Sorry for the lack of interesting posts at the moment. I’m not having an especially great time of it right now. Specifically, my mood is on a downward spiral. I’m tired all the time. My joints ache (does anyone else get this when they’re depressed?). I’m finding it almost impossible to stick to any task, or complete anything.
I keep a folder for draft posts on my hard drive, and at the moment it’s bursting at the seams – 31 separate items – but none of them are complete, and most of them I can’t even remember how I was planning to complete them. I’m too listless and apathetic to chase down any idea to its conclusion. I’m not absolutely groping along in the pit of despair yet – although I imagine that’s to come – but in a kind of halfway house that is, if anything, worse. If I ever do kill myself (and, please, nobody worry – there’s absolutely no imminent danger) it will be when I’m in a mood like this. I find this particular state of mind hard to bear, knowing that I’m not at my worst yet, but that I will be, and that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, except sit tight and wait for it to engulf me.
I’m having some – ahem – interesting mental experiences too.
Last night I listened, for two or three hours, to a voice telling me over and over again about engineering works on the local railway line. I live close enough to a station that I can sometimes hear tannoy announcements when they make them. But, needless to say, they don’t make the announcements in the middle of the night, and there aren’t any engineering works scheduled anyway – I checked online this morning. So, it’s safe to say, not a real voice.
I have these voices from time to time. I’ve never told anyone in the real world about them, partly because I don’t want to be shoved on anti-psychotics, and partly because they don’t really bother me. I find them disconcerting rather than scary or traumatic, and one or two of them (I sometimes hear the voice of my 6-years-dead dad, for example) are quite comforting, in a way. Sometimes I find them wryly amusing, as this time – I think I must have the soul of a chartered accountant in order to hallucinate, not exciting messages of global significance from the Great Sky Spirit, but rather announcements about train delays…
I’m not usually much of a believer in psychowaffle psychological explanations for phenomena such as these. But, in this case, I do think my mind might be starting to create imaginary mental stimulus because I’ve spent about – oh, 15 months? – now with almost no human contact. I’m taking steps to address this – various members of my family have been truly astonished to get a phone call from me this week, and I surprised myself by actually enjoying the chats.
The voices are still around though. And, to be fair, they’ve happened when I was in the middle of lots of human contact too, so, on reflection, my scepticism about psychological explanations might have something to it. They can be so damn plausible though. And I am rather lonely at the moment.
I should say that, although I’ve never told anyone about my voices, at least one of the psychiatrists I’ve seen seemed to strongly suspect their existence. At any rate he asked me several times if I ever heard voices, and always used to ask me if I paused in giving an answer if I was waiting for someone to tell me what to say. I never was – my voices don’t talk to me, I just eavesdrop on what they’re saying for their own purposes. (A couple of times they have talked about me, though.)
I suspect I’m being very silly in not telling any medical people about my voices. In fact, I can imagine quite a few people sitting in front of their computers and sucking in breath through their teeth when they read about this. Certainly, if the positions were reversed, I would probably want to tell “Aethelread” that not talking to the people who are trying to help him is rather unwise – how can they possibly treat you if they don’t have all the symptoms?
So, ok, I’ve persuaded myself – if I’m still hearing them on Monday, I’ll make an appointment with my gp and tell her. Scout’s honour.
I would tell the psychiatric nurse who’s giving me therapy, but I can’t, because she’s on holiday. Well, I say she’s giving me therapy. What with the previous holiday, and then the sick leave, and then the bereavement leave, and now this holiday, it might be more accurate to say she isn’t giving me therapy, just meeting with me once in a blue moon in order to apologise for not seeing me more regularly. Ah well, it’s not as though it’s her fault, poor lady.
I think I probably had a point when I started this post, but I’ll be buggered if I can remember what it was now. Re-reading what I’ve written doesn’t seem to have helped either. A practical demonstration of my earlier comment about not being able to chase any idea down to its conclusion, I guess. So I’ll leave you with this thought that’s just popped into my head.
At times like this having a routine is very important to me – it’s part of the way I feel like I’m keeping a connection with reality. The key parts of my routine are tv shows – pathetic, I know, but they’re on at the same time every week, they’re familiar and safe, and they give a structure to the week. So this is all happening at the worst possible time of year. Graham Norton’s chat show came to an end a couple of weeks ago. Jonathan Ross finished last week. The late-night repeats of Scrubs are on hold because of Big Brother, and the new series finished its run last night. It was the last episode of Brothers and Sisters last Sunday. Even Fern and Phil are having a 6 week holiday from presenting This Morning.
Waah! All my pretend tv friends are abandoning me! I’m being reduced to Homes Under the Hammer and Countdown, and I really can’t be bothered with them all that often. Even I have some standards…