Darkness inside and out



The forgetfulness and confusion I have been living with this last week or so have headed in a downward direction. Part of me hoped for the fun and silliness of a manic phase but instead I am in the arms of a depressive hug.

There is also the issue of the weather outside being dark and miserable doesn’t help either. We are already driving home from work in the dark and it’s only another wee while until the mornings follow suit. Up until today the weather had been unseasonably bright and sunny  – even warm – but the grey clouds on top of living in the grey Granite City make you miserable whether you have a mental illness or not.

The horrible false light from strip lighting in offices with that strange yellowy hue is more obvious when it’s so dark outside. The beams fall on you like a blanket of misery, lighting things up in such an artificial and headache inducing way. The fact that I’d rather be curled up at home on the settee with minimal lights on – or even in bed with just the bed side lamp – is a major indicator of my current mood and place on the manic-depressive scale.

The thing I loathe most about the illness is the way it affects my brain. I am someone who needs ideas, creativity and a mental stimulation to keep him going, but the missing chemicals mean I can’t grasp these things in the usual way. I’ve often equated it to a set of bookshelves and the depression pulls out volumes and leaves them lying around rather than on the shelf where you can find it and retrieve the info. You know the information is there but your just not able to find it in the mess.

I’m forgetting names, things I’m supposed to be doing, where I left things, and – the thing that so often marks my mind as muddled – I can’t find anything in my office. Stuff everywhere and no compulsion to tidy it either. Yes I’d like it tidy, but I can’t face doing it at the moment. The sign of me coming out of the funk is that I will tidy and get annoyed with myself for letting it get such a state in the first place. hopefully this is sooner rather than later.

It is a difficult thing to explain to other people – it could be described as a fog of the mind; that feeling when you wake up in a strange bed and can’t place where you are; a hangover that just lives in your head – right at the front pulsing away; like being in a room with the lights off – it doesn’t really matter how you try to explain it as everyone experiences it differently. All I know is that I hate it and am really struggling with basic things just now.

You have to make lists to ensure you are covering everything you need to and double/triple check things. You stare at things knowing you are supposed to be interacting with them – like computers – but you’re damned if you can remember what you were going to be doing. I wonder if this is what dementia feels like? If it is I’ll take a blue pill at the onset of that and disappear.

The upside is you know you will eventually come out the other side of the depression, but there’s no fixed timelines of guides on how to cope and when to expect that break in the clouds. That’s the hardest part – not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Well, life is never dull…just occasionally bloody miserable.


One thought on “Darkness inside and out

  1. Hang in there John! I know you don’t know me but I have some idea of what you are describing.It’s horrible I know and I really hope this phase will be short for you and your lovely family.So hand in my lovely hang in xxx

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