The Depression Avalanche

The thing with finding you are in the middle of a depressive episode is you can’t work out how it happened, again. You are actually surprised, how did it happen without you noticing it? Except that the signs are all there and you ignored them.

Depression is a bit like an avalanche, a massive, big event, and how the hell can you not notice an avalanche?

Avalanche

Except that an avalanche starts with just a snowfall, beautiful and bright. That’s you too right now, feeling that all is well, walking through the world, beautiful and bright. That snowfall is joined by other snowfalls – all is still well, except that the first snowfall is feeling somewhat restricted under the weight of all the other snowfalls.

You are fine, you are coping, doing all the self-care things that you know work for you. Except that you aren’t, you’ve started to skip a few here and there because you feel so much better.

You skip a walk in the park one lunch time and before you know it you aren’t going for a walk anymore. You find yourself rushing in the mornings so you start to skip breakfast and because you don’t have time to make a lunch you end up buying something quickly from a local deli. Under pressure in work to complete tasks, which you are procrastinating about, you end up staying later and later – you haven’t time to cook a nice meal with fresh food when you get in.

You are so very tired but go to bed and can’t sleep. Your mind reminding you of all the mistakes and errors you have made that day.  You eventually drift off and then wake as if you haven’t slept at all, exhausted before the day has even begun, clinging to the bed until the last possible moment – finding that you are constantly in a rush.

You think about calling a friend except you always think that it’s a bad time and they might be busy. You start to ignore calls or emails from them – especially if they are trying to call to meet up for coffee or dinner, because you just don’t fancy going out right now.

Your inner world starts to constrict and then the ruminations begin. The voices that tell you that you are not good enough, that you can’t compete with other people, that they all have their lives together and you must be mad, bad or stupid and therefore of no use to anyone.

Eventually there it is, that one small little snowfall, hardly a few flakes at all really, but that one final flurry is all it can take to bring down a mountain.

One teeny crisis, one additional stressor in work or the home and you start to crumble. You look around and realise that you have collapsed but didn’t notice the danger you were in.  You are smothered by all that snow, desperate, gasping for breath, unable to climb up or get out.

Still in shock … how did that happen?

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