About six years ago I experienced my first big bout of depression. There was no functioning through this one, it was one I couldn’t hide by smiling through and getting on with my day to day. It was so debilitating that I spent my days sitting on my living room floor, with daytime TV on in front of me and a lit fire in the hearth to the side of me, watching one and half listening to the other. In the mornings I would walk my children to school with tears rolling down my cheeks that they would silently wipe away. In the evenings I was present but so consumed with pain that I wasn’t able to fully interact. I can’t remember much of this period. I remember though that my head just wasn’t able to work properly, my whole body was consumed by the mental illness and there was little room for the usual day to day.
Now that we’re in lockdown I can see some similarities, I’m not in one of those deep bouts of depression and my mind is functioning but there are many similarities....
1. Confined to the house, only go out for essentials
2. There is no socialising face to face
3. Counsellor appointments (now by phone call) are a lifeline
4. Days are reduced to basic tasks
5. More time is spent sitting in the garden or in front of the TV
6. Doing basic craft tasks or colouring to keep my hands busy
7. There is an underlying anxiety to every day
8. When will this end?
9. Mindfulness and breathing techniques keep us calm and in the present
10. Going out for a walk is hugely beneficial
11. There are worries that can’t be explained
12. People send kind words and thoughts
13. What day is it?!
14. Sleeping more
15. It’s the basics that have come to the fore....eat, drink, sleep
16. Demands from the outside world diminish
17. There are many emotions that can be hard to interpret
18. Underlying fear of mortality
19. The world is still outside the front door
20. Family and friends are precious
To anyone who is on their own through this time and struggling through a bout of debilitating depression, sending you lots of love and strength and please know that this will all pass.
A Moodscope member.