26 February 2015

What a 'Down Day' feels like.

Fair warning, this is not a happy post. And I'm pretty sure it'll be 75% incoherent because my brain appears to be broken. 

So yesterday I was gonna post a blog about makeup, but I was in a foul mood so I thought I'd do it today but it appears the mood is staying with me, and I don't want to do anything. Which is just fabulous. I thought about posting a 'How to Deal' type thing, but truth be told, I'm not dealing very well at all. Instead, I thought it might be a good idea to give you an insight into what a 'Down Day' feels like to someone with depression.

If you've been on this blog for a while (aka, I've harassed you on Facebook to read my stuff), then you'll know depression is something I've struggled with for a long time. I have gotten, after a few years practice, a decent handle on how to manage it. Okay, decent-ish. My Down Days are much more spread out than they used to be, but every once-in-a-while, a really bad one will sneak up on me and hit me like a frigging train. It's more of a struggle for me on a daily basis to see the good in myself, but on a Down Day it's impossible. The fact that I've even managed to type something is mindblowing to me, because days like this are impossible to do anything productive on. Like, this is taking a physical toll on me to type. My brain aches. To be clear, I am not asking for sympathy, nor do I want it. I am simply telling you what a day like this feels like, so if anyone you know suffers from depression, you'll understand how they feel. All cases, of course, are different, but hopefully this will help give an idea.

A Down Day for me, generally starts right away. I'll wake up and just feel  it in my bones that I am going to struggle. Getting out of bed is the first hurdle of the day. It feels nearly impossible, but I am a grown up and I can't bring myself to ring work and say; 'Yo, I can't come in, I feel really fucking sad'. So it's off to the bathroom to wash my face. By this stage, I am keenly aware of the black cloud looming, washing my face is exhausting. I can feel my limbs ache and my head pulse. But I carry on. I get ready for work: makeup, dress, pack my bag. The whole while I am aware of the pit in my heart and the dread in my stomach. I feel like I have physically forgotten how to smile. I feel the strangest mixture of intense sadness, but at the same time, I feel like I feel nothing at all. It is the weirdest combination. I spend the day swinging between wanting to cry, and not feeling anything at all. I get to work and the automatic smile comes to my face. This is something I've gotten very practiced at over time. Because I never want people to feel awkward or scare people off, I put on a smile. I convince myself that if I smile enough, I'll feel better. It rarely works, but I can hope. I talk to people, and laugh and joke, but I feel as if I'm watching someone else, because I sure as fuck am not laughing on the inside. My face hurts from smiling, I'm pretty sure it's because fake smiling is so much more effort. I feel bad for not being more involved but I can't bring myself to do anything more. Every time a customer comes in I feel the ache on my cheeks as I hitch the same stupid fake smile on. Working in retail, feeling like shit, is the worst possible combination. By 2pm, the exhaustion is taking a physical toll, my arms and legs feel like they might stop working any second, my back aches and my face hurts. I go for lunch and sit in a daze, mindlessly flicking through social media, instantly forgetting what I just looked at as soon as the screen swipes up. I am alone, and I don't have to fake smile. But at the same time, I am very aware that I am alone, and this is the great contradiction of a Down Day. I want to be alone, more than anything. But at the same time, I am absolutely terrified of being by myself, because it's when I'm by myself, with my head, that I am most aware of the black cloud. Lunch ends and I prepare myself to go back up, I feel the dread like a weight in my stomach, but as soon as I hit the door back onto the floor, the smile hitches it's way back onto my cheeks. 4pm hits and it's time to go home, and still, not once does a real smile make it onto my face. I couldn't tell you a single thing that happened today, but I do know I made it home. 

When I get home, I want to try and cheer myself up, but listening to music, or watching videos actually irritates me. And sitting in silence means I can hear the voice. So I'll take being irritated over the voice, but now I'm annoyed and sad. Depression is a terrible contradiction. 

Actually taking the time, to be able to type, is a huge step forward for me. At my worst, I lost all interest in anything. I couldn't do a damn thing. I would just lie there, in an exhausted daze, dreaming about all the things I wanted to do, but just couldn't bring myself to actually do. This is one of the worst part of my Down Days; I'll daydream about all the stuff I want to do, all the things I want to achieve, and after it's all said and done, there is this tiny, pervasive voice telling me to just give up. And you can ignore it for a while, but eventually that tiny voice becomes a roaring din and that's when the hope leaves. 

It's now 6:38 for me and I am beyond exhausted. I ache and my head and heart hurt and I don't know why. Nothing bad happened today or yesterday, but still this cloud reigns. And that is why this feeling is so difficult to deal with. I need a reason to feel like this, and I don't have one, and it's shit. I used to try all the self-help crap to make myself feel better, but the fact remains. Depression is an illness, and largely there is no rhyme or reason to why I feel this way, so making myself feel worse because I don't feel better is only going to make a shit day even shittier. On Down Days, the only thing that keeps me going, that keeps my head above water, is knowing that tomorrow the cloud might be smaller. Tomorrow could be better. 

I'll leave it there for tonight, because frankly, I feel like I've run a marathon. I hope this has help give at least, a small insight into what a Down Day feels like, or has given some element of support or something. If you have any questions, you can hit me up below, or on any of my social media. I hope you're all well. If you're having a Down Day, please don't give up. We can get through until tomorrow. Tomorrow might be better, and that's enough for me and I hope it's enough for you. I'll leave you with one of my absolute favourite quotes of all time, it's one I whip out to convince me to carry on to the next day:
Be happy and be kind,
Becca xo

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