I must preface this little bloggy post by saying that although I have The Depression, or The Melancholy as I prefer to term my affliction, it is mild and it does not come with the desire to top myself! I am not lying to divert your attention while I play with a sharp pair of scissors or a bottle of pharmaceuticals. I have a mild dose of the depression, which means that although I feel crap most of the time, I do know that things will get better and, therefore, have no wish to prematurely end it all. Besides, what kind of Aunt would that make me? A dreadful example that kind of behaviour would be to the Four Greatest Persons in My Universe!
But one of the reasons depression sucks, is that while you may know what you have to do to make yourself feel less crap and able to cope with what you need to do, The Melancholy stifles your enthusiasm and motivation and so the Happy Ending just remains fixed ‘over there’ in a seemingly unreachable future time.
I want/crave/desire/need to be back in London. To achieve that ultimate goal, I have to get my thesis finished. All sounds fairly simple, right?
However, here is the little problem made a BIG problem by The Depression. Every problem, no matter how little, seems insurmountable and impossible when one is afflicted with The Depression. My current state of apathy and unproductivity is a direct result of a course of never-ending little problems wearing down my spirits and rendering me unable to leave the comfort and quietness of my bed.
As some of you will know, a few years ago I had a little hissy fit, gave up my scholarship, which allowed me to focus full-time and undisturbed on the thesis, and I hot-footed it back to London. Just over two years later, I came to my senses, ended my Second Sojourn in London, came back to Perth and resumed working on my thesis.
Unfortunately, I was not eligible to apply for a scholarship again, fair enough, so I had to find part-time employment to support myself and pay the meagre board my Mum asks for in return for my occupation of The Guest Room of the Elliott Family Estate. (A meagre board which causes a fight every fortnight because Mum tries to give back some of it and I insist that she takes it all.)
So the depression set in some time after my return to Perth, which I guessed it would because as lovely as Perth is, living here does not agree with me. I got straight onto my fabulous GP for the anti-d’s. I signed up to see the counsellor at uni.
But 3 years down the track, I find my progress impeded by my continued depressed spirits.
I can just manage to get myself out of bed to come in for my shifts at the part-time job.
On the days when I don’t have to get up for my shifts at the part-time job, well, lately, I have not been able to get out of bed at all, unless the bladder is wanting attention.
And for the past 18 months, the part-time job, which I am grateful for because some people cannot get work at all, but… For the past 18 months or so, the part-time job has been more of a full-time concern and this has been depressing the spirits even more and causing me to feel much resentment.
And I had an ‘Out’ for this depressing cycle, but do you think I have spent September and October working hard to make sure this ‘Out’ was possible?
No, I have spent the best part of September and October in bed with my iPad 2 watching and playing stuff upon it and consuming large quantities of self-prescribed anti-depressants in the form of:
As you can see, Perth does not do good things for Lisa’s figure. It is a far cry from my London Days where I was enjoying life and being a Good Points Gal. (Weight Watchers lingo for those lucky beings who do not have to be in the know about such things.)
So why have I not just ‘got on with it’ and done what I needed to do to get myself into the position where this ‘Out’ was a possibility. Because when one is afflicted with The Depression, or The Melancholy, it is very difficult to maintain a positive frame of mind when every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, for example, one struggles out of bed, spends one’s drive to work building up the Happy, Positive Frame of Mind, only to have this fragile state stamped upon within minutes of sitting one’s self down at the computer. It is actually starting to get rather amusing, (in that ‘painful and wish I was still in bed’ kind of way), because try as I may to boost those spirits and start my day off with, and maintain!, the right attitude, every single shift at what I am now terming The Hell Hole, brings up some shite that crashes the fragile spirits into dust and sends one scurrying back home to one’s bed, after stopping at IGA for chocolate and cereal supplies. (Ooh, or baguettes from the new French bakery for a scoffing luncheon of warmed baguette with butter and vegemite. Yum. Probably slightly less damaging to one’s expanding waist line than chocolate and kiddie cereals.)
So you see why I think depression sucks? I have made some sense? It is a nasty little mental battle that one struggles to win. I know that I will win one day. I am destined to be Lisa the Conqueror. I just wish that time for the turn-around was now. But how do I spark the turn-around? I need to summon the enthusiasm and energy for it. How do I do that? When will I be able to conquer the malaise of my brain?
I will get myself sorted and be in a position to make the ‘Out’ possible in February. (The possible ‘Out’ comes about every four months.) I will get my thesis finished. I will get my thesis accepted by Ashgate for publication. I will get another couple of articles written and accepted for publication. I will be a useful help-meet to the Best Supervisor in the Universe next year. I will get in the right mind-set so that I can, once again, be a Good Points Gal like my Good Points Gal heroine, Liz.
And most importantly, I will be getting on a plane to commence my Third, and Permanent, Sojourn in London on Monday 1oth December 2012, arriving exactly four years to the day at the end of my Second Sojourn.