“I miss the comfort in being sad…”*

*Lyrics by Kurt Cobain, Nirvana; ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle’,  1993.

 

A post for World Mental Health Day – see this wonderful post from Tazmin Pye

And another from Nicolle.

 

 

Do I miss the comfort in being sad?

Let me explain.

The late, wonderful, Terry Pratchett created a character called Sam Vimes. A quiet, caring, strong cop with a firm sense of right and wrong. My kind of hero really.

Vimes is described as permanently one drink short of being happy. This kind of describes me until quite recently.

I’ve bobbed along being just-about-ok for decades. Some good times but far outweighed by long, dark, horrible periods of feeling isolated, anxious and depressed.

The last few months have been a real revelation to me. Citalopram helped me get on the right track but my wonderful new family (for that is how I see you) in the blogging community have meant that my mood has absolutely soared.

Margaret Curry described this feeling perfectly in her (rather wonderful) blog:

https://lifeontheskinnybranches.com/2017/10/07/elastic-heart/

This is great, yes?

Of course it is – and I love you folks for helping. I can’t overstate that.

Still – I am anxious. This is very new and at 51 feels very unsettling. The way I was might have been horrible but it was familiar and I had the ‘benefit’ of being invisible. When I was so far down anyway and something went wrong it was somehow easier as there seemed not so far to fall, and there was little I really cared about any longer so had little to lose.

Perhaps I should list my worries:

  • I worry that this is very temporary and that something is going to happen that makes me crash – and I have got a long way to fall now…
  • I am being much more friendly and sociable and I worry about inadvertently crossing a line by being too friendly, or with the wrong people. I don’t have much practice at reading social clues. This is a potentially dangerous combination.
  • I feel like people expect the old me. This includes my wife. I am reluctant to express my new joy or enthusiasm with people who knew the old me for fear of alarming them or them thinking I am cracking up – when in reality I feel I am actually being ME for the first time.
  • Are the people in my life from before going to still be people I have anything in common with? The reawakening of my mind, my heart and my curiosity recently is profound and dizzying.

So – do you understand where I am coming from with this? Any useful advice or feedback? I need your help and support if I am to maintain this and continue growing.

I never want to go back in my box.

With love,

Darren.

“Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow
Oh, but, God, I want to let it go”

Lyrics by Amy Lee, Evanescence; ‘Lithium’, 2006

30 Comments

  1. I relate very much. Thank you for writing about this part of feeling better after a lifetime of not. My experience has been periods of bliss followed with dips back into grey, but the dips are never as low as they once were, and the periods of bliss get longer and longer and the grey times shorter and shorter. I have been learning not to panic when grey returns. It is a healing trajectory. Continual movement upwards, even the dips are in the rise. But your journey will be uniquely yours. It is so beautiful to be out of that box. You never have to go back. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Thank you for sharing my post that’s very very kind of you, and doesn’t go unappreciated at all. I often find that writing my worries out on paper and shredding them up with my hands often educates me on what worries are truly worth any thought at all. Give it a try? Even just the act of writing it gets it out of you in a healthier way, than letting it grow like a poison ivy within your mind.
    I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Very touching post. I can feel you and somehow can relate to that scary uncertainty feeling sometimes. Whenever it happens, I try to remember that as I embrace the unknown I am not alone! Just trust your intuition Darren.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks very much for the link back to my post! I wasn’t expecting it so it was a nice surprise. 😀

