Sometimes I find myself wishing I’d get hit by a car, or struck down by glandular fever, or something else debilitating but not permanent; something that people in general would understand and sympathise with in a way they can’t with depression, and above all something that would force me to rest. Somewhere, insidiously, along the way to here and now, I have almost lost the ability to relax.
There is always something. Always something else on my to do list, something in my inbox that needs a reply, some cobwebs on the ceiling, food that needs making into a meal before it goes off, clothes to put away. If I try and sit down for a break I am always worrying, worrying that it will never get done if I don’t do it now. That something undefined and yet terrible will happen if things are left in this state. That taking a break is equivalent to giving up and conceding, once and for all, that I can’t do this.
And so when my body is stationary, my mind is not. A lot of the time it isn’t even coherent; I’m just thinking ‘I can’t- I can’t-‘, over and over again. I jump violently at small noises. I scratch and scratch at my face as a temporary relief mechanism, an expression of my frustration with myself. It hurts physically and forms a temporary distraction from all the mental pain. I get headaches and indigestion from the constant state of stress I’m in – I sleep a *lot*, given the chance, but I still wake up tired.
I can function like this. I go to work, I do housework, I sometimes socialise, I go to zumba. I try not to take out all the stress on my husband. But it’s hard. Being constantly wound up is wearing, and there’s no room for proper emotions (though maybe this is the heightened dose of antidepressants I’m currently on – they reduce depression by reducing the extremes of all emotion), every amusement is fleeting. I’m just tired, but the remedy isn’t sleep, it’s something I’ve forgotten how to do.