Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

symptoms consistent with…

on June 7, 2012

Recently I got involved in a bit of a stand-off at work.  I received an email asking me to do something, to which I replied, suggesting politely that it wasn’t really my job and that they do it themselves.  The reply was that they didn’t know how to do it and that they would like me to do it.  I became quite angry and spent the day becoming increasingly angry with anyone who asked me to do anything even slightly outside the remit of my role.  And then just angry with anyone who asked me to do anything.  Irrationally angry.  With anyone making my life more difficult than it already was.  Since Ex-Husband left, my life has become difficult and unpleasant a lot of the time.  I needed to talk to someone about this, rather than sending passive-aggressive emails to people in other departments and raging at the people who sit near me.  Everyone would thank me for it.

My employer will refer me to a counselling service, but I needed my GP to write a letter recommending counselling.  So I spoke to my GP.  “I spoke to you a while ago, after my husband left, about counselling.  At the time I was coping ok but now I’m really struggling.  I feel as if I’m on the edge of depression.”  What makes me think I might be depressed?  “I feel really miserable. I’m really struggling.  I’m not eating well.  I have a lot of negative thoughts.  I feel as if my children might be better off without me.  I don’t really feel like I want to live a lot of the time.”  Blimey! That sounded serious!  My GP agreed.  I said that I was coping, but only because I have to, because of my children, and that actually, coping is really hard work.  My GP said that sounded like ‘symptoms consistent with depression’ and he agreed to write to my employer recommending counselling.

I found his description, ‘symptoms consistent with depression’, interesting and strangely satisfying. I’ve felt so proud of myself for so long for coping with everything that has happened and mainly staying positive, not succumbing to depression. I don’t want to label how I feel as depression because I don’t want to give myself the slightest chance to fall apart. And I don’t think it is the sort of depression that comes from an inbalance in your brain.  I think it’s a normal sort reaction to the things that have happened to me over the past eight months.  The man who promised to love me forever decided one day to stop loving me and to leave.  Big Girl cries for Daddy when she comes home.  She struggles with the coming and going and the changing.  I feel like an inadequate parent.  Most of the time I feel quite lonely and I miss loving and being loved.  My ability to have a secure and trusting relationship has been seriously damaged and I can’t imagine having the time or energy to have a relationship in the near future.  In the past fortnight I’ve been investigated for child protection and benefit fraud.  I am tired all the time.  It’s no wonder I feel sad and the future looks bleak.

But I’m getting through it. I am making good choices.  On Sunday I didn’t feel like getting up or doing anything, but I went out and did a kind of run (I found the scenic route to the supermarket along the canal and got very wet feet) because I hoped it would make me feel better and I think it did. I don’t allow thoughts of running away or of hurting myself to take root because I have two children who need me.  I try to get the help I need – my Home Start volunteer, counselling, help from friends – because giving up is not an option.  It’s not a choice that I have. Before now, when I’ve had depression, I’ve had someone to carry me, someone to look after me, the option of staying in bed and crying.  I don’t have that any more and I have two children who need me.

I know that some people have crippling depression, are unable to get out of bed.  I’m fortunate that I don’t have that sort of depression.  I’m not saying I’m better than those people, just that I don’t have that illness.  I just have ‘symptoms consistent with depression’.

I have thought about whether I want to blog about this; whether this is something I want on the internet.  I don’t want people to worry about me and I’m not looking for more drama (the baby with her leg in a plaster cast is more than enough, thank you).  But I’m here trying to work out how to make my life better, how to make it as good as it can be despite everything, and getting through this is part of that.


7 responses to “symptoms consistent with…

  1. Simon H says:

    That was a particularly bad day for you. I hope I didn’t make it worse for you x

  2. Ruth Edson says:

    Just read this as I’ve been camping. Think you’ve done all the right things I.e. talking to your manager, going to the doctors etc. thinking of you lots. Going back to work must be so hard.
    There’s an article in th family section of the guardian, in fact, the not very aptly titled ‘problem solved’ section by there’s a link to a site called

    • I really like the ‘problem solved’ section, thought it should probably be called ‘musings on a problem’ sometimes. It’s a bit more relevant than usual this week. The article in the link looks really useful, although some of it is more relevant to people with older children, I think. I do find it really hard sometimes to keep my emotions about my separation away o from my children – I manage but it’s very wearing remaining positive with Big Girl about something which has been so devastating for me. Really, someone should give me a medal. Why aren’t there more medals given for surviving domestic trauma?

    • Oh, and I hope you had a good time camping. If you’re now free to come to the party tomorrow it would be lovely to see you, and if not I’ll hopefully see you soon.

  3. I Just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award
    If you’d like to accept this award then please take it to your blog and pass it on – if this is not your thing then please accept this as a compliment to your excellent blogging!

    • Thank you – I feel really privileged. Like you, I don’t think there are 15 blogs I could nominate – apart from anything else, I use a mac and safari seems to dislike wordpress and refuses to find blogs when I try to open them. So I read them on my phone and then can’t look at the blog or comment. It also regularly refuses to look at ikea and tesco, sometimes half way through an order. It’s just a little frustrating! But after Little Girl’s birthday I shall look at passing on the nomination. And thank you once again.

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