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! I also understand what you’re feeling; I’m no longer depressed now, though there are bad days that I feel as though I’m slipping back into those days, but I’ve learned to recognise it’s not as bad as back then and often pass in a day or two. Being better doesn’t mean I’m 100% happy all the time, but learning to deal with the ups and downs of the heart and remembering that I’m not alone. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you Nicolle. I am fine. It just seems so fragile and vulnerable. Someone at work actually managed to make me angry yesterday, which is very rare, and even though I kept my temper I felt bad for letting it get to me. OK now though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To give an example of how far I have progressed: I have volunteered to circulate and take pictures at the work Diwali celebration today! There is of course the incentive of curry, plus if I am behind the camera there is less danger of actually being in the pictures 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I think once you can get your worries out of your head and onto paper its easier to look at them. I could identify with a lot of the worry about how others will react to us as we change or take the risk to be more authentic. I think its a good test for those who are true friends will accept and love us where we are at and not judge us. I have been excluded in the past for being honest by some people I thought were friends but ended up not really being good friends. It was painful but it was a learning process.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you Deborah. I did feel better for writing it if I’m honest. As you and also Tazmin have said – it is easier to look at things in a more rational way perhaps.
    I think you are right about it being a good test as well. Thankfully the vast majority of people I know have responded favourably 🙂 so it has not been too painful so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent post, and brilliant song choices too! It is great that you are feeling happier and coping better. I understand your concerns…”better the devil you know”, as the saying goes. The way I see it is this….what is the worst that could happen? Your good mood COULD pass? And what if it does? Will that render your current good feelings void? Absolutely not! So you may as well enjoy the way you are feeling now. If it lasts, that will be so wonderful. But if it doesn’t, then you will still have enjoyed feeling good for a while, and will live with the reassurance and knowledge in your heart that it is possible for you to feel great. “Live each day as if it were your last.” Take care and I hope your great feelings continue!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Thank you, that is so kind and you are quite right of course. Thanks also for approving of my song choices. Kurt was the same age as me and a bit of a hero of mine. Evanescence I don’t know too well but Lithium is a truly great song and the video for it is mesmerising too. I hope to continue feeling great and have a plan to help which I will post soon. Lovely to meet you Pixie!

    Like

  11. Hi Darren!

    That’s great to hear that you are feeling better. I know the feeling of not wanting to defy others’ expectations, and I feel like it is always not as bad as I think. People who care about you will be happy that you are happy, even if they are not expecting it.

    My theory for depression (which might not be true at all!) is that it doesn’t define a person, and that you can be a happier version of yourself without being a completely different person. So if that were true, I think you will still have things in common with people you care about, because you aren’t a different person, just happier 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am starting to feel you may be right Sophie. I am finding my interests in things I loved years ago as a young man reawakening. This may mean that this is actually the real me and the person the person I was for the last 20 years was just a shadow of myself. It has been an interesting journey recently for sure.
    Thank you for your lovely comment and your support Sophie.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks Nicolle, travelling with work is stressful for me anyway but when someone changes the plans for me at the last minute AND thereby commits me to travelling again a few days later I think I am justified in getting a bit irritated 🙂

    Good now though!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Darren, I can understand your words very much. I have yet to have luck with a good medication and am still plugging away at the hard work of self regardless of the medication or not, but those days of joy and wanting to be a part of the world, instead of silently watching it go by, can be so glorious and yet full of fear at the unknowing. It will become habit with more practice. I venture to say that those close to you will celebrate your lightness, even if puzzled at first. Let them wonder. It will get easier with time. Just remember to share with those who have earned it, to look for happiness everywhere, and to keep forming the habits that release you. You can ebb and flow, but that is also good. The sadness you have suffered will help you to empathize and encourage others, while showing them a positive, but realistic outcome. I will leave you with a favorite quote of The Doctor, “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things.
    The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank you for this lovely comment, and the quote (I’m a DW fan too). My friends in the blogger community have become so important to me and have helped a lot in continuing my recovery. But I think I needed to reach a crisis point before I had the impetus to make positive changes. From that point of view I am happy that crisis happened – it has led to some wonderful things.
    Citalopram has been miraculous for me and I hope you find something similar. Please stick around here and maybe visit some of my other friends? They are all great and will welcome you.

    Like

  16. I’m so glad that I read this post … I completely understand. You might not want to come out of your box, I’m afraid of peeking my head out of the warm, dark water. It’s my normal, my safe and I know what to expect. It’s a tricky business! But in a while, as we get stronger, we shall smile about our past lives and thoughts and be happy in our new world with our new thoughts … 🌻🌻

    Liked by 1 person

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