I missed my usual friday plant post again last week.
By way of explanation…
I have been taking large doses of Citalopram for depression since June 2017. My mood has been much more stable, despite some wobbles over the last two weeks.
BUT, I am tired. I acknowledge I have a lot going on in my life with my art and my projects with my WP friends. Plus my horticultural endeavours. And the day job. And the gym. And dealing with tension at home. But others manage all this and more besides.
I am not sure I am depressed any more. Depression saps the enthusiasm for doing everything. My enthusiasm has returned in spadefuls. I feel a need to make some major changes to my life too, but that is covered in a post I drafted in October and still have not dared publish.
The issue at the moment is the tiredness. Some of the little time I can find for my creative pursuits has been squandered by lack of energy and focus.
Back in 2006 I also emerged from a period of depression with renewed enthusiasm. I was ready to move ahead with my life and be assertive enough to push past any resistance. And I did so for months before little things, and barriers being put in my way, chipped away at my confidence and I slowly retreated back into my shell. A few more years of wasting my life then resulted in my most recent battles (lots of stress and no joy makes life seem pointless).
Looking back, depression has followed approximate ten year cycles, typified by the pattern described above. Below is an approximate map of my moods over the last few decades. The red line on the graph below represents the two times when my dreams of escape became concrete attempts at a final escape.
You will note from this that I am detecting signs of a downward swing again. I am not worried about this yet but I am noticing I have become quite withdrawn and irritable, which is a danger sign.
What am I doing about this? Well, discussions with my doctor have led us to wonder if the medication itself is causing my tiredness. So for the last week I have been weaning off the meds. So far it has been ok. I had one disturbed night but there were other possible causes of that. By the end of next week I will be med-free unless there is a crisis.
This weekend I will be attending, and helping at, a spring flower show in Kendal in the Lake District. I usually enjoy this but when looking around the greenhouse yesterday for things I could put in the show I realised that after 24 years it has become a chore and that I was resenting the time I spent on it. So I am done with it. I will continue to help out (as one of the youngest and fittest members of the team I am useful for moving tables around) but I am finished with taking plants after this year. It feels liberating.
This in turn leads me to question why I am continuing to grow so many things that effectively tie me down to potting and watering chores. I foresee a big decision about this coming along soon, and possibly a big horticultural fire sale. I will see if I manage to resist adding to the collection when faced with the plant sales at the show. I will wait at least until summer before acting just in case it is med withdrawal that is affecting my decisions. I do not think it is.
Another thing that has caused me to question my future is that earlier this week two of my colleagues announced they are taking early retirement. They are younger than me, have fewer years of service and are in the same pension scheme.
Apologies for the tone of this post. I felt that after being very upfront about mental health in the past I should continue to be so. There will be a more jolly post along soon.
Meanwhile, some pretty pictures…
Arachnophobe trigger warning – do not click on this link!
Suffice to say that I think spiders are gorgeous and these ones are especially so!