Ain’t no cure for the Summertime Blues

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I’ve enjoyed the summer – it was a Tuesday if I remember correctly. If only that were a joke. Perhaps it’s these constant dark clouds outside the house that are causing the parallel ones in my head.

I’m struggling at the moment, just can’t get out the trenches just now regardless of the sun (when it does shine) or anything else. I’m more than aware that those without the luxury of six weeks off will be rolling their eyes at me moaning about the holidays I have, but the illness doesn’t care about timing – it doesn’t care at all.

The head of the manic-depressive is a difficult place to live at the best of times but there is an extra level of absurdity when you are relaxed, on holiday, decentish weather and surrounded by friends and family. In the middle of dark days and wintry weather I think people have more sympathy, but at this point in the calendar there is less understanding for bipolar and depression.

Even I ask the question “What have you got to be miserable about?” on days like this. Problem is I don’t have an answer for it. It’s been about a week I’ve been in the basement of emotions looking up the stairs at normality – if that even exists – and I’m fed up feeling this way. You know it’s happening, you take the medication and you know it will pass as it always does, but that doesn’t make it any easier to live with.

It’s funny because when I was last in teaching this was the usual time I got a bout of depression. I used to be able to set my watch by the misery. Each November, February, May and August there would be two to three weeks of the “Black Dog” with occasional visits of it and the Manic counterpart in the intervening months. The first three – November, February and May are all pinch points in the school year where the pressure steps up  – but I never understood the August one and I wonder if this is me getting back into a fixed pattern again. I’ll be able to tell you come November I suppose.

The feeling I am going through is like some kind of lethargic grief. I just can’t be bothered with anything – or anyone – but at the same time there is a mournful melancholy hanging around as if I’ve just lost someone and I’m teetering on the brink of tears. I just want to disappear for a few days, vanish into the ether and come back when it’s all over. If there was an option for that it’d be overbooked I’m sure.

Two weeks of the holidays left so I better get out there and do something with my time. I’ve painted, built, tidied and organised the outside areas of the house maybe it’s time to take a well-earned break and relax for a week or so before it’s back to the chalk face. Fingers crossed the darkness lifts soon so I can enjoy my remaining days off.

JD

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