Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Depression has no rules

Depression has no rules. When you’re doing everything right, such as staying focused on writing, walking by the sea, keeping up with chores (ok maybe not all the chores), you can hit a low and you don’t know where its come from. You can try to challenge yourself to keep your spirits up but then feel exhausted with the ongoing argument with yourself.

Yesterday I had a phone call at nine asking if someone can come for a viewing. The landlord is selling the flat with me as a sitting tenant, however in the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few viewings, and they’ve all been placing their furniture in the rooms. The estate agents said there was nothing to say I would be a sitting tenant. I can’t afford it anyway, the rent is really high and I’m trying to get housing benefit, however the claim is taking forever. I’ve had to borrow the last months rent. I’ve been looking for something else, but there is nothing, I’m also constantly bidding for council properties. All in all it’s been a big worry, and probably where the low has come from.

I’ve felt fearful, vulnerable, and have just wanted to put on an invisibility cloak and hide from the world. I challenged this by telling myself life is full of possibilities, and that fear and negativity is the only thing holding me back. I’ve dealt with stuff such as, ringing the council to see how the claims doing, and ringing up the landlord to ask for a letter saying they’re selling the flat and to express my worries. I’ve even rang up about volunteering as a dog walker, as we went for a lovely walk by the sea on Monday evening, and I miss having a dog with me. (Our dog Jess died about a year and a half ago, and wasn’t ill until her last few weeks. She managed a good fourteen years). I even finished an article, but I still got lower as the day went on.

In the end I took to bed. As I’ve said before, I can get to a stage where I can’t focus on the television, or people talking to me, but I can read. To stop myself wallowing I picked up The Zahir by Paulo Coehlo, a story about his relationship with his wife. The whole reason I’ve got the motivation to write this blog is to share a paragraph I read this afternoon. If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know I’ve constantly had an on off relationship with the internet. Talking about the writing process Paulo says:

“I try to log onto the internet, but its not working. It’s never been the same since I destroyed the connection. I called various technicians, but when they finally turned up, they could find nothing wrong with the computer. They asked me what I was complaining about, spent half an hour doing tests, changed the configuration, and assured me that the problem lay not with me but with the server. I allowed myself to be convinced that everything was, in fact, fine, and I felt ridiculous for having to ask for help. Two or three hours later, the computer and the connection would both crash. Now after months of physical and psychological wear and tear, I simply accept that technology is stronger and more powerful than me: it works when it wants to, and when it doesn’t its best to sit down and read the paper or go for a walk, and wait until the cables and the telephone links are in a better mood, and the computer decides to work again. I am not, I have discovered, my computer’s master: it has a life of its own”.

I totally identified with this; apart from I don’t have the money to call technicians in.

Although this is about computers Paulo’s philosophy of accepting the blips could be useful for people with depression. I have learnt over the years to sometimes just accept the lows when they come, as I know that they will pass. Tomorrows another day.

No comments: