Everyone has those kind of days. Days where you just want to bury your head in the pillow and cry. The stress from life gets you to the point where you just want to have a mini breakdown, cry to a Celine Dion ballad and afterwards, feel better equipped to tackle the day ahead. But what happens when that doesn’t happen? What happens when the tears don’t stop? When you are uncontrollably crying day after day and have absolutely no idea what is causing it? This illusive black cloud that hangs over you and you can’t quite figure out what this problem is. Its like a shadow, silently lurking behind you. You know its there but can’t seem to shift it. It creeps on you, hangs there as a constant blackness and wont leave. Every day the same blur of emotions that you are unable to control. Its constant presence is debilitating. There are days when the thought of lifting your head off the pillow seems like David taking on Goliath. You lie there, completely numb with nothing but tears in your eyes as you stare off into the distance and wonder why you feel this way. You try talking to friends; “Are you OK?” “What is wrong?” “Is there something that is making you feel this way?” and the only response to those questions is “I don’t know”. A meagre response I know but it is not a way of dodging the real issue or being emotionally closed off, but simply a response that is true. Because I honestly don’t know. I don’t know why I feel constant sadness. I don’t know why there is constant pain that roams within my body like a pack of hungry wolves, devouring me from within. And however well meaning your friends are and supportive they may be, the “I don’t know” response is usually followed by an uncomfortable, confused but well meaning “well, you know if you ever need to talk I’m always there for you.”
I know that I could pick up my phone right now, call one of my friends and ask for help and they would drop everything for me. That I am eternally grateful for. What I can never bring myself to do is call them to talk about something I can’t really understand. I can’t seem to figure it out so how can I expect anyone else to? It feels like a complete waste of their time, as though I’m causing a drama for no reason. So what do I do? I retreat into myself and internalise my feelings, all the while maintaining the facade of the happy person. Its all an act. Social situations that you once relished now seem a dreadful prospect. Not because you don’t like the people you are with but because you have to be constantly ‘on’. You have the job of playing this character and its tough. The parties, the chats with colleagues, the lunch with friends, when you are smiling and cracking jokes, meanwhile inside your emotions are tearing you apart. You put on an Oscar worthy performance, everyone laughs at your jokes. “Phew, made it through that”. But what next? You’re on your way home and then the wolves start gnawing at you. You can’t control it, its there waiting to pounce and when it does you’re left feeling like a mauled carcass.
Its something I never thought would happen to me. Throughout my adult life I’ve always had periods of low mood where I’ve isolated myself. These instances would come and go and I just thought that was normal. We all have those days, right? But the older I get the worse it seems to get. There have literally been days when I can’t move, lying paralyzed on the bed, tears streaming down my face and have absolutely no idea what’s causing it. You tell yourself “you’re an adult, snap out of it!!” but you just can’t seem to. Going to the doctor I was told that I had two options; 1. Counselling combined with a course of anti depressants; or 2. Counselling combined with exercise as possible interventions. And as I already exercise it seems like a logical step to go for option one, despite the fact that I know very little about anti depressants. I read that they are a good way of helping to control your emotions and there lies the problem. I want to have the control. I want to be able to take charge of my emotions and not feel like I’m drowning all the time. But with no conclusion to report to you it remains an ongoing battle, one which will remain, to most people, an internal fight. I just hope I can defeat those bloody wolves!!!!