It doesn’t care that it’s your birthday and you’re supposed to have a lovely day. It doesn’t care that you’ve somehow managed to crawl out of bed and make yourself look presentable to get through another day in the office. When it strikes it doesn’t give a fuck what you’ve got planned, or what you should be doing. All it cares about it swiping the rug out from underneath you feet leaving you wondering how on earth you’re going to get back up.
Depression made me sit and sob at my desk all this morning. It made me lose all of the joy in being sent heaps of cards, messages, presents and well wishes. It made, oh who am I kidding, is making me want to crawl into bed and pull the duvet over my head for the forseeable future. I’m currently battling with the greatest wish to cancel my weekend plans to see my family, because who on earth wants a weeping thirty two year old hanging about like a wet weekend? The drinks with work mates to celebrate next week? Hanging precariously in the balance due to the soul sucking depressive state I’m currently in. Even the long awaited weekend in Paris with some of my favourite girls next weekend had a moment of ‘well I could go, but I could spend the weekend lying in bed staring at the wall’ wobbliness. I know that in the grand scheme of things this will pass and I’ll go back to feeling normal and not like I have a ten ton weight pressing down on my shoulders whilst wading through treacle but for the moment it’s really bloody tough indeed.
It’s really scary to go in to your boss and say ‘You know what? I don’t want to go to a seminar on Libya tonight and it’s not because I’m being a Princess about having to work on my birthday, it’s because actually I feel like shit and am having enough difficulty in staying upright let alone getting to London and not weeping openly in front of a room full of industry colleagues”. Add to that the guilt (oh the guilt!) wrought upon me by this fucker depression that I’m letting everyone down and I’m useless at my job and a waste of space and may as well just quit because I’ve ruined things. What a sorry damn state to be in. To his credit he was really good, he didn’t tell me to cheer up or that I was being silly, both of which I berate myself with when things are like this anyway. Instead he very quietly told me it was okay, that he was sorry that I was so low and that the Libya thing wasn’t a big deal at all.
Some people will probably be wondering why I’m being such a buzzkill on my birthday when I should be posting about the wonderful cards and presents I’ve received, but here’s the thing… I made a pledge to keep the conversation going about mental health to remove some of the stigma and for me, admitting that actually I’m wiped out with depression at the moment on what should be a really nice day is a very important part of that.
It’s like I said earlier, depression doesn’t care who you are, how much or how little you have, or what you should be doing, when it wants to rear its ugly head it does, and bugger the consequences.