Fifty Shades of Blue

They say therapy comes in all different forms. Some people like to sit on a big couch and tell a professional all their problems; some people like to sit on a friend’s couch and tell said friend all their problems. Some people go shopping, some people pour a stiff drink and some people buy a cat. I can find therapy in all sorts of different places – it’s usually in friends or Harry Potter marathons or taking deep breaths in my garden, but sometimes the tried and tested methods don’t seem to cut the mustard. Tonight is one of those nights so I am turning to the age-old therapy of writing about it in the hope that it will help.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I last wrote. I started this blog in the hope that I’d be able to chip in regularly, but this grand idea faded quite quickly when I realised it would either become an amateur attempt at self-healing or a constant update of my temperamental changes in mood, something which is hard enough for an individual to cope with let alone people reading for fun.

I didn’t want to write only when I was in the depths of despair, nor did I want to write when I was having an on-top-of-the-world day and feeling obnoxiously optimistic. Depression can be both those feelings, but more often than not it is a spectrum – fifty shades of blue, if you will.

There is the warm glow of periwinkle when you wake up to realise all those nasty thoughts keