A while a go I wasn’t well. I was objectively very unwell.
I was reeling from a startling realisation.
This realisation wasn’t born out of one of my normal depressive states, it came to me when I was calm, quietly reading a book while listening to music on my headphones. What I had realised was that life was something I didn’t necessarily want to see through.
I felt like proper shit after that.
I felt like I was betraying everyone I cared for and everyone that cared for me.
I knew I had entered a new minefield and I was not prepared for this one. I didn’t know how to navigate this new dangerous scape.
Without doing a whole deep dive into it, because I don’t really want to put myself back in that head space, what I can say is that it was harrowing and calming at the same time.
Helping yourself Help yourself
I knew I needed help, and that this time, I couldn’t be quite so passive about it. I knew that this time, I had to reach out to others in a way I never had before. I had to reach out while I was in the thick of it, unlike my usual pattern, which was to reach out after I get through the worst of it.
When I first got back to Melbourne after my short trip in August, instead of heading home, I went to my parent’s house and I crashed on their couch.
Then I stayed, and I stayed and I stayed. I ended up sleeping on their couch for a month. It took me two weeks before I ventured back to my place to get some clothes so I didn't have to keep raiding my mother’s closet.
What I also did when I first got back was book in to see my General Practitioner. While I wasn’t feeling ‘depressed’ in any way that I have come to know before, I knew what I was feeling wasn't healthy, and I knew all remedial actions I could take, needed to be taken.
I didn’t want to go back on anti depressants, but I logic dictated I needed to be on them. I tried to imagine what I would demand a friend do if the roles were switched around. I imagine I would say:
There is no time for excuses.
There can be no stone left unturned.
So I set about turning over all the stones I could. The only one I didn't do was that I didn't see my psychologist. That's not to say I didn't want to see her, I wish I had, but my psych was on a holiday. A very long and inconvenient holiday.
I realise now I should find a backup psych for when my regular one is unreachable and I happen to go into crisis.
Luckily for me, my GP who I had hated on back in July, really, really stepped up for me. She knew my psych was away and asked me to come in every week for that month to check on me and monitor my adjustment to the new meds.
I’m glad to say, eventually, and slowly, I made it through the worst of the minefield.
Bigger, Better and Brighter
Once I started feeling better, I still stressed about moving back home. It represented an unsafe place to me now, and I didn’t know how to move back there.
I felt ready to reclaim my space, but that was no longer the space I wanted to claim.
So what do you do when you want to move out of your parent’s home and off their couch, but you can’t move back to your old place because it was one giant trigger now?
You roll the dice. You bet on yourself. And that is what I did.
I found a bigger, better, and brighter apartment three minutes walk from my parents' place, a two minute walk from my brother’s, and a five minute drive from my sister’s. I saw the possibility of having my own space, I saw a way for me to be checked in on regularly, and I saw a way I could be close to help my parents who have their own health problems.
I felt like it was: Live there or Keep living on the couch; so naturally I basically begged the agent to give me the keys, and as luck would have it, she agreed.
I broke the lease on my newly retitled ‘old’ place, and prayed to the Snow Gods that they would deliver a suitable new tenant soon so I wouldn’t go broke paying two rents on top of the lease breaking fee and re-marketing costs.
Luck came through again, because two days before I moved out, they received a new application from a steadily employed person without terrible references who was willing to take up the lease mere days after I was to hand hand over the keys..
So here is something I haven’t done in a while: a cheers to the future.….and prozac.
I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.