Last night, I wrote a post about depression. I wasn’t feeling depressed. Today, I wake up not only with the usual pain everywhere from the fibro, but also with the Big D doing its tsunami thing and threatening to swallow me whole.
I HATE feeling depressed. I was trying to explain how much I hate it, tears pouring down my face, to my in-laws on Monday when they popped over for a visit.
“I like it when I’m HAPPY,” I wailed desperately. “I really, really hate this! My default setting is happy! I’m a normally happy person!” Sob sob, bawl bawl.
My mother-in-law just stared at me.
“Are you?” she said, somewhat incredulously.
I suppose, given the circs, that was understandable, but really? Has she forgotten all the times I’ve had everyone pissing themselves laughing at my latest tale of ridiculous things that happen to me because of fibro or breast cancer? Does an episode of tears wash away all memories of laughter generated by the cryer? Apparently so!
“Contrary to today’s appearance, YES!” I retorted.
And dammit, she really should be able to empathise here, because she also suffers from depression. I suspect she has a degree of fibro, because she also has the raging insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns that are common with the F Word. When I was first diagnosed with fibro, the rheumatologist said that in one particular study, they the subjects were deprived of sleep for three days – every time they entered Deep Sleep, which is Stage 4 sleep, the stuff you need to get enough of for your body to make repairs, keep everything well-maintained, and gain the feeling of being re-energised upon waking naturally, they were woken up. They were allowed to stay asleep through the other stages of sleep, it was only the Deep Sleep Stage 4 stuff that was interrupted.
After three days, every single one of those subjects was exhibiting all the recognised symptoms of fibro. The musculoskeletal pain, the exhaustion, the excruciating tender points, and, of course, the depression. So, lack of refreshing sleep, whether fibro related or not, makes everyone feel awful both physically and mentally.
Probably why sleep deprivation was (is?) such a popular and effective method of torture.
Anyway. Lately my depression has been especially rotten. Black. Dark. Oppressive. Miserable. Debilitating. Paralysing. Making me cry a lot, and at the tiniest, smallest most insignificant things. I can be sitting there talking to my lovely, wonderful, amazing, beautiful man (who absolutely does not deserve to be lumbered with such a miserable cow for a partner, poor sod) about something that I KNOW I am really, honestly not that bothered by, and I’ll be bawling my face off, saying, “Honestly, I know I’m crying, but I’m genuinely not bothered that Corrie has been replaced by football tonight, or that the next door neighbours told you you’d put the wrong bin out, I couldn’t care less. It’s just that I can’t stop cr-cr-cr-cry-iiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnggggggg.”
I’m SO lucky to have him. He knows from my face, even without the waterworks, when I’m feeling like this, and he will always ask what’s wrong. And sometimes, just like everyone else on this planet, I AM upset by a particular thing. But mostly, it’s the fibro depression, and my response is usually a wailing “I don’t KNOW!” Or “Hormones?” Or “Fucking fibro!”
Whilst I have this awesome ability to be depressed for no logical reason whatsoever, when I AM depressed, it’s like someone’s ripped off my outer layer of skin. I am raw. I feel everything intensely. Any emotional sturdiness is destroyed, gone, kaput. Adverts reduce me to tears, ffs! And forget about watching nature programmes. I cannot watch as the narrator is explaining that the lost leopard cub is going to die from starvation unless he is found by his mother, or that the baby elephant born with a deformed leg is going to be left behind and then eaten by a lion, I just can’t. Even good old Gogglebox let me down recently. I dunno what happened, whether they gave someone else content control for a couple of weeks, but there was a hideous piece about domestic pets being stolen and slaughtered for food somewhere in Asia. They showed an open-sided lorry with bars retaining the contents, and these poor dogs were literally thrown into this space, all on top of each other, all jumbled up, and there was one little dog with his face turned towards the camera, still wagging his tail, looking very bewildered but still trying to please…..it broke my heart. I can’t get the image out of my head. Gogglebox is supposed to be funny. It’s one of our favourite programmes, and usually has us cracking up at the antics and opinions of the families being filmed while they’re watching TV programmes. Thankfully, it’s gone back to its usual more lighthearted format, but those dogs will stay with me forever. I’m starting to cry again now, just writing about it.
But I digress.
So today is clearly a Cottage Cheese Day. Ben, my lovely man, went to Tesco this morning and returned armed with my precious cottage cheese, and I am currently sitting in bed, blogging on my iPad, and working my way through a 300g tub of the stuff. How lucky I am to have such a brilliant partner. He works from home, which often leaves me feeling lonely because it isn’t the sort of work he can easily take a break from during the day and early evening (he works ridiculous hours just so he can take care of us), but today he came upstairs to give me a kiss and sit in bed for a little while with me, just to be a comfort while I’m doing my impression of pathetic. Just because he loves me. And even that makes me cry! Aarrrrgggghhhhhhh!
I was supposed to DO things today, to write a couple of letters, make some phone calls, do some emails, sort out some household bits and bobs, and all I’ve done is sleep, lie in bed, and cry. Yes, I can sleep and cry simultaneously!
What a girl!
What a talent!
I think it might be time to break out the Rhodiola, a herb with great anti-d effects, and the Dopa Mucuna, another herb. Dopa increases dopamine production, another one of our happy hormones. I’ll write more about them another time, because I’m sailing too close to the winds of self-pity here, and I don’t want to do that.
Now where’s the rest of that cottage cheese……….