Depression and Illness (minor and major)

I had started this year off with mostly positivity, sure I’ve had low days but for the most part they never lasted more than a day.

Probably the best start I’d had to a year in the past decade, maybe longer.

But it feels like there’s always something that comes along and puts me on my arse. Just took a little longer than normal this time.

I’ve suffered from anxiety since I was 11, it’s something that took me years to get a handle on and eventually I did, I have off days (sometimes months)  but I’ve found a way to cope and live with it. I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever be free of.

The anxiety caused a lot of problems, stopped me living my life, made my thoughts a very dark and scary place, and that led to depression. The depression comes and goes, lots of things contribute to it, but I think the term ‘walking depressed’ best describes my current handle of depression.

However there are things that make it worse. Set backs, illnesses, even just a chest infection, being let down, work stress, money stress and nightmares; these all make the depression worse.

Currently I have a minor chest infection which had decreased the quality of my asthma, which obviously isn’t great anyway. So I’m currently taking steroids, and I’m 3 days in, I feel better but I get the feeling that only having 2 days left to take isn’t going to do the job.
I’ve missed a whole week, well 4 days thanks to the bank holiday, of work and right at the end of the year, so I’ll have to take it unpaid.

I have to go in next Monday regardless of how I feel, I can’t afford to financially miss anymore time, and with month end and year end ocurring, I can’t afford to miss any time. I’m probably going to have to work extra hours to make up the time I need.

So now I can add work stress, money stress to the stress of being ill to things currently making me depressed.

At the beginning of the year I kicked myself up the arse and decided this was the year to make changes; well actually that started last year and I managed to continue it on into the New Year.

In November (2015) I took my first ever Holiday abroad, my first ever flight. Hell I’d only ever been on a caravan holiday and a weekend away a few hours from home my whole life. So a holiday away from home was already a big thing, especially for 2 weeks, going on  a plane, for someone who’s terrified of new things and travelling and very much has a “safety zone”.

So I managed to do it, and I could’ve handled some parts slightly better.
The take off on the flight out, holy crap that was awful, the pain in my head as the plane ascended into the air made me think I was gonna pass out. After 15-20 minutes we started to level out more, and I got a bit more comfortable, by this point I thought ‘fuck this’ and  popped the Diazepam, which I had never taken before. The rest of the flight was bareable, I was counting down the hours, half paying attention to the films I tried to distract myself with. I drank a lot of soft drinks, took a lot of bathroom breaks, mostly because I actually felt better standing up and in that tiny little loo. Weird!

The landing into LAX was smooth and lovely, there was one turn that made me go *bluergh* as I saw the sky out one window and the ground out the other, but mostly it was kinda pleasant. No ears popping, no sickness, no freak out. Landing for the win!
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The holiday was incredible, I didn’t feel panicky or depressed, I didn’t feel ill, I didn’t get homesick, although I did speak to my Dad on skype at least once or twice a day. Partly for my peace of mind that he was ok.
The flight home, was a far worse experience. We flew out of McCarran in Vegas and as we took off my heart was pounding erractically, probably anxiety but I had taken 2 diazepam so couldn’t understand why they weren’t keeping me calm. The flight home seemed to ‘turn’ a lot, and I spent majority of the flight home throwing up. I was seriously air sick!
The landing was the best part of the that flight, but no where near as nice at LAX. We were landing at Gatwick, and it turned a lot! Even my calm very experienced flier friend was freaking and feeling sick.
But coming over England and seeing the green fields and trees made me smile, because I had done something I NEVER thought I’d do.

I used to sit on the roof of the porch outside my bedroom when I was 10-12 watching planes in the evening/night sky and thinking I want that, I want to be able to experience what the world has to offer, get out of my little town and know that I lived, at least a bit!
I was extremely jet-lagged but I was very happy.
I somehow managed to not be ill from November until last weekend (March 27th) I’m fairly certain that’s the longest I’ve gone without being ill for a very long time.

In Janaury I made a lifestyle change to my eating, I started a ‘diet’ called the 5:2. Fast at 500 calories for 2 days, eat “normally” for the other 5. As of last week I had lost 29lbs. I felt like I had done it with ease. Ok some days were hard but I was determined. I was focused on feeling better, being healthier, looking healthier and better. Reducing my risk of diseases that run in my family, improving the quality of my Asthma. And then BAM this happens.

You’d think after losing 2 stone that my Asthma would be improving, so why this? what have I done wrong?
What if I put all that weight back on? What if the more weight I lose, the more my health deterioates? What if no matter how much I try to better myself, something will always stop me?

What if I’m not supposed to achieve anything? Be unhealthy, miserable, depressed, anxious, stuck in my little town, in a dead end job, watching the people I love leave until I’m all alone, living in a tiny bedsit that I can’t afford, wishing for my end before I finally snap?

I want to make something of myself, nothing big or fancy, just a happy healthy person. I want to feel good and look good, I want to not get ill every few months, I want to not be the person that people roll their eyes at cos they think I’m a hypocondriact.
I don’t want to miss work because I’m ill, I want to do my best in my job, maybe get something where I’m respected and that’s reflected in how they treat you.
I want to be able to look after myself when I no longer have my loved ones, long may they be here, to lean on. I don’t want to have to worry about covering bills because something unexpected came up (here’s looking at you gearbox, thanks for costing me £2,400 to fix)

I want to be able to go out with friends, go on holidays a few times, enjoy life, not work work work, pay bills, be ill, and end up in my older years saying I did nothing, I was pointless. I want to say I did some great things, I have great memories, I cherished the moments with my loved ones, I did the best I could, that I was happy.

I’ve gone right off track of what my original thought even was.
Why is it that something as minor as a chest infection can cause such a massive upheaval in the state of my depression. And looking what I just wrote I think I understand now.

It’s because it feels like another step back, step backs that usually derail any momentum I’ve made and set me often further than I began. It feels like I’ll never get anywhere, one step forward, two back

It’s because I’m always worried that my actions are causing myself more harm than good, which is why I stay in my safety zone, my comfort bubble, I don’t make changes because I don’t want to make things worse, and I’m always worry that what is seemingly better, ends up being ten times worse.

It’s because I’m always waiting for something to go wrong, because I don’t see myself ever having anything good, I don’t think I’m worth it.

It’s because I want to go forward, I want to change and I hate being held back, no matter how often I hold myself back.

It’s because I’ve been frustrated with my life and it’s emptiness for aslong as I can remember and I’m desperate to make changes before it’s too late and things are constantly holding me back.

I hope this illness passes soon, that my asthma improves, that my mood improves and the depression and anxiety lesses to more managable levels. I hope I can get back on track, I need this, I need this to be the year I make the positive changes.

I need my life to be better.

I need this.

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