Sometimes I know things. Sometimes I know I don’t know things. Sometimes I don’t know the things I think I know. Sometimes I have tricked myself into thinking I know something, when really I don’t. Confused? You want to try it on this side of the fence! Allow me to explain.
A few months ago, I was having a rough time. I slowly spiralled down. I sat crying in my psychologists room, and she asked me how I felt about a stay in a private hospital. I cried harder. I said I would need to think about it, and talk it over with Mr Optimism. A tiny voice somewhere inside me said yes, please, I need to go. The bigger voice said I can handle this on my own, I will get better at the retreat. I won’t need hospital – I succeed at things on my own.
I did get better at the retreat. It was a beautiful, moving, fragile recovery. It was a house of cards blown down by the horror of my precious boy being preyed on by an older child.
I knew immediately, as I stood sobbing and shaking in the supermarket in Mr Optimism’s arms that the depression would be back- and soon. But I also knew that I could trick myself and the rest of the world into thinking that I was dealing with this by going into action mode. I made phonecalls, I trawled the web for information about what to do when your child is abused, I talked with health professionals. I did the things. I knew I was ok.
Over the course of three weeks I have sunk almost to my lowest point ever again. Almost, but not quite. I could see it coming and I knew I needed to ask for help.
I know I need to go to hospital, somewhere deep down. I am skilled at fooling people around me that I am ok (including health professionals, I am told), but I am even more skilled at fooling myself. I am working, having meetings, when people ask me how I am I can say I’m great and they believe me, surely I am not that sick if I can do these things? Isn’t proper depression debilitating? (I can’t even do depression properly). Surely it’s not even possible to be doing these things and be thinking about being hit by a bus at the same time? I’m not that sick, see, I’m Fine.
And this morning I feel good, and my horoscope says the dark moon is lifting and everything will be better on Monday. And I can’t speak to my psychiatrist about going to hospital until Tuesday. It’s a sign! I know I don’t need to go to hospital.
But I know that I do. I know Mr Optimism deserves a whole wife. I know Moopy deserves the mother I know I can be, not just the getting by mother. I know I deserve to feel.
See? Confusing. Turns out I feel I can’t trust myself to know something or not at the moment, and that’s pretty scary. Being aware of it is scary. It is a new awareness, and I think I preferred it when I just trusted what I felt and thought. It is tiring to second guess. Another reason to strive for the zen and mindfulness I think. Don’t live in the past or the future, just be in the now.
I know I have wonderful support around me that I never ask for help, because I think I can do it on my own.
I know I need to be honest when someone asks are you ok.
I know I have a wonderful and insightful psychologist who is helping me connect the dots better.
I know I have the best motivation I need to get better – my boys and my guilt.
I know I have a lot to learn about my illness.
I know I have spent far more of my life depressed than not.
I know I want to feel better.
I know I have written a really long blog.
At the end of the day, somehow I have a sense that I know that everything will be OK in the end. I guess that’s the most important thing to know.