how you doing?

Today is World Mental Health day. Who knew there was such a thing? This year, the theme is depression– something too many of us know something about.

I haven’t wanted to scream at the world since I went back on the anti mad tablets, but the combination of the ME and depression means that sometimes I am totally overwhelmed with fatigue. I may find it physically difficult to move in the bed, and anyway, I’ve no interest in trying. I can lose hours just doing nothing, and not even be bothered at my lack of achievement. Without the rest of the household (human and canine) making me interact, I’d be quite happy at times in my wee cocoon of bed, sofa and fire.

My brain doesn’t function properly. Right now I’m not having the leaden, unpleasant, brain fog. Instead I’ve got flighty butterflies in there. Thoughts flit about, landing briefly for me to recognise ‘Oh, I must…’ before fluttering off, leaving me with no idea of what it is I should be doing. It’s easier than brain fog, but no more productive. I’m not even bothered by that. Future blog posts are among the butterflies; half thoughts that will be written down sometime. Probably.

I’m feeling grand, if a little vague and detached. I’m in a much better place than I have been.

The anti mad tablets have made such a difference to my world- yet I resisted them for years. I thought that accepting medication would mean that I had failed somehow; that I couldn’t just shake myself out of it, even with two courses of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I was nearly afraid to leave the house or speak to people, yet I didn’t believe I should accept help. I didn’t even have to ask for it, my GP had to persuade me to take the tablets. I knew he couldn’t give me medication for the ME, so why should I take something for the associated depression. Surely, the depression is less real than the ME? That’ll have been the distorted thinking then…

So, depression happens to the best of us. It’s an illness, not a failing. It’s no more a failure than a burst appendix is. It needs treated. There is help available. Look after yourself, and others.

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in…


(Clichés happen to the best of us too, but I love Laughing Len)

pics from another Blurt Foundation Pinterest page- how depression really feels


18 thoughts on “how you doing?

  1. At the moment I am experiencing a lot of stress which leaves me feeling quite debilitated, so this is a timely post for me, and I really appreciate the instruction to look after myself. Thanks.

  2. Two of my closest friends have severe clinical depression to deal with. One is so open about her “anti mad” pills, and the other feels it is a personal failure. I watched my grandmother struggle for the last ten years of her life with very serious depression, and she refused to take any medications. On top of a generational stigma, she also thought that “God should be enough” and saw her inability to cope as spiritual failure. That fact alone still makes me want to weep for her. I am so glad you speak openly, Fiona. And continue to take care of yourself along the way. I really admire that you do as much as you do. If you occasionally have periods when “get up, survive, go back to bed” is the goal of the day, it sounds reasonable considering the work you do. Debra

    1. I’ve got a lot better about being open, Debra. Maybe it’s to do with not having the energy to hide 🙂
      Your poor Grandmother; that must have been heartbreaking for her and those about her.

      1. My grandmother passed fifteen years ago and I still feel such a deep sadness when I think of her suffering in that silent darkness. I get teary this many years later. She tried so hard to remain a part of the family, and what “haunts” me a bit is that I think I thought I could “cheer her up.” I really didn’t understand at the time and I so wish I could go back and just sit and hold her hand–we did try to get her to see a doctor, but I wonder now why we didn’t do more to encourage my grandfather to get her help. You know how those thoughts go when you look back and wonder why you didn’t do something more. I think it will always just make me sad to think about it, but it also has caused me to be more openly supportive to some of my friends. Depression is a terrible thief. Big hugs, Fiona

  3. I have numerous relatives who take anti-mad pills, Fiona. That they take care of themselves that way is a success, not a failure. It helps them function and be happy and productive. I applaud them for it. The alternative – one close relative who never takes his anti-mad pills – that’s the sad part.

    1. As I was putting in the video I paused- really? you’re really putting Leonard Cohen into a post about depression? What do you want to do to people?
      Then I remembered how much I appreciate his lyricism, music and humour, and decided that I would just torment you all 🙂

  4. I’ve read, left, then came back. In between I’ve thought. I have thought back upon past post of yours. Of Santa, Of beaches. Of the Caravan in Donegal. Of shoes -yours, one and two. Of the torch bearer. Of the fine line.

    You walk with grace.

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