Just when I thought the Black Dog was safely tucked up in his kennel, he returns on a Sunday morning and turns my head, if not my world, upside down. He crept up on me all of a sudden, without the usual symptoms, the usual warning. It’s anxiety more than depression this time, although there is a chunk of the latter in the mix, too, and I think I know why.
My therapy sessions end on Tuesday afternoon and that will be that for the foreseeable future. My therapist has told me to prepare for the end of therapy and to ensure it doesn’t become a cliff edge. A cliff edge has the potential to render everything we have done irrelevant. I so don’t want this to happen.
Part of my anxiety is the impending routine change. I do routine and habit very well. I like to know where I am, where I feel safe. I appreciate that part of my problems during this period of illness has been an excess go knowing where I am and feel safe. My problem is that I have stayed there, hermit-like.
I’m still trying to come into the light and out of the dark, though. I am trying to stay away from most kinds of conflict, even though today I stupidly engaged on twitter with the usual haters at Bristol Rovers, reminding me that this aspect of my life is immensely negative and it is never good to have an alternative view to the mob. I’m going away with friends for a week in Yorkshire very soon, I’m playing golf with the boys in the middle of November. I am trying to reintroduce some degree of normality into my life. This is a better and more positive ‘normality’ to me.
My head aches when I even think about post therapy days and I don’t normally suffer from headaches. That tells you the extent to which anxiety and depression can be such an imprisoning condition. At least I know for sure who is on my side and just as importantly who isn’t.
I now know for sure the difference between my friends and acquaintances. My friends were there for me during last year’s travails whereas my acquaintances weren’t. This is not a complaint. You would not expect people you happened to know, say through work or on fleeting social occasions, to offer a welcoming shoulder. Why should they? That’s what friends are for, as the song goes. If anything, it was a welcome reminder of what to expect and who I could rely on.
My brain hurts. I hope it even more after Tuesday.