It’s here at last. The last bong has bonged, the fireworks have kicked off, Jules is bopping away with his oh so cool muso friends, and me? I’m home alone, if you don’t count the cats, breaking my blogging duck.
This is not, as you might imagine, an appeal for sympathy. This is not a New Year Pity Party. I did have options, but as always, it felt so forced, going somewhere to be with random friends at their home, just so I’m not alone on New Years Eve when in my heart I tend to feel alone wherever I am, no matter who’s there. So this year, for the first time I didn’t scurry round frantically and graft myself to a willing host and pretend to enjoy myself in order to prove a point. And it was OK actually.
From a macro perspective however, things are not OK. I’m pretty f*cked up and for the majority of time, I get little pleasure or joy out of living. I feel like I’m just marking time and waiting for something to happen, something that makes me realise what the point of all of this is, because, for the most part, I just don’t get it.
I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, and for years I either didn’t know, pretended it wasn’t happening or hid it. It has taken various forms (anorexia, bulimia, self harming) but things very much came to a head over the last five years or so, so I’m now on strong medication and semi ‘out’ as it were, in the hope that it makes things easier. News Flash – It doesn’t.
In the Spring of 2012 after being continually put under extreme, unreasonable pressure and subject to a campaign of systematic bullying that would shame Donald Trump, I was pushed too far once too often and walk out of my job. Depression doesn’t sit well with big companies so they saw me as a liability, but I fought my corner and after a protracted, bloody legal battle extracted myself from the company, bruised and exhausted with as much dignity as I could muster.
As drained as I was, I comforted myself with plans of how my future would now pan out now I was free of this company, what I would and wouldn’t be willing to do, how I’d do something more creative and fulfilling, make my mark, be appreciated for my contribution and love my next job.
What I actually did was go into meltdown for a good six months, upped my medication and hibernated. As I gradually regained my equilibrium, I began to participate a little more in life. I saw a friend maybe once a week, did a bit of yoga, baked bread, decorated, went to the supermarket, andpretty much pottered around like an old lady. Every week I would resolve to look for some other line of work, start writing again, get out into the world again, but something always held me back and holds me back still. I had day after day to do with as I will, to read, to write, to blog, to sing, to dance, to f*ck, but somewhere in my sub conscious I’ve slammed the breaks on. I feel like I’m sat on the end of a high diving board, swinging my legs, staring into space, studiously ignoring the shouts and boos, delaying the inevitable.
Except it can’t go on really. Every year at this time I tell myself it will be different and every year passes with me taking the minimum of risks, putting obstacles in the way of any progress, seeing harm and danger in every friendly or romantic overture, rejecting people and opportunities again, again, and again and then wondering why I’m so unfulfilled and lonely. I skim on the surface of life making no waves, like a fricking May Fly then wonder why I haven’t made my mark. Having just turned 50, I’m going to be more and more invisible after the menopause hits, so I’m not helping myself really.
I recently read some astrological guff that espouses that when a woman going through the ‘change of life (as my mum used to call it) that this is when her True Self being ‘cooked’ and she will rise like a phoenix from the ashes having reached her full potential. That’s all very well, but it’s no comfort when you can feel it looming behind you, it’s papery hand on your shoulder smelling faintly of lavender as it snatches away your f*cking libido and makes hair sprout on your toes, so I’m hoping for at least one big mid life crisis before everything collapses like a wet cardboard box.
So this year, as far as I’m concerned, it’s do or die, and I’m going to need to use every tool in my armory to drag myself out of this pit, and use them I will. Be it self help books, spiritual enlightenment, colonic irrigation, macrobiotic food, I’m game, and if all else fails, I’ll make my decisions by the roll of the dice. It really is that desperate.
In case you haven’t worked it out, Sista Sertraline is not my real name. I have nothing to hide really (except my crappy writing), I just don’t want anyone to worry about me any more than they do already or feel they have to rescue me when I recount my lows. I just need to log this if only to ensure I make positive changes, and if this blog makes anyone else feel more ‘normal’, then that’s a bonus.
I’ll share what helps, what doesn’t, my ups and my downs and hopefully my road to recovery.
Happy New Year and welcome to my world. I’ll try and ensure that it’s not as dull as the six months have been!
Big love to you all x