Wednesday, 25 September 2013
A week in the life of a struggling depressive
Oh, what a week! I’ve been up and down like a manic barometer over the last week or so. There have been some really good things happening that have elevated my mood for a while but then the feeling wears off and I’m down on the floor again.
I’ve been doing quite a lot of work with Anglia Ruskin University for the past couple of years through a mental health service user involvement project and currently with the Social Work Faculty. I’m currently helping to write part of a module that is being taught to BA and MA students and I’ve found working with the lecturer really motivating and helpful for my ability to cope with my depression. My self-esteem is quite high as a result of the feedback I’m getting on the stuff I’ve written and I only wish I could do this type of stuff all the time because I really enjoy doing it. The only worrying thing is that I will be delivering the material I’ve come up with to a lecture room filled with students on 3 October (or next Thursday for those of you who take notice of those things). It’s not like I haven’t done it before but this isn’t just telling a bunch of students my story about living with depression and taking some questions, it’s writing and delivering more academic type stuff and it’s scaring the Hell out of me. The lecturer is really supportive though so that’s a great help and I’m not the only service user writing and delivering material. My good friend Mark is going to be there too.
Actually, Mark is responsible for keeping my mood elevated when it seems to be dropping like a stone with the long but extremely funny ‘phone calls. I probably don’t tell him as often as I should just how much I appreciate those calls and the laughs we have. It’s nice that, out of all the shit that the involvement project turned into in the last few months of its life, I’ve been able to get at least one good thing out of the wreckage and that’s my friendship with Mark.
It’s actually a big thing for me to call anyone I’ve met in the real world a friend as I have had a lot of bad experiences with so-called ‘friends’ but with Mark, friend is the right term to use. He has a lot of similarities with my own personality but also significant differences. We like the same kind of stuff and have the same kind of ideals but we also have areas of disagreement. He encourages me to get involved in events and meetings I wouldn’t really have bothered with and he always gives constructive feedback on any stuff I do with him. I hope he can say the same for me but I doubt it because he’s a better man than I am.
This week I even reached out to someone who uses the same mood tracking app as I do and who seemed to be in a desperate state of affairs. I hope I helped her; she did seem to be at the end of her tether.
I’ve had the chance to catch up on my DVD watching and listening to my audio drama CDs so I’m coping as well as can be expected. If things keep going like this I might actually get around to writing some reviews for my other blog that has remained untouched for so long.
I hope that I’ll be able to replace my broken laptop with a brand spanking new one so that I can really get into writing my blogs and other stuff again because I really miss it. Losing my laptop is probably why my mood is so low most of the time now although, saying that, my mood has never been that high anyway.
Oh well, back to the old grindstone. All this social work course preparation won’t do itself!