Previous Post: What Routine ?
As I sit here and write this post I start to wonder where I have gone wrong over the last few months. I’m trending upwards but the road has been a lot slower than I had anticipated and it has made me realise that I must have been in a really bad state…far worst than in 1999 (1999). I look back at what happened in 1999 as “an episode” of stress, and possibly “an episode” of depression….I’m not sure if I was depressed as I seemed to recover a lot quicker…..thats my perspective now, but in reality I don’t know if I did. What I do know about 1999 is that I was a lot more pro-active in trying to get back to what I considered normality. What do I mean by proactive?…..well, I did those things that everyone tells you to do when you are stressed…..exercise, hobbies, sport and family time…..all those things we enjoy in life….all those things that make us feel good about ourselves. In 1999 they were at the forefront of my mind as I used my time to the “max” in an effort to fix my wayward head…… What happened this time?….nothing…to this day I have done nothing and am still trying to get some traction on it so that I can move forward.
When I came out of respite I was depressed, I was a blithering idiot who couldn’t see the wood for the trees. My confidence had been shattered and I found my anxiety levels would rise whenever we went anywhere or I had to face anyone. Nothing went well as I struggled to put a rational perspective into anything that was happening in my life. I was intent on concentrating on the thoughts that pummelled my head…they were all negative and I had no self esteem and no confidence in anything I did as I kept rolling things over in my head until I felt dizzy.
My head controlled everything…it was like having a tourniquet strapped around my throat, keeping everything tightly packed inside my head. It prevented anything rational from pumping its way down into my heart and putting some perspective into my life and allowing me to concentrate on the things that I loved….Family, Friends, Myself and my Pastimes. I was a psychological jigsaw and my brain had shattered into thousands of pieces and all I concentrated on were the “blue” ones. I couldn’t find those bloody corners….those corners that gave me a starting point so that I could get some structure back into my life. I kept picking up the pieces of my life, looking at them and having no idea where they fitted. I got frustrated at not being able to find those pieces that helped create a foundation for my recovery and as a result I spent those months after respite care trying to find those corners because until I did I wasn’t going anywhere.
Previously when I found myself getting down I was able to slide into a good space and make those choices about what was important and what made me feel good. They always say that when you feel stressed or depressed that the first thing that vacates you is all those things you do for yourself. What are they?…..they are exercise, healthy eating, family and those things you like to do that take you away from the stresses of your life.
So how was it for me after those months from my pill taking ?….well I couldn’t do anything because it was as if all those things had been been butchered from my brain. For the first couple of months they were non-existent and I never took advantage of the wealth of time I had at my disposal. I use to take a couple of hours to wake up and get moving and then once I did I couldn’t make a decision about what to do. It use to send me into a spin and I ended up lying flaked out on the couch and watching trivial TV and completely wasting the opportunity to turn my life around.
On occasion’s I would flirt with doing those things I enjoyed but I found myself sliding back down as things that raised my stress levels saturated me with insecurity and trepidation to the point where I’d slip back down to where I wanted to be. I sometimes wonder whether I wanted to stay depressed during those few months because I thought that I was stronger than that and I would just recover. I thought that I would’ve bounced back a lot quicker and use the support that was offered to me. I didn’t and it resulted in my return to work being a lot more traumatic than I expected.
Its four months of my life that I will never get back and in reality that time off did nothing for me and never prepared me for returning back to police work. I packed on weight, drank more and totally forgot about the people around me. Work was now on my horizon and really I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t got on top of my head, I hadn’t got on top of my health….and if I was honest with myself I wasn’t on top of anything except my own self pity……my head was still a jigsaw and and in my mind I had blown it all sky high.