’ time at home, a lovely neighbour approached me and offered to help us with mowing the lawns. It came at the perfect moment, as James was starting to get stressed about getting the lawn in order and I was stressed that he wasn’t near ready to mow.
It was these three acts of kindness combined with James’ mum being able to take him to appointments in Sydney which gave me kicks of energy or strength to keep going.
Even so, it was the hardest and loneliest time of my life.
So, we’re almost as long out of the eye issues as we were in now. How are things now? Pretty ugly, really. Now, I don’t want to share how I’m going online because I can’t reply. I barely leave the house unless I absolutely have to, thankfully (or not), the munchies want to walk home from school so there are days when I literally do not have to walk out the door. The thought of it is anxiety inducing. My meds need to change. I’ve put on 10+ kilos since starting them in July last year.
When I do go out, I tend to try stay to myself. Even thought I genuinely like mums I would normally speak to at pick up, I now sit in my car and hide.
There’s a long way to go, I am exhausted and I haven’t a single spoon left.
Posting this is essential to my recovery, I think. Being honest about where I’m at has always been a big part of the journey for me but I don’t want the stress of having to managed other people’s expectations of my illness and how I’m feeling. I don’t want to have to deal with their perceptions or disappointments that I haven’t spoken to them about it. I don’t have the energy to do that. I don’t want to talk about it at all, with various reasons attached; I don’t want to worry some people, I don’t want to fuel another’s gossip, I don’t want to be pitied and I don’t want to have to explain that I no longer trust someone or believe that they have my best interests at heart.
I’m still fighting. Day in, day out. And that’s where it’s at.
Linking up with Denyse over at DenyseWhelanBlogs.