Saturday, 25 September 2010

Hello Darkness my old friend issue 03: I really do have Angels for friends

After being in remission for most of the last two years my depression has come back to such a degree that it has really scared me. I am dealing with it as best I can. I had been doing so well & feel like all the self confidence & esteem I had, has been completely kicked out of me, due to recent events.

I had deleted this post twice last week. I thought my mood was improving. I did not & do not want to worry any one but I am anxious & frightened just now. Its my dear Dads 86th birthday next week & my parents are due to go on a much needed Holiday shortly after. I should be focusing on his big day. I love him so much. My counsellor has her civil partnership next week on the same day as my Dads birthday. My best friends has been very worried about me. I have had some lovely emails & texts from friends who caught this post before I took it down. Special thanks go to Karen & Al. I am struggling so much. I am trying to hold every thing back from worrying those who still care about me. I am trying so hard not to let anyone down.

The depression comes in waves. Huge sadness followed by muted anger has become replaced by the blackest of depression. So black it felt as though I was only just short of having suicidal thoughts, in fact for a brief moment they flickered through my subconscious. I could feel the darkness coming over me. It was part of me for so long but I thought I had escaped its clutches.

Rather than let things go I have been questioning everything.

The value I place on all my friendships. The importance of how much a particular group of friends I have known for the last fifteen years mean to me. Especially as those going back earlier all rejected me once I transitioned. Feelings of how relationships with friends & the divisions caused by one dominating poison apple can bring back old fears of the prejudice of having been born as I have & with a history of mental health issues. The way people find themselves taking sides believing the lies that seep out. Assuming because you have transitioned or have a mental illness that you are some kind of freak/leper or some one you can patronize. Was I actually insane had I been behaving erratically to my friends?

There is also unquestionable an element of anxious self inflicted T paranoia. Even so, it does appear all too easy for me to be smeared or for people to question what has happened. If asked & I tell the truth I fear the man who hold so much sway with our group will destroy me with his bullying/smearing as he will get angry or if I say nothing it will be assumed I did something wrong. I cannot win. It plays on all the insecurities, paranoia I had about what may happen when I found myself needing to transition.

I am fighting with all my heart but the depression is still very bad. I promise you I know I have too much to live for but this is without doubt the biggest challenge to my health that I have faced since transitioning. With my judgment blurred by black depression & medication I have to be careful to keep questioning just how low my mood is. I found this quite useful http://www.firelily.com/support/depression/depression.selfcheck.html

My health records now stained with the return of depression my chances of ever finding paid work again seem even harder. Just when I was so close my vulnerability, my disability my anxiety has caught up with me. I was feeling so good & in my anxiety to give something back to the friends I love so much it has all gone so horribly wrong. I seem unable to control my reaction to the premeditated thoughtless behavior of a person completely opposite to me in the value he places on friendship.

I am trying to keep going. My creative group of friends have become like an extended family to me. They provided me with the friendships that enabled me to finally live as I should always have been. It provided a special haven with incredible friends. I clearly place too greater emphasize on those friendships. Reality is showing me that just now. With the exception of my true friends the lack of concern, the silence is deafening, the lies have been spread, their poison so destructive. I can see through my best friend’s eyes now how it must have appeared to her when I had tried to move on, it may have appeared I was dancing with the devil. I do not use friends I value each & every one.

My best friend & her husband held my hand as I began my transition & faced my eternal fears of risking being rejected, isolated from our mutual friends. All those fears proved unfounded back then. Had that gone wrong, had friends not been so kind I would not be here now.

How cheaply that which I held so precious can appear to be tossed aside by people I trusted. How needy how naive of me. We had been for a period right up to just before I began living full time as Debbie what may be quite rare an artistic group without ego's clicks or eletism. Sadly as my life needed to change so a change in circumstance for a pivitol character in my creative group of friends caused them huge stress & bought their own issues to the surface.

Right now it feels like a very special part of my life is completely dead. A very substantial part of the foundation on which I had been able to successfully transition has subsided into oblivion & taken my creativity with it. That all feels very frightening to me. I cannot go on like this. I felt hopeless, totally lost. I have to dig deep to get myself out of this. In writing this it looks like a cry for help, I fear I may be worrying any friends who read this. I promise I could not put my parents through the agony of ending my life but I seem to be stuck in a spiraling loop of depressive thoughts.

If only the source of all my recent worries had spoken to me first I could have easily resigned without any smearing going on. I should not let this all hurt me but it does. In my case I feel extremely vulnerable & marginalised because of the cruel way this has all been handled & frustrated at my continued inability to control my reaction.

I should have walked away when he bullied my friend two years ago but I was too weak then. His friendship with me ended that day I kept him at arms length an acquaintance. I had managed to move on but not forget. As I was so upset for the hurt I had unintentionally caused my best friend last year & a number of friends had been expressing how uncomfortable they felt at being amongst friends at our annual exhibition because of his behaviour towards them I made a determined effort to support them as they have me. My words in the catalogue pinned my colours to the mast, like a red rag to a bull. I am so pleased my most valued friendship survived.

