I have to write, right here, and right now. If I don’t, I might start crying (and that’s just unacceptable…). I guess you could say I’m in a post-therapy spin; a spin with a sprinkling of deja-vu.
So, let’s back-track. A few months ago, I unwittingly found a new way to cope with depression; I started believing that my life would end (naturally) in a week or two, which meant I didn’t have to bother thinking about the big scary future thing. It worked for a while, but when I realised what I was doing, and discussed it in therapy, I made the decision to put that little delusion behind me and commit to having a real future. That commitment took the form of financial planning, improving my social life etc…
…and then bam, I was told that my work contract would not be renewed (as I was initially led to believe it was), and suddenly the future was ‘dangerous’ and ‘too scary’, and all the *I don’t want to think about it/I want to curl up under a rock* defences kicked in, and I was back to the two-week life expectancy deal. Roll on today’s therapy session.
It was excruciating, because within the first ten minutes we reached a position where all Dr T could do was sit and wait for me to decide to commit to life again. And I didn’t want to. I really, really didn’t want to.
It was also excruciating because we’ve been in this position before, and I know how it plays out. If I don’t commit to life, the only alternative is to commit to death, and suicide presents problems of its own that means it isn’t really an option. So, I end up having to commit to life, after a childish period of holding out and wishing everything and everyone would just go away. Dr T sits, and waits patiently. We both know what I’m eventually going to say, which makes it all the harder for me to say it.
But today brought something new. A game-changer. The depressive thought I have that undermines every attempt to think about having a positive future is that I’m broken. I believe that as I fell ill with depression, something changed in my head, which makes me notice every life-opportunity for positive change, sucking the potential meaning/happiness out of the experience of it (for example, I knew getting a job was supposed to generate meaning and self-worth, and now two months into employment, none of this has materialised). I believe this change is irreversible, and dooms me to a life of depression. But Dr T says it isn’t.
This hadn’t occurred to me. Dr T could be wrong, or lying etc, but if he is right, and I’m really not broken permanently, it would be a mistake to do anything other than try again at building a future.
The choice was made. I had to ask Dr T to stop smiling (if we were following a script, the stage directions would have read ‘Slow clapping from the audience as MQ finally makes the inevitable choice‘). And now I have to deal with this.
I’m scared. Scared of finding new employment, of ageing, of making mistakes, and pretty much everything else there is to possibly be scared of. But somewhere inside me is a very tentative belief that maybe it could work out.
What scares me more than any of that is how close I remain to the danger zone; it would be so, so easy to go back down the suicidal road if I fell. While Dr T is around and I can afford to keep seeing him, that’s not a problem. But if he goes, or I run out of money…well, it scares me enough that I don’t want to expand on that, and I HATE that this stinks of dependency. I need to have a think about this.