Previous Post: Rocky Road
She’s a tough road when you are trying to fight depression and it was even harder for me because I couldn’t even put my shoes on and tie my bloody laces. Being back in Auckland was going to be difficult because I was about to spend a lot time telling my story over and over. It had to be done but it took its toll on me because every time I told it I slipped further back down that damn black hole. It was like picking scabs and uncovering the sore that was festering away in my brain with all hope oozing out and dehydrating my brain to the size of a walnut. My brain is no bigger than a walnut anyway…but thats beside the point !!
We flew into Auckland on the Friday morning for my daughter’s wedding on the Saturday. Before that I met my best mate who was flying in from Australia with his family. He was an ex-policeman who had his own personal feelings about what I should do in the Police and that was to get out of it. Its not a journey I want to take. I had known him and his wife for years so they had a good idea what made me tick and he knew as soon as he saw me, that I had no tock. I looked like crap and felt just as bad.
I spent my daughter’s wedding trying to mask the torment that was going through my head as I met friends and relatives that had known me for years. I was 10kg lighter, had eyes like piss-holes in the snow and a tongue that got tied in knots when they asked me how I was feeling. I can’t lie to save myself and my eyes and face told a story that was in total contradiction to what was coming out of my mouth. It drained me completely and my only solace was the booze that I was paying for….!! I got home that night and found a message from Waitemata Mental Health…I was surprised that the referral from Wellington had come through so quick but I was pleased because I was finding myself isolated. Sounds strange but it’s what happens when you break your brain…your world exists in your head and it doesn’t matter how much you love your family or friends they are strangers for months.
On the Sunday after the wedding I received my first call from Waitemata Mental Health. I remember him introducing himself and asking me if I had any thoughts of suicide. That was to become a familiar phrase over the next few weeks…I gave him the answer he wanted to hear…..No!! We made polite conversation about the wedding and then made arrangements to attend the clinic and talk about the events that had occurred a few days before. I was chomping at the bit to get myself to the clinic as I felt that it would be a sanctuary for me, a place where I would be surrounded by people who understood what I was going through and who could offer me solutions. I was wrong…but its what I believed at the time…..I found out that solutions were miles away and something that no one else could help me with.
My first few days back at home were really difficult for me and especially for Katrina. I was incapable of doing anything and in complete shock as the reality took hold after the events of the wedding. I now had the time to slowly digest the enormity of my actions and its impact on my life and my career. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees as nothing else mattered except me and my problems. I was an utter prick for weeks as I wrapped myself in my own self-pity and worked over-time trying to gather some sense of what had happened.
I’d wake up in the morning with my head feeling like a lump of lead. Sleep had given me some rest from my thoughts and for a split second when I woke I saw a semblance of light before those dark negative thoughts swamped my head like a plague infecting every last piece of hope I had left.
I would fall into a state of depression that rendered me useless and even the smallest question would have me grappling for some form of control so that I could answer without losing my temper. I remember lying in bed with my head hurting and me thinking about everything dark. Katrina would be getting ready for work and she would ask me if I wanted a coffee…it was like 20 questions to me…I couldn’t make a decision as my mind grappled with itself and tried to wander off its darkened path to consider the question she was asking me. I remember one morning Katrina asked me if I wanted a couple of boiled eggs for breakfast. A couple of boiled eggs…..that was two decisions I had to make…do I want eggs and do I want one or two eggs. It was utter chaos for me as I lay nailed to my bed trying to think of something normal, something my thoughts could latch onto and drag me into the world of real people. I lashed out in anger, telling her I couldn’t handle so many questions in the morning, I couldn’t handle questions at anytime of the day to be honest and that was to be my state of mind for weeks.
So for those first few weeks I battled to get some sort of routine into my life. I concentrated on the simple things such as having a wash, shave and eating breakfast. It was pathetic but it was all I could manage. I couldn’t make a decision about what to do as hobbies, reading, exercise all became enemies. I couldn’t handle taking phone calls or talking to anyone as I did everything in my armoury to avoid those difficult conversations. I avoided doing anything that would require me to make decisions. Visits to DIY stores, supermarkets and shops of any kind were hell as the plethora of decisions flooded my head. To say it was like being a kid in a lolly store was a discredit to the kid. Kids knew what they wanted, they wanted everything….me…I had no idea what I wanted because I couldn’t make a decision. I had been castrated at the neck with everything above it out-of-order for weeks.
It’s hard to describe what I went through and give it any depth… I was totally oblivious to what was happening around me. People would be talking to me but I wouldn’t be listening. I was there physically but mentally I was playing pass the parcel with my thoughts and taking no notice of what they were saying to me. When someone asked me something my eyes rolled around like a kaleidoscope as I delayed my response in an effort to try to work out what they had said to me. It was tiring and I didn’t want to be around anyone. I wanted to shut the door, turn the light off and be in my dark place where I didn’t have to face, do or say anything….I just wanted to close my eyes.
As I struggled to get to grips with my pathetic daily routine it became very obvious to everyone, Mental Health included, that I wasn’t coping with normal everyday life. Even my world within four walls was too much to handle as I struggled to cope with everything that was going on around me…what to wear ?… wash or shower ?..what to eat?….it was pathetic, but for me it was real and I was going mad. I remember being on the phone to my support person….they wanted me to make the decision but I was all over the place….what do you think I should do I said ? Two hours later I was sitting in a room, on my own and in respite care…I was a jibbering wreck !!! (See Ouch Finally)