Maybe it’s the depression, maybe it’s a reflection of my life as it is, maybe they both feed off one another, but I seem to spend much of my time feeling as though I’m going nowhere, fast.
During the bad patches, I’m simply fighting for my survival and am beyond caring about anything. The rare good moments are another time when such philosophical thoughts are immaterial, as feeling good feels so good that nothing else matters.
But the rest of the time, when I’m somewhere around the “ok” mark: that’s when it hits me. I don’t have anything meaningful in my life, I’m simply drifting with no idea of where I’m going or any control over how or when I’ll get there.
On an ordinary day, I wake up at any time from five o’clock onwards. I put the dogs out, make a coffee, and take it back to bed with a book.
During the course of the morning, I make several more coffees, dividing my time between reading, watch a DVD on my laptop and simply lying in bed, feeling like crap. I try to force myself to get up before midday but sometimes it’s early afternoon before I get dressed.
The thought of starting the day paralyses me, so even though I tell myself to get up, I often have to promise myself that I can go to the loo, make another coffee and then get back into bed: that I don’t have to get up. Otherwise, I just lie there, trapped by my own brain chemicals.
Once I’m eventually up and dressed, I force myself to make the bed (so that I can’t get back into it) and then take the dogs for a walk. We weave in and out of the rows and rows of apple trees in the orchard, so that we’re out for half an hour or more. Then it’s back inside, open the post, make another coffee and settle down on the sofa with the laptop and a DVD. At some point, I make lunch (I generally have breakfast but not always), then it’s time to walk the dogs again, watch another DVD and then take the dogs out for their final walk at sunset.
Once we’re back inside, I close the curtains and ponder the options for dinner, watch yet another DVD, feed the dogs at around nine, do the washing up and put the dogs out for the last time from ten onwards. Then it’s back to bed with my book and the radio until I fall asleep. I may or may not wake up once, twice, half a dozen times during the night.
And then the sun rises and my day begins all over again.
And that is also why I find it so hard to get up in the morning: because once I’m up, the day has officially begun and I prefer to delay the prospect of doing nothing for as long as possible.
Every so often, I get to break up the monotony with laundry or cleaning or a bath but it’s generally one long drudge after another. And as each empty day goes by, so the minutes get longer and each hour takes an eternity to pass.
I’m almost at the point where I welcome the periods of agony and misery and self-loathing as whether I’m self-harming or curled up in a ball, time stands still. In fact, I step outside time. If I’m lucky, I step out of myself and am released from feeling anything at all.
The worst thing isn’t how I feel, it’s the fact that I’m so powerless to change it. I need something that gets me out of the house but I can’t afford to go shopping every day or go to a café or the cinema or whatever, but neither am I ready to take on a job or even a voluntary role. Apart from the terror that fills me at the very thought, I’m unreliable. My mood and state of mind is as variable as the weather and the smallest thing can plunge me into despair.
So I sit here and watch the world pass me by and as each day drags into another, so I feel more and more disconnected from it and the people on it.
I’m hoping that once I finally get broadband installed, I’ll be able to reconnect with my friends and the big wide world. Facebook chat, message boards, emails: they’re all things that will not only pass the time, but will allow me to engage in human contact, no matter what my mood.