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Learning to Stop my Depression in its Tracks

depression recovery

Normally on a Monday, I post a weekly weigh-in. This week, I’m posting this instead. I don’t feel like weighing myself or measuring myself or taking a selfie for a weigh-in post. I don’t feel like facing the fact I’ve put on weight and am the largest I’ve ever been in my life. I have enough going on in my head right now…

I I’ve not taken medication for my depression since I was pregnant witih S – but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis. It’s an ongoing battle, sometimes daily.

With S being ill for last week, I’ve found that stinky little bog monster has been doing its best to climb back onto my shoulder. We have been out of the house every day, as I know it’s bad for both of us to not go out of the house. However, the majority of those trips were to the shop for supplies, and straight back again. Going any further afield has been entirely thwarted by the fact our buggy is dying a death. I bought it for £30 two years ago, and it’s really served us well but now the tyre keeps slipping off the back wheel, which makes it a complete pain in the bum to use. And when your toddler is so poorly and tired they can’t even cope with walking up one flight of stairs, there’s no going out without a buggy!

On a normal day off if we don’t have plans, we’ll go to the shops and spend a good hour or two wandering around. We might go to the library, visit the ducks or the park, or go and see some Barons. It’s good for both of us to get up and out of the house, to get some fresh air and to stretch our legs. I know from previous experience that I cannot allow myself to stay in the house all day. Even over Christmas, when I had the Evil Chest Infection of Doom (it lasted over a month), I did my best to get out of the house every day.

Aside from our  enforced house arrest, we’ve also not had a proper night’s sleep for well over a week now. Looking back, I think the symptoms of S’s ear infection probably began last weekend. Since then she’s been waking in the night, either crying in pain or just unable to breathe properly. On several nights we ended up watching Baby Jake at 3am. On Saturday night, the first night in a week that S had not woken up, I was awake from 3 til 4, unable to sleep. I do not cope well with a lack of sleep.

I know that S cannot help being grumpy and whiney. I know that she’s just trying her best to get through her illness in the only way she can. But after several days with little sleep, I have a short fuse and get very antsy about things being shoved in my face, being poked, toys being shoved down my top or my feet being stood on. Aside from feeling like the world’s worst parent, I also just plain feel shitty.

A couple of things have happened work-wise this week, which I’ve been unable to address properly because I’ve been busy watching Pinocchio with S for the umpteenth time. Instead, they’ve sat in the corner of my mind and festered. That combined with a lack of sleep or fresh air, and a predisposition towards depression, has led to me becoming what in my days at Zenith Windows we referred to as negged out. I’ve been feeling negative and miserable and just not myself. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want anyone to talk to me, I don’t want anyone touching me, and woe betide you if you stop in front of me in the street. When you feel like that, it’s really difficult to parent a poorly toddler who just needs cuddles and love and something to entertain her brain while she goes stir crazy stuck at home.

In the past when I felt like this, I’ve just taken to my bed and hidden under my duvet until it passed. That always worked, until 2010 when it just didn’t. And it didn’t work in the most monumental, ridiculous, worrying way possible. I stopped eating, I was drunk for days on end and taking whatever medication came my way. I can’t do that now, and I can’t take to my bed either. S has gone back to nursery today and will hopefully last the day – but I can’t go back to bed; I have a week’s worth of missed work to catch up on, and only a couple of days free this week in which to do it.

So what do I do? How do I drag myself out of this pit, before I sink past the point of no return? Here’s my plan:

  • Socialise with people even when I really can’t stand the thought of making conversation
  • Meditate
  • Limit screen time
  • Avoid multi-tasking
  • Avoid sleeping during the day
  • Set an alarm to remind me to eat during the day – and eat decent, fresh food not chocolate and ice cream
  • Early nights
  • Read good books
  • Positive mantras to repeat in my head when it all begins to spin

I know this will work, because there is no option but for it to work. There is no plan B; there is nobody to fall back on. If I fall back into the pit of eternal stench, S has nobody else to take care of her and make sure she’s happy. So I’m working bloody hard on making sure I get back to where I was, as quickly as possible!

 

Vicky is a single mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. You can find her blogging, business and social media tips at VickyCharles.com.

17 Comments
  • Kimmie

      REPLY

    I'm sorry to hear that you (and S) have had such a rotten week, Vicky... I'm glad she's on the mend now, I hope you feel better soon... lack of sleep is hard to bear, without depression lurking.. for those of us who live with 'the stalker', sleeplessness is like open invitation. I hope your strategies work quickly for you, take care, Kimmie x Kimmie recently posted...Ten Things of Thankful 12/07/2015 #10ThankfulMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Oh, you're so right. It is like an open invitation. I can cope with almost anything, as long as I can sleep. It's lack of sleep that was my downfall before! I've been ill today so rested a lot. Hopefully now I'm on the mend.

