Depression, my old friend. It's been a while. We spent a few years apart, and each time you tried to claw your way back into my life, I thought I'd be able to successfully beat you off. Only this time, you were too much and I was too far gone before I realised the seriousness of it all.
So here I sit, alone in Room 19, pondering how it got to this point, and questioning how I can manage it better next time, so you can't slip in through a doorway or a window I've left open somewhere.
I know we have a long history. I know for many years I welcomed you into my life, because you were safe, you were comfortable, and I'm pretty sure I wrongly assumed that you would protect me from the world outside, by destroying me from within, where although destroyed, I would remain in control.
This time around, my life has changed somewhat. Sure, right now, I'm a little over it all, but generally speaking, I'm a pretty happy person these days. I'm married, I have wonderful friends, a supportive and amazing family, including some very cute little people who can hug me and make everything feel like a million times better.
I first realised that you were making your way in early last year. But with the wedding and honeymoon to distract myself, I figured that you'd just go away on your own. Once the wedding and honeymoon were over, and you started to make your presence a little more well known, the echo of your existence a little louder, I considered it the come-down after such an exciting time in my life, and once again, thought if I ignored you, and tried to drown you out with friends, with exercise, with distraction and avoidance, that you'd realise you weren't welcome and leave on your own accord. Only this time, it wasn't that simple.
I linked in with a GP. I got a mental health care plan. I saw a psychiatrist, I saw a psychologist, I found a better GP. All was on track for recovery, only you didn't want to make it that easy. The medication did nothing to lift my mood. Your friend, Anxiety, who I'd not really experienced like this before, came along with you for the ride. It was hard enough to try and gain control of you, but with Anxiety tagging along, both of you feeding off the other, I knew I was in over my head.
And here we are... the third hospital admission in as little as four months. The first one to save me from making decisions in the heat of the moment, the second much the same, but also to try an alternative treatment. After the anti-depressants did little to help, and the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) did not assist as I'd hoped, you left me with little choice but to travel down the Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) path.
At first, if I'm honest, I wasn't hopeful. It was just another thing to tick off the list to say that I'd tried. Another thing that would show others that I don't ask to be depressed and anxious, and that I would literally try anything to ease the pain. Even if it meant going under three times per week and having surges of electricity sent to my brain to trigger a seizure.
On Monday, I had treatment #4 and today, treatment #5, and I'm happy to report that although, nowhere near where I need to be, I do feel as though that heavy weight is lifting. What previously crushed me through the floor, and made it feel difficult for me to be able to pull myself even to floor level, has now had part of the weight removed. I still feel trapped, I still feel suffocated, I still feel afraid and alone and so very lost, but I don't feel like I have no other option. I feel as though with the ECT showing improvement, I, at the very least, do not need to give up and throw in the towel right now.
Right now, beneath the rubble of it all, I have found something I'd lost somewhere along the way. Hope. And as long as you have hope, you have reason to keep trying. And that's what I intend to do, for now anyway. What have I got to lose?