Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day 358

My Friday Counsellor and I were discussing my perception of my depressed side last week. Sometimes I call her “She”, “Her”, “Misery” sometimes just the “Bogeyman” (funny that the latter is male. “He” came knocking yesterday and I always thought my doom was female). That conversation highlighted that I don’t really know who ‘she/her/it’ is. I always thought there were two sides to me. Black = “Misery” and white = “Public Face”. Occasionally I felt there was a merging of the two, a grey area that was carefree, maybe a little arrogant and smiling. It annoys me that I feel that I have no understanding of these “sides” of myself. I can’t work out how they fit together, if at all. I have no idea what side arrives when, what they are accountable for or what prompts them to come out.

What I do know is that sometimes “she” feels nothing like a part of me. “She” feels like something that comes in and takes over with a sharp turn of the head like Johnny in “The Shinning”. Sometimes I like her, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes she makes me laugh in her chaos, others she drives me nuts and I wish she would fuck off. We don’t seem to have an easy relationship. I am, however, sitting here thinking that I would like to get to know her a little better - probably prompted by my Friday Counsellor talking about the lack of attention she gets with my desire to constantly squash her down. I am also thinking that maybe “she” isn’t the depressed side. When I think of the other side, (her) she is strong, feisty and doesn’t give a shit about what other people think. She can make decisions and laugh. She is creative and freethinking. She feels sexy in her curves, in control and she never seems to worry. That doesn’t sound depressed to me.

Depressed me is weak; weak both in mind and body. She sleeps a lot. She cries, she is anxious, she hates who she sees in the mirror, she is fat, and she has no confidence or self-belief. She thinks she is revolting and bad. She believes that she has deserved all the hurt that has been bestowed upon her. She believes that this is some sort of penitence. She also sometimes believes at times that she is making it all up and that there is something sick inside her that craves attention, that wants to be sick and lies and cheats every day to make her life as it is. She self-harms, she rocks in the dark, she thinks about dying and wants to disappear noiselessly, like vapour.

But, maybe, that isn’t "depressed me" either? Maybe there is a third party here... Today, for example, I went to meet my good friend for lunch. I was really tired so slept right up until the moment I had to throw on some clothes and run for a bus. When I arrived at my destination, (surprisingly on time) I suddenly realised I had forgotten how to speak. I had forgotten how to communicate with others. I was hyperactive with effort and felt I was stumbling to find the right words for everything I was trying to say. When I left her and her husband, we made a plan to meet again a few hours later to go to an (art) opening in town. I started to walk to the chemist to pick up my prescription - I had already missed two days of medication due to lack of enthusiasm or forward planning for repeat prescriptions. By the time I got to the shops I was in misery - not with her, just in it. I looked blankly round the shop as I waited for my drugs and felt empty and miserable. The usual eye candy of bottles of promise failed to encourage even a glimmer of their usual excitement and when I caught sight of myself in a shop mirror I was shocked at what I saw. I looked like a sick person - dark circles under strained eyes, lank hair and broken skin. Looking down at my hand, at the now grotty dressing over a war wound, I was surprised. Is this what I looked like? Overwhelmed by tiredness, bright lights and noise - I suddenly needed to get home. By the time I got there I was agitated, panicky and didn’t want to go out again. I just wanted to crawl into my bed and pull the duvet over my head and sleep. Which is exactly what I did. I didn’t for one second feel like “she” was here. It was a completely different feeling. There was sadness, a feeling of failure extreme apathy and catatonia. So, who the hell is that? That is the part that I feel I have no control over. That is the part that swoops in and takes over. The side that I have I have nothing to do with and none of my other parts do either. That is the part that scares me, so real yet surreal. So thick in its energy you could reach out and touch it.

Then there is “Public Face” me. She has no problems, she smiles and laughs. She jokes and smiles and listens to others. She helps them with their problems. She is sensitive and fun. She holds down a job when she is being terrorised at home. She requires a lot of effort – no, not quite right – she is easy. She comes when I need her, as easily as brushing the hair out of your eyes. She leaves me exhausted when her work is done.

There are the days when I feel like an amalgamation of all of those characters. Just like any other human being: complicated and complex. Perhaps it is in their separate states that I find them disconcerting? I am frustrated, I want this over. I feel that when I understand what is going on, who is who - what is what and how to manage them all and give them what they need, I will find a way to get back to reality.

Tomorrow I shall see my Friday Counsellor again. I wonder who will be there at the time of our appointment - probably just Public Face. She is the easiest to conjure up when I am tired. She seems to pop out when I have to talk to people. I wonder if I feel that way about counselling – that I keep all sides hidden in case someone actually confirms my biggest fear that I am, indeed, mad? Maybe Public Face gets in the way – puts herself between me and the therapist/doctor/CPN to protect everyone else…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:25 am  
Blogger MasterQ said...

Holy damn, and here I thought I was the only one.

4:45 am  

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