When I stopped blogging 18 months ago there were a couple of reasons for it.
The first, was that after 365 days of posts, I was rather sick of my own ‘voice’.
The second, and honestly, the main reason was that I had just been diagnosed with depression. It felt like that was the only thing that was really going on in my mind at the time, and I just wasn’t ready or able to write about it, but I had nothing else to write either, so the blog had a holiday.
18 months later and I’m back. I’m still not sure I’m actually ready to write about it, but I’ll give it a bash anyways. Bear with me, won’t you?
Working out the whys of this whole thing is as yet an unsolved mystery. I’ve been depressed before and I’ve been anxious before, but it has always, always been for a reason before. This time it just came out of nowhere.
December 2013 arrived and I was feeling a bit run-down, but after autumn term with its freshers, CU weekends, events’ weeks, carol services, as well as a couple of other fairly large spanners that were thrown in the works of work, that wasn’t a massive surprise. But then a couple of days before my Christmas holiday started, while sitting in the Sage concert hall, listening to Kate Rusby and her band, I had an anxiety attack.
If you’re not familiar with that particular treasure of human experience, then I’m glad for you. It’s an odd thing – breathing is hard, your heart starts racing, pins and needles, or something like it attacks your hands and feet, you feel hot and cold, all at once, and all you want to do is run, except that you’re in the middle of a row of people, listening to some lovely music, and since there’s nothing to cause the feeling, there’s also nothing to run from, so you just sit there and wait for it to pass (and then have a big glass of wine during the interval, to take the edge off).
By the time I made it back to my mum and dad’s for Christmas I was feeling terrible, but had convinced myself that it was probably a virus, and so spent most of the holidays in bed, googling my various symptoms and convincing myself that I had either glandular fever or MS (and steadfastly ignoring the ‘depression’ diagnosis that was popping up at every turn).
Eventually I made it to my GP, had some blood tests done and got signed off work, but of course the bloods came back clear, and after a bit of prodding from various members of my family, and a few baffling bouts of uncontrollable weeping, I went back to the doctors and got a diagnosis (the D-word) and a prescription for a very wonderful drug, called Citalopram.
These tiny white pills are magical. It wasn’t an immediate fix, for sure. It took 8 weeks and an increase in dosage before I started to feel somewhat normal again, but eventually they did kick in, and all in all, I’m doing grand.
It has been an odd experience. Baffling, frustrating, frightening, and miserable at times; but also interesting, and challenging, and I suspect, perhaps a wee bit good for me.
More on all of that in future posts, I reckon, but for now, let’s leave it there.
In summary: medicated.