It’s been a strange few weeks. I’ve been carrying on through life as usual but it’s been quite hazy.
I’ve slumped back into a bit of a hole, which isn’t great, but have fortunately had the presence of mind to get help. My nice Scottish GP has upped my meds and I’m seeing a counsellor for the first time in years this week, and hopefully we click. I’ve felt in a fog for the last few weeks, even though I can identify that life is good. I guess I’m glad I know myself well enough to take action before things get terrible, but mum has been concerned because she says I’ve been looking lately like I did when I first was diagnosed with depression. I had to trawl back through these writings to find out how long it was since I was first diagnosed – turns out it’s been around 13 years. I find it hard to remember dates and time periods, so in some ways a blog is helpful for that. I guess I don’t have to make it public, I could just put it in a diary, but as I’ve said many times, I do it in the hope that it might help someone who’s reading who might also be struggling, or give insight to healthy people into what it’s like to live with mental illness, or…I don’t know. To feel less isolated about it maybe? To help people understand where I’m at without having to ask? Some latent narcissism? Something to do with being a writer and my story not counting unless it’s been witnessed? All these things I guess.
Some fun things have happened in the past few weeks too, amidst the fog. I went down to Hobart with my Symphonic Band chums to play a concert, which was most enjoyable, though quite tiring. I was glad I didn’t have to drive, because I rarely get the chance to watch the scenery go by as I’m usually the one behind the wheel. Great to hang out with the flute section too, and we’ve decided to get together on an irregular basis to learn some flute quartet repertoire and just enjoy playing together.
Mum and I went down to Melbourne the weekend after that to see Muriel’s Wedding, which was fantastic. I haven’t been able to stop listening to the soundtrack since. We stayed at the fun Ovolo Laneways, and wandered around eating great food and just soaking up being in a city. It’s nice to get that buzz, but equally nice to return home to the quiet hills.
I’ve been struggling with my abilities and my confidence, especially when it comes to my graphic design output. I probably need to have a proper holiday and spend it going to galleries and reading beautiful books and filling up that creative well, because it feels bone dry at the moment. I feel like I’ve been churning out stuff non stop for the last couple of years, but it’s definitely ramped up in recent months and I haven’t been reinvesting in my own creative wellbeing.
Mostly I’ve just been really, really tired. I’ve had to stop doing things I really want to do, because I just don’t have the energy. I have to come home from work and nap every day, and really struggle if I have to go straight into something from work. I basically slept the entire weekend just past, apart from getting up and leading music at church on Sunday morning. Someone asked how I was and when I told her, she said she would have had no idea to look at me that I was struggling with this stuff. I said, “well that’s the thing. I’m a performer. I can perform like everything’s fine for a given period of time, and then I crash and mum’s probably the only one who ever sees what it’s really like.” I guess that’s also why I write, to remind you, dear reader, that just because someone looks fine, doesn’t mean they are.
So just be kind to people. And be kind to yourself if you’re struggling. And I’ll try to remember to do the same.