Mum was very poorly last weekend because of the worry I was causing her. I took her to see her GP on Monday morning. She was looking a lot better then & her results were fortunately good. Once my reaction to events began harming the health of my parents I knew I had to act. I drove from Mums GP directly to the hospital that had been caring for me to see the duty doctor. When the receptionist kindly asked” how did your exhibition go?” I just lost it & burst into tears. As usual the care I received was exceptional. They managed to get me an appointment with the consultant who has been looking after me. With huge despair I accepted his advice to increase my medication after so much progress. If this saved my parents worrying about me I had to do it. I knew with my fragile mood & my creativity equally fragile taking anti-depressants would kill my anxiety but also my creativity but I had no choice. Last Tuesday I managed some how to blag my way through a day volunteering at the hospital but Tuesday night I felt physically sick at the thought of going to my art group.

On the Wednesday I had another appointment at the hospital for some cognitive therapy I had recently been attending http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx. The doctors conclusion regarding my reaction & behaviour was that I am a very compassionate person yet I was showing no compassion to myself. I would never treat a friend the way I was beating myself up for feeling so weak & vulnerable. My reaction to what had happened in context was perfectly valid but all the other issues I had loaded on top were crushing me. Most nights I had been unable to sleep properly often waking at 4 oclock crying & not getting back to sleep until 5 minutes before the alarm would go. The cumulative effect of this made my depressive episodes even worse.

Thursday I felt almost Zombie like but wanted to keep going. I managed to get into work in the afternoon & see some volunteer friends at a meeting in the evening. I did not want to let anyone down & wanted to deliver some photos for my best friend. Fortunately their kindness did not trigger off any more tears so the drugs must be working

On Friday I received the sweetest of supportive emails from one of my fellow committee members. Saturday I managed to drive to Brighton to deliver some pictures to my friend Lucy. She bought them at our recent exhibition. I should not really have driven. In my dark past I had occasionally driven with the competency of George Michael although all my medication was prescribed. I had a lovely time with a truly special friend who shows dignity & serenity way beyond my capabilities. She provided the most delicious cooked meal & excellent company. It was a shame to leave her.

Last Sunday I finally made some progress. The realisation that Mr ##it had almost certainly already planned to bin me before the exhibition crystallized. My parents made me see that. It was not my fault, my actions or anxiety. It was my reaction to an external event. If only I had not added so many inseccurities & issues on top. If only I could have let go then!

On Tuesday I managed to go to work again with only fours sleep but with my creativity blocked I could not face visiting my art group in the evening. I some how managed to keep going & by Friday my mood had lifted enough to give me hope.

My depression is thankfully easing a little but my mood is so erratic. I will get through this with the help of my parents, true friends & kind medical help.

After all the support & kindness that I have received. All the wonderful things that have happened in my new life I feel like I am letting everyone down by blogging this.

This Saturday my mood crashed again after a bad nights sleep. I managed to take my parents out to their social club this evening & hide how I was feeling from them. Alas I cracked & was really struggling on the way home. I was getting lower & lower & lower. Then a miracle happened. The phone rang. It was a true & special friend. Julia's timing was immaculate. I cried & cried. I talked & she listened & listened, bless her. I was not suicidal but I was so low until I found once more. I really do have Angels for friends!

Love
Debbie

7 comments:

Karen said...

Debbie,
Thinking of you. Wish I could say more than what I've already said.
You know it is within you to overcome this. It may take time but give it your best shot and don't be hard on yourself. You certainly don't deserve it or any of what has happened.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Karen x

Anji said...

Oh Debbie. How one person can do all of this damage. He really is a ##it.

Don't be afraid to show your feelings, that's what friends are for. Though I understand your concern for your parents. I can't believe that your dad's birthday has come around so quickly, I hope that you all have a lovely celebration.

Look after yourself

Hugs
XXX

Lucy Melford said...

It's such a pity that most of your non-trans friends are linked to the art world you love, and therefore also to that awful person who is wrecking your life. I can barely imagine what it must be like for you. I can only sympathise, and listen if you need to talk.

Lucy

alan said...

You've never ever let me down, my friend! In fact, you might have just helped me without even knowing!

What your doctor said about not showing yourself the same compassion you show others really strikes home! Were I to substitute forgiveness it would be even more so, in my case...

So I thank you for this post and all the others you've written!

Please please pass along a hug to your Dad from me for his birthday! This summer has me thinking often of his youth and his part in making sure we got to have ours!

Love,
alan

GirlWhoShould (Lucy) said...

I really have been slow to catch up and realise the terrible pain and hurt you've been feeling. My heart goes out, you are a fantastic person.
Take care Lucy xx

Debbie K said...

Dear Karen, Anji, Lucy, Alan & Lucy

Bless you for your comforting words of support. Its been so hard but I am determined not to let this beat me. I have caused my Mum & Dad so much worry & for that reason alone i have to stop beating myself up over this massive setback. We have been thro much bigger challenges than this.

We celebrated my dear Dads birthday sharing priceless time together.
What more could a daughter ask for!
God Bless you all
Love
Debbie xx

Doris said...

Oh Debbie, my comment may be very late but (((((big hugs))))) at those times when the world seems so very dark. You have written how I feel at times and for goodness sake I don't even have some of the issues that you have had. May the coming festive season bring some joy and may those dark times become less and less so that they are banished. Something will happen and it WILL get better - you just have to believe it. Meanwhile you are so hard on yourself (something else I can identify with) so try to remember to cut yourself some slack.

Hugs my dear. xxx