It's serendipitous that I am writing this blog post exactly a month after the last. I said then as I've said numerous times before, these posts aren't too regular. But it feels right to write one at this moment.
Yesterday myself, Catherine and our friend Andrew ran the Glow Worm Trail half marathon. The event was way out of Sydney in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales near the town of Lithgow. The course and scenery were picturesque and peaceful, a great break from the "noise" of city life. We really enjoy this event not just for the course, but the friendly, community feel of the race. In fact we enjoy it so much that it's now the third time we have run it, not bad for non-trail runners!
Perhaps the reason for me writing though is less the enjoyable part of the weekend, but the mental hangover from it. The physical and mental fatigue from attending the event has left me peering down a well of sorts that has been closed for some time. Although I know I will bounce back after a couple of days rest and food it has been a stark reminder of how quickly things can change. To sum it up is relatively easy. It’s less a feeling of fatigue and soreness, but more a hollowness. It’s lethargy for the normal routine, for the simple. It’s a lack of feeling for the good and an easy acceptance for the bad. It’s an overall feeling of hopelessness and sadness that pervades every thought and action like a fog.
But I’ve been here before. I’m fortunate to have experienced consecutive days of this and know that it passes. Sometimes it can be gone by tomorrow and I experience a seesaw effect in emotions. Other times it can last a few days and gradually dissipate like some poisonous gas blow away by the wind. As long as I survive the initial attack I know the normal calm will return.
Sometimes this can be incredibly difficult. Many people working through depression make progress only to have a setback, which can prove suicidal. There could be a number of reasons, but having been there myself I think it is thought that you’ll never really be “better”. The idea that you are stuck with this illness and that you won’t experience life quite the same again is pretty awful. It can be particularly painful as a writer publishing books to help others, because you inevitably feel like a fraud. Fortunately I am a lot better because of what I have followed and then written about. I keep that light on in my brain to help me.
I wanted to share this brief post as a reminder that all is not as it seems. Many people have so much going on behind their mask that they can’t talk about. Perhaps they don’t want to burden people like I once did. Perhaps they just don’t know where to start. It’s always worth spending a little longer asking friends and family how they are doing, even if that’s all you do it can make the difference.