Wednesday 10 September 2014

The world of grey

Writing about depression while I'm inside it is impossible. But I want to stand up. I want to be counted. So now that I feel sadness fleetingly, in measures of hours and not months, let me tell you about depression, from my view.

I don't have a black dog. I understand this pictorial terminology is helpful for other people. That's cool. But it's not my friend, this thing. I am told anxiety will become my friend because I can never fight it and to do so will only make it stronger. But fighting depression?

It's it bloody, this battle. And for me, lucky as I am in this autistic/Aspergers view of the world, I wear binary armour. I live. I breathe. I wake up every day. Not morning, mark that, but every day. Those things, these things, they are unarguable, infinite. This absolute is my armour and I hold it dear to me. This rigid thinking that I am told so often is a bad thing, in this case is good. The best. The thing that means that even when I am counting breathes, I am still counting.

But there is no dog. But there is a tunnel. It's dark in there, obviously. But it is other. Separate. Because the further most thing, to me, is the grey. Sometimes, still, in a world that is now colour, I am still shocked to a standstill by how colourful everything is. HD TV, the yellows and greens of lichen on stone walls, the bended broken bows of lightning struck dead tree trunks in their stripes of grey, greyer, greyest - even the greys are beautiful to behold.

Depression is not 'negative thoughts' for me. It is an absence of thought. To someone who, thinks at velocity, a constant stream of beautiful lovely data, images, world when I am well is vivid, enhanced, soundtracked and in landscape. I love it. Depression takes it all away. And yes I know that there is an absence of people in this depiction and this is deliberate. Because 2 people kept me breathing too but this is not about that or them.

This is about the grey. It's about the persistent knowledge you are looking but not seeing. Listening but not hearing. It is to be deprived of the joy derived from input. Nothing fits. Nothing works. Sensation is irritating. Hugs are debilitating. Expectation is crippling. And I keep counting breathes.

They tell you, when you come into contact with mental health services that there is a number. It's a crisis number.  I know the team it goes to. I know what calling it means. I was told to only call it in an emergency but there was no explanation of what an emergency is for someone for whom suicide is {void}. Is it when I am counting breathing? Is it when my tummy hurts so bad I can't eat and I want to crawl out of my own skin and I don't know how to calm down and people don't calm me the same as neurotypical people find them calming and I'm screaming help inside my head but I'm mute?

In retrospect, yes. Yes that was when.

And there is the truth. This is what metal health care looks like on the ground. It isn't care. It's assessment and then you are put in the queue. If it were left to the NHS, I would still be in the queue for counselling which to date has lasted 13 months.

But it's okay. Isn't it. Because I am still breathing. Isn't it?

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