Spoons

Feb. 20th, 2011 12:01 pm
metztlimoon: (Default)
I've not been about much recently... life is going through one of those difficult patches at the moment, and lots of things look pretty bleak.

One of the things I have been doing of late is trying to explain to people why depression is such a bastard.  However, if you haven't been there it is very difficult to explain.  My job involves teaching and working with medical students, and to me its important they try and empathise as much as they can with people who are very different to them.

Some time ago, I was introduced to the 'spoon theory'.   You can read it in full here  http://butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf and it provides a wonderful metaphor for living with illness.  It was written by someone with a long standing physical condition, Lupus, but anyone who has struggled with mental illness of any form will recognise their own condition in there as well.

Let me briefly try and encapsulate what the Spoon theory is about - its about that for people living with any long standing illness, life is a constant process of decision making. Every action, small and large, uses up part of the physical energy and mental willpower you have for the day.  The spoons in the story represent that energy and willpower.  Each thing you do uses up one of those spoons and when you have a chronic illness... you have less spoons to play with. Once they are gone, they are gone. I urge you to read it, the full story works better than any summary I could give.



Depression and the Spoon theory )

Sam xxxx



metztlimoon: (Default)

Ah. I've been spotting the signs for a few weeks now, the little clues that I'm on a downward trend to an active depressive phase (funny expression, that).  The increasing dip to paranoia, the unexpected emotional instability, the growing dislike of people, the long, long sleeps. 

The clincher was when I left the house, then went back in to see I hadn't actually switched the gas rings on by turning off the boiler. Twice.

I've become painfully unsure of myself at a subliminal level (if that makes sense), hence the gas thing. I normally have enough confidence to assume (subliminally) I haven't done that. Once I start doing things like that I know where I am in the 'period of depression' spotter.

I have become angrily aware of my flaws.  I'm becoming withdrawn from people, liable to say snappy, bitter comments. I fluctuate between wanting violent sex and emotion filled lovemaking.

These things add up, not to a day or two of ranting (the Journal is littered with them) but to one of those long hard slogs.

I know that for some people, it must seem that becoming aware of these things is ensuring a self fulfilling prophesy. Heads up, mutterers, this is a disease. You can spot the signs and symptoms of a disease, but that's a diagnosis, not a prophesy.  (Look, I have sneezing, a bit of a fever, a runny nose and a headache. If I try really hard I haven't got a cold at all. No workee that way. )

See what I mean about the paranoia?

Anyway, it's not like there aren't enough things cluttering up the last few months leading up to me destabilising.

A deeper explanation of how I know. )

It's a phase. It's an inevitable phase. Tomorrow, tonight, sometime soon I'll be in it and when I am, I won't remember it isn't forever.

I'm lucky- I'm not usually in the worst of it for long, a few days, maybe weeks.

IT ISN'T FOREVER. NOTHING IS.

metztlimoon: (Default)
I feel like shit.

I feel like everything I do and everything I am is inadequate. My ideas are unoriginal, my editing is crappy, I am a pointless human being with loads of knowledge that serves no purpose. I never finish stories, I haven't got the backbone I was born with, yet again I'm financially fucked.

Simply put, I am not good enough.

I know feeling like this isn't surprising. I havent taken the tablets in about 6 weeks because I needed a clear head to deal with the hand thing, but now that's happened all over again  (more surgery, more Uselessness) and the gap has caught up with me. I know I have been unlucky, I know that's bound to make me feel shitty. I know I should start the tablets again but I'm not sure I'll be able to do the hours I have to do for work while I'm taking them (up at 5.30am, back at 8pm. Not a chance).

But I'm tired of coping and I'm tired of putting a brave face on it. I'm tired of hurting because I cant help my friends and my family with their stuff. I'm tired of feeling so utterly vulnerable to fate... what if one of the cats gets ill, what if I hurt my other hand, what if the laptop breaks? I've been on the edge so long and I've no backups left, no safety nets, no room to slip up without really falling.  How many more times can something come up in the nick of time? Not many I fear, not many.
metztlimoon: (Default)
Yes.

Some years ago I realised I get depressed in August. Really, not I feel a bit shitty, but the full blown despair for weeks and weeks, kicking off in August. I think it's because in my mind September should be a time of promise, going back to school or uni, a chance to learn new stuff , a real new step going somewhere up the educational ladder or wherever.

And now..... now it's nothing. Or associated with painful changes, and fears, and the realisation that really - I am going nowhere.

Last year I told myself I'd do something, make sure I had something special to look forward to or be excited about during August so that I could avoid the evil cycle.

It doesn't seem to have worked. Possibly because I have nothing to look forward to, or be excited about that even so much as suggests life isn't so bad after all.

The End of my contract coming up (2 months to go) has really put the frighteners on me. And when I get worried about something I can't (and I have bloody tried) concentrate enough to rationalise it. And then all the other things join in the gap as well.

Last August I was in a very bad way, and it was probably only getting this job that kept me going for a while, although frankly, the last year has had a lot of hell in it. This job was intended to be a bit of a springboard towards some kind of educator role in a University, and because PHD wasn't required I actually had some hope that I'd get a chance for development. It was a short term contract, true enough, but it really didn't seem the kind of post that could just vanish . And anyway, it would put me in a good learning space.

But no. Although I was promised chance to complete CertTLHE, the course was full before I'd done 1 week in the post and the next one starts after I 'm gone. So no qualification benefit to having done this post then.  The world is filling with young, bright, pretty people with PHDs and PGCEs against whom my experience is worthless in the face of a peice of paper. (A peice of paper, incidentally, I can't get unless I'm actually teaching already.)

I'm now faced with being one year further on up what has turned into a blind alley and not the opportunity I wanted. My brain is telling me that this (Age 33, no driving licence, no house, no relationship, no job ever lasted longer than 2 years) really is my last chance to do what I want to otherwise I am looking at a hateful university admin job in an office full of normal people who think I am strange and incessantly chat about big brother or bitch about me;  and no creativity, teaching or learning anywhere to be seen. I DO NOT WANT to have that kind of existence, I don't think I can actually cope with that kind of existence. And it's easy to say do it for a while to sort yourself out but there is NO sorting out of that kind of situation. The longer I'm away from anything close to what I want to do, the more that little dream drifts over the horizon like all the other ones I've ever had.

And that's the good version of this future, because at the moment homeless is a possible option as well. i suppose plausibly I could try and get on a PGCE (I hate kids. I really, really hate them and besides the history of mental illness rather affects that one), or back to Anthropology  (I love that subject so much but without some other income of reasonable level I am screwed) but you know what, then I have to move into some dingy little shit hole that the cats won't be allowed in so I end up losing the only thing I actually do have in my life.

And yeah, I'm creative, and I write stuff, and I can make cool videos but frankly, no one cares about that shit and those that do have a plethora of newly qualified professionals not a self taught fangirl hobbyist. My life is small, pathetic and pointless.

What about part time PhDs? Well, I've had a look, and you know what, it's not possible, because you still have to go along to compullsory this or compulsory that once a week that no FT job would work round and no PT job can pay for. And I believed I may have mentioned before the problem with the TLHE certificate.

I don't have a PhD, or a proper teaching qualification. other people do. Ergo, I am not as good as these people otherwise I would have had the chance to have one by now. Ergo I deserve the uncertainty and the life I have outlined above. And because I deserve that I can't change that. So that is how it is going to be. AND I don't want that... so I don't know what to do.

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