You may not even have noticed, but I haven’t written a blog for two weeks. What? What kind of tardy operation is this?! Yep. And I didn’t rope in a guest-blogger to fill in for my apathy either. I know. It’s terrible. But I didn’t have anything to say. Or at least, I didn’t have anything I felt able to share. There is a song by 90’s Brit-pop band, ‘Blur’ called, ‘This is a Low’ that I’m rather partial to – hence the title of this blog (I name a lot of blogs after song titles – you may or may not have picked up on that). Anyway, the lyrics to the chorus of this song go, ‘This is a low, but it won’t hurt you’. Well, I guess I’ve been having a bit of a low. And I think it did hurt me. A bit, anyway.
I’ve never considered myself as somebody who suffered with any kind of depression or anxiety. I had the odd off day but on the whole I wear a bright and sunny disposition at all times. But when I suffered from bereavement four and a half years ago (here she goes again), I think, looking back, something inside me changed a little. My glass was previously half full, but now it is half empty. I and the people I loved were once impervious, bullet-proof – but four and a half years ago I realised that wasn’t true. I remember thinking at the time, well – at least nothing worse than this can ever happen and nothing trivial will ever bother me again. But it turned out that the opposite was the case. Everything has to run perfectly. If it doesn’t, if there is a single setback, I can be thrown off into one of these black moods.
And this is what I want to talk about; the black moods. Because that’s where I’ve been the last couple of weeks – stuck in one of those. People around me probably wouldn’t have noticed because I can paint on a clown face better than anyone – I am world class at gallows humour and laughing when I don’t really feel like it. And I still maintain I don’t suffer from anxiety or depression in the true sense of the words because these periods are thankfully brief; I just fall into these dark places sometimes. They can be triggered by the smallest of things but once I am in one, everything is wrong. I am wrong. I am too fat. I am unlikeable. I am letting my family down. I am going nowhere. My writing career will never come to anything. I’m not talented, or special or different or significant or anything worth mention at all. But after only a few days or at the most a couple of weeks, the fog will lift and I am back on form. The arrogant, self-assured girl you all know and love. Boom!
I guess I’m lucky – these little potholes are not too deep and I can always get out. Some people can’t. Some people live like this. I think about the possibility of counselling sometimes but the thought of having any form of therapy makes me want to throw up. The thing that is wrong cannot be changed. The person who died will never come back. And so I think to myself, that road isn’t open to me. That’s terrible, I’m a medical professional and I ought to be extolling the virtues of counselling. But I personally don’t think I could do it. I’m a bit of a closed shop when it comes to emotions and I couldn’t think of opening up to a stranger when I can’t even open up to friends and family. Some people say that the very fact that the therapist is a stranger makes it easier, you’re free to show weakness when normally you feel forced to wear a strong front. I did put feelers out looking into a local bereavement group. I thought I might possibly be able to stomach sitting in a group of people (rather than one-to-one) where I didn’t feel I had to speak unless I wanted to. But it turned out the group was more of a coffee-morning bang in the middle of the day when I’m at work. Perhaps it was just a group for elderly bereaved people who have lost a spouse and have more free time in the day than I do. But young people lose loved-ones too. I even looked into seeing a medium once. Stupid, I know – they’re probably all charlatans but I was at a bit of a low ebb at the time. And every local medium was booked up until infinity. Seriously. I guess there are a lot of people like me out there needing to make contact with others that have passed away. Because if I’m honest, I feel that would be the only thing that would help. To know my loved-one is still there. Please, I beg of you, don’t spout Christianity at me at this point. I have lost my faith and it will either come back or it won’t.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that this mood coincided with me being on a very low carb diet. I know for a fact carbs make me incredibly happy; me and bread, we’re like, ‘besties‘. So imagine having that bestie taken away for an indeterminate period of time! And maybe I can’t promise to be here every week – but don’t assume the worst. I may just have something super exciting to do or simply can’t be arsed. Those are FAR more likely reasons for my absence. And two weeks off is no biggie, is it? But back to the song, ‘This is a Low’ (you ought to listen to it, it’s lovely). Blur might just have been talking about weather fronts, I don’t really know, but it seemed apt for the way I’ve been feeling for the last couple of weeks. There will be lows and highs and I just have to deal with them (don’t worry, I found a ladder and I’m out of this most recent hole now. Whoopee!). And physically, no it didn’t hurt me. But the emotional scars are still there – I’m still dealing with those and I’m doing it in the best way I know how right now. Cheery little buggar, aren’t I?