  • Kim Carberry

      REPLY

    Sorry to hear you are having a rough time....I hope S is all better now! Sending love and hugs....I hope things are better soon x Kim Carberry recently posted...Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmondayMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thanks, she seems better so that's something!

  • Thismummylark

      REPLY

    Sorry to hear you've had a rough week and feeling crap. Hopefully next week is a better and more positive one. Your plan sounds good! Thismummylark recently posted...How has being a parent changed meMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thanks, fingers crossed!

  • Nicola B

      REPLY

    It sounds like you've had a really terrible time, fingers crossed S and yourself are on the mend now. I think if I had the chance I'd stay in my room too but living with my parents stops me from doing that. Some days it's really hard to be in company when in your head you are just thinking eff off mostly and you feel like a coiled snake so you really can't be bothered with life or anything to do with it. Managing all your emotions and looking after S must be doubly hard. I think you've done really well to get out of the house, it's a major struggle. I can have a short fuse around M too, I explain why I acted/reacted the way I did and that it doesn't affect how I feel about her but I do worry what it's doing to her mental health, my mental health and our living circumstances. Sometimes she hasn't really even done anything to warrant it but whether she has or she hasn't I've always tried to explain everything to her so she understands things. As much as we want them to they can't grow up thinking that there are only one or two emotions and situations. My screen time is far too much and my sleep is far too little so I need to try and change that as well as you. I haven't tried meditation, I've done a little yoga. I read an article that said that complex crafts like knitting are really good for depression so that may be something you could do? I know everyone has a view and all cases are different but it's something. http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/blogs/why-crafting-is-good-for-mental-health Anyway, enough from me. Take care xx Nicola B recently posted...30 Days Wild pictorial.My Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      I'm not sure I have the patience for knitting! I do find that anything that involves being "in flow" and completely lost in the task can help. For me that's often writing. Meditation is a massive help for me, I just have to be strict with myself to make sure I do it!

  • Amanda

      REPLY

    Oh Vicky, my heart goes out to you, it really does! I hadn't worst week last week, facing some really awful emotions (for me it is totally hormonal and completely out of my control) and I have no idea how I'd have coped if it was just O and me. To imagine facing that, for longer than a week, and parenting on my own is just so hard... I'm not sure I can imagine it. So I just want to say that I hope you can get back to your usual routines that help as soon as possible and in the meantime I am thinking of you xxx Amanda recently posted...Ten Years with EndometriosisMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thank you Amanda, that means a lot. Now that S is (mostly) back to her normal self it feels a little easier. I'm still struggling but it's easier when I don't have a poorly pickle to contend with as well!

  • Kirsten Toyne

      REPLY

    It is so tough when they are ill. I used to feel like a caged monkey after a week so it is not just you. Knowing what works for you is very valuable. Sometimes you just have to know what is best and do it. Make sure you are kind to yourself through all of this. In my current series of posts The Summer Holiday Self Worth Challenge I talk about our self talk (not yet out) and how it impacts us so much. Kind gentle words are what you need here. Reassure yourself like it was your closest friend explaining your situation. things will pick up for you soon. Hang in there. Kirsten Toyne recently posted...The Summer Holiday Self Worth Challenge Part1My Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thanks Kirsten, luckily we're both on the mend now!

  • MummaG

      REPLY

    Those sound like great strategies, jogging or long walks are good too. I think I need to use some of your strategies. I hope everything starts to brighten up for you x

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thanks, I hope you find it useful.

  • Richard

      REPLY

    Hi Vicky Sorry to read how down you feel - I spend my time chuckling over the goings on with you and S.......I'm sure its a blip and you get back on track.......Re the buggy - is there any way I can help get your wheels and S back on the road or should I say pavement....LOL....??? Waiting for the next chapter........

  • Shelley

      REPLY

    Great tips, Vicky. I'm struggling at the moment with an undiagnosed health issue and it's had a knock on effect with the rest of my life. Being a single mum to three teens lands all the good cop/bad cop parenting on me which can tip me over the edge on occasion, but on the whole my kids are good, supportive and helpful around the house. I've tried so hard over the last few weeks to make coffee dates with friends, even though I just want to crawl under my quilt and stay there. It's hard to cope some days, but knowing that others are going through similar emotions really does help. Thanks for sharing and helping me to feel less alone. :-) Shelley recently posted...BUY or PASS? Will #chicklit provide a #FridayFiveChallenge winner?My Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thank you for sharing Shelley, I hope you get a diagnosis and start to feel better soon. I think physical health can have a massive impact on our mental health. And I can totally relate to wanting to just hide under the duvet!

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