Some lovely roses Aunty Pauline bought for me after their stay at the weekend, and something that's making me smile. Note to self - buy flowers more often.
For me, one of the tough things about depression is that recovery is not a straight line upwards. It would make sense to me that, if I carry on taking the medication properly, today I should feel a little bit better than I did yesterday, and the day after even better still. Frustratingly, it really does feel like a case of two steps forward and one step back.
It's two weeks and one day since ground zero - the day that I completely broke down. I had been really struggling with the depression since Christmas, but I knew that I was feeling worse and worse. The only relief I had were what I called "cocoon days." On cocoon days, I would disppear. I would tell everyone that I was working with the other (bearing in mind that I was working 2 jobs and running a business). I would then spend blissful time doing only what I wanted - which was usually knitting, crocheting or pottery painting.
Ironically, the more under pressure I felt, the more I needed cocoon days. And the more I needed them, the less I should have taken them, given that the work and pressure were ramping up. It was ever decreasing circles. In the end I let lots of things slide and people started to get frustrated and cross with me - which made me start to avoid them, and phone calls, letters and emails. Which made them more cross. And me more determined to take my time where I could. I became a muddled, defensive mess.
Ground Zero came about when I made a mistake at work. In some ways it was very silly and minor - I hadn't confirmed a booking. I'll be honest - I lied and said I had. Bullshitting is the easiest way out of these situations sometimes. It's not like me - I usually am very conscientious. Anyway, lots of people had started work on something based on this little white lie I told. And I started to panic. The pressure I felt under was indescribable, and I hated myself. I was literally heaving.
In the end, someone else had made a worse mistake than me and so the whole thing was abandonded. I was out of the shit. But when I got home, there was a letter for the business about a bill I didn't even know we'd run up. I just dissolved. I never cry, never. Except when I am watching something sad on the television, and even then it's embarrassing and Dom takes the mickey. But that evening I just sobbed and sobbed all night long. To the extent that Charlie, my 4 year old, was afraid I was going to die, and it was clear from their faces that Dominic and Jonathan were seriously worried about me too.
I literally spent the next 5 days on the sofa. I did bits and bobs of work from home, but I had five cocoon days in a row. I spent most of that time asleep - it was like my body just went into shutdown. I did some knitting, but very little really, and only really managed stocking stitch - I literally could not concentrate on anything for more than 10 minutes or so. I largely slept all morning and watched Diagnosis Murder and Murder She Wrote in the afternoon.
Since those five days, I have started to feel much better. Dom has been at home, it's the school summer holidays, and his gentle, positive influence has been really helpful. He really understands, having been through something similar himself a couple of years ago. He just listens and encourages me to do things as I need to. There is something about his quiet, positive strength that just allows me to hand all my trust over to him as I know he's always got my best interests at heart.
Despite feeling generally more upbeat, the last two days have been tough. The anxiety has returned and I have stopped sleeping. Last night Jonny had a sleepover in a friend's tent, and I spent most of the night worrying he was OK - which is mad, he's 12 FFS and it was a few minutes away from home. I left the back light on should he come home, and he had his keys. Nothing bad really could happen. But somehow that didn't stop the depressive Gremlins whittering in my ear all night. True to form he came home this morning having had a wonderful time. And I am just tired out.
The upside of feeling down is that I have allowed myself to spend lots of time crocheting. I am making a new Afghan for the dining room. I started to make the Pieced Throw from the Erika Knight Book but it was too modern for the room, as I wanted a vintage look, so I frogged it and started again. It also didn't look right in sage green and purple. So I started making a lovely, flowery granny square blanket, having been inspired by the brilliant Attic 24 blog.
The centre of each square is a new stitch for me - bobble stitch (click link for instructional video). I do 8 bobble stitches and it really looks like the centre of a flower as it's more pointy that the Granny trebles. Each batch of four squares are joined, with edging of four rounds of Granny trebles in different colours. I am currently thinking that I will join all those bigger squares - possibly 9 or 12 - and then edge with a wide border of white and lilac. This will balance the bright colours of the centre squares, and will make sure it stands out on my aubergine sofas.
I am looove-ing it. There is something so soothing about the mindless trebles, which I can now do with my eyes shut, and I love the different textures of the different yarns. I really do like using a mixture of odds and ends, in the recycle and make-do-and-mend tradition of afghans. It is a soothing, repetitive mental wallpaper and helps me pass these dark, depressive days.
Anyway, what do you think?
And, as a contrast to this lovely colour, I decided to have a bash at the round cushion in Erika Knight's book. I am crocheting in a cream, cotton DK and I love the texture. It worked up really quickly to start with, although now the rounds are over 120 stitches it's taking much longer! I have run out of yarn for this, and for the edges of the afghan, so I will have to pop out to my LYS when the car comes back from the garage and it stops raining.
Here you go. And here's hoping for a bit more sunshine (literal and metaphorical) tomorrow.... x