Do you ever get those days when you wake up in the worst possible mood? There's the impending sense of doom, the irritability and the feeling of deep dread. I woke up restless and not quite sure where to put myself. None of these sensations generally make for a good day for me. Sadly, normal moodiness has taken on a new dimension since the last bout of depression I had. I can't seem to stop expecting the next epsiode. I’m not sure that any period of prolonged good mental health will stop me anticipating another fall from grace and rapid unravelling.
I've been sleeping badly, partly due to the dodgy neck (yes, it's still dodgy) and partly the sudden hot weather. Britain is a terrible place for weather. The main issue being not the rain or cold, but that the weather never lasts long enough for you to become acclimatised. Except the rain: we never seem to get used to rain however even though we get enough of it. I know that tiredness and being over caffeinated has lead to this niggly mood but I can’t help but worry.
It’s probably a good sign that this mood has become unfamiliar to me. The past couple of years have been really much better for me and in terms of my mental health I seem to be maintaining the status quo and remaining well. It’s something to be celebrated that the all too familiar deep dread is now a stranger who I try to turn away rather than a regular caller who calls in for coffee and then refuses to leave.
A big issue for me when I’m depressed is anhedonia. That’s the sensation where nothing brings any joy at all and everything feels numbing and pointless. I don’t have that today. I’ve seen Paul and felt pleasure in his company, been thrilled by a really stunning art exhibition and tasted and liked food. These aren’t the defaults when I’m depressed. When depressed, I could be shown round the Taj Mahal and think it looked tawdry and cramped and even a lavish cream tea at Fortnum and Mason’s would taste like so much cardboard. On a really bad day, I could be offered a meeting with a resurrected idol (such as queens of mean, Bette Davis and Dorothy Parker) and I’d be unable to summon the energy.
In truth, this fear of relapse is actually not a bad thing as with it comes a certain vigilance. If I know the signs, I can spot the signs. If I can spot the signs I can start to examine my behaviour and do the things I’m not good at doing (resting, resting and resting).
On second thoughts: maybe I’m not going mad at all. There’s a perfectly rational explanation for my bad mood along with the insomnia and coffee excess. It’s bloody hot and the frigging Olympics are starting. Now that’s enough to rile me any day of the week. I have gained a new found admiration for Bradley Wiggins though. Not for his cycling ability but for his amazing nose. What a hooter!