“Flying High and Falling Low”

Written at 19:00 on 30th April 2016

Saturday morning, 3 day weekend, sun shining outside…this should be a cause of positivity, enthusiasm, and a generally relaxed and happy vibe. So why was it that I sat for at least an hour at the table just staring at the walls, thoughts bumping around in my mind, my heart racing, my body racked with exhaustion, and my nerves shattered? Of course, the first question you may (quite rightly) ask is, ‘why on earth didn’t you just get out of the flat and do something to take your mind off things’. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. The biggest need becomes the biggest fear and an insurmountable mountain. The ‘bubble’ (in this case the flat) becomes a safety net, one in which you don’t willingly want to exit from. In the afternoon I went out to try and do the exact thing that the aforementioned advice recommends, but even a short trip to the shops left me yearning for the protective environment of my living room. I tried…and failed. The mountain loomed too high, and I was stuck at base camp.

A significant effect of depression and anxiety is a feeling of lethargy and complete lack of enthusiasm. The idea of going out to the cinema, the park or the shops doesn’t offer any sense of pleasure, and sadly reiterates how this illness removes any measure of enjoyment or satisfaction from the things in life that should make it all worthwhile. Upcoming events, trips or activities that I have arranged and paid for are causing that initial prickly feeling of anxiety and fearful worry, to the extent that I’m already starting to talk myself out of doing them, assuring myself that I can afford to lose the money, and convincing myself that ‘its for the best’ as I can remain in my bubble, my safety net. This has been the story of the last 15 years or so.

Fast forward to Saturday evening and I’m sat back at the table (this time accompanied by music to try and break the silence), having cancelled plans for the evening yet again, and possibly burnt more bridges, and the feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, sadness and a massive perception of weakness aimed at myself come crashing down. All I want to do is sleep…and have a break from the thoughts, a respite, and much needed rest, but I know that the ‘black dog’ isn’t kind, and will instead serve me up another restless and sleepless night. Sometimes I tell myself that being in my own ‘bubble’ is necessary because without surrounding myself with others, I can block out the existence of people engaging in all the things I yearn for: loving, being loved, exploring, hoping, laughing, crying, living out their dreams on a daily basis. The pain I feel when perceiving people carrying out these basic of human actions and behaviours leads to such heartache, as I want so desperately to be part of it. I’m not naïve or insensitive enough to suggest that everyone is happy, as of course there is much suffering out there, and everyone has their demons, and can fall into a routine of monotony. But I crave to be able to break free, to throw of the shackles holding me back, and not look back in 50 years and realise that I allowed my depression to define my life.

I’m not trying to be overly melodramatic, or fishing for any sympathy (as I don’t deserve any), I’m simply expressing the facts of what is going on inside my head, and what I’m thinking and feeling, as honesty is one thing that I am completely at ease with. Unlike in previous blogs, I can’t find it in myself to offer any words of advice or analysis of what needs to be done to get out of these dips. This time I haven’t got the energy. The constant cycle of believing things are on track, only to be enveloped by the inevitable slide downwards have broken down my resolve, and left me with a great sense of emptiness, that I can’t see any chance of being filled. As I sat writing this a my ipod shuffled onto a song that struck at my heart, as the lyrics epitomised how I was feeling:

I’ve had enough
I’ve had enough
In circles I’m turning
From this world I’m burning
Tell me what happens after this

Somedays I’m flying high, I’m falling low
Somedays I made of gold, I made of stone
Somedays I’m flying high, I’m falling low
Somedays I made of gold, I made of stone

Link to track




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