Sometimes I forget that depression actually has an impact on your life, even when you’re on medication. Winston Churchill famously called it his ‘black dog’; I think it’s more like a cat. You own it, it’s yours, but sometimes it’s not really around, it just bops about, prowls the neighbourhood and lets you get on with your day, only popping back through the flap for food and maybe a nap on your keyboard when you’re trying to type. But sometimes it wants all of your attention, it rubs against your legs, sinks claws into your clothes and leaves hair on everything you own. It howls at night and impatiently prods you awake in the morning. Sometimes it hisses at guests or demands so much of your energy that you can’t bring yourself to go out.
I’ll admit, I’ve never owned a cat. But I do have depression, and it’s really starting to piss me off.
I mentioned in my first blog post that I’d been suffering again for a few months and I’d finally asked for help. The pills are excellent, but they’re not miracle workers. I need to get better at recognising when I need to do something extra to keep myself on an even keel.
I just spent the last week in Cardiff, which is where I did my undergrad and MA. I ran the creative writing group that I started and did the final edit of a short story I’ve been working on. I caught up with mates and dressed in drag for a house party. I laughed. I haven’t done that in ages.
For the last few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit unmotivated. I’ve been struggling to just crack on with my work. I’ve been avoiding the gym and making up excuses not to go out. I thought I was just being lazy. Turns out there was a cat sinking its claws into my face. As soon as you acknowledge it you can peel it off and encourage it to sod off to somewhere less infuriating.
Yesterday I got back to Sheffield, I rearranged my room (again), bought another desk from gumtree to add onto the end of mine, giving me more space to explode my thoughts over and organised my paperwork into piles. Today I installed curtain hold-backs so I get more light in my room, read one of my thesis novels and got 6 new piercings in my ears.
I’m going to commit to reading my way through my long list of thesis narratives and hope that it helps secure the theory that I’ve been reading for the last 6 months into something more chapter-shaped.
I’m going to have to apologise to my supervisors for not sending the work I promised and hopefully try and attack it at some point this week.
Gym sessions: 0
Narratives read: 1
New piercings: 6