Self-deception is easy. For a couple of weeks I’ve been insisting that I’m not depressed, that I’m fine, that it’s normal, I’m just a little bit sad. I’m sleeping less poorly, I eat, I’m going to seminars. My concentration’s a bit down but, you know, that’ll improve. I’m doing the right things. I’m doing what I can. I’m staying safe.
Then I wake up hardly able to move my limbs after a night fighting bad dreams and I look on the Rpsych page. I am a symptom list. I lay awake at five considering the river. I cry at pointless things. I am sleeping one-night-on, one-night-off. I am insanely nervous about things. I’m making the decision to quit sorry intermit the M.A. based at least partly on the premise that I shouldn’t be here, that I’m just not good enough, not really. The concentration isn’t poor: it’s nearly non-existent. When I try to read, the words jump about, they form words that aren’t there at all. I don’t remember ever having read so slowly… because I never have.
I was told yesterday that my depression was reactive. My response to stress and something to do with adrenaline means that basically, I’m fucked every time I need to cope with something. Sorry- that my serotonin is depleted by stress. This makes it worse. Why can others deal with things? Why can’t I manage simple things- an M.A., the standard jobs I’ve had, reading a book- without ending up in a state?
So, I try to think about what I would say to somebody else in this position. In fact, I know what I say to others in this position. It’s not your fault; whether it’s chemical, or reactive, or both. “Reactive” doesn’t mean “chosen.” People are different and it isn’t something to kick yourself in the head for (is that an expression?! seems right). And look, you’re writing a blog, you’re trying to be positive, you’re seeing your tutor later to try and be pro-active, work towards your distinction. It doesn’t matter if you wait until next year- it matters that you have a goal.
But you do have to stop lying to yourself, and by extension to others. You do need to admit that you’re not fine again. You do, probably, need to go to the doctors’ to sort out the meds. Because you were up early and could have phoned, and didn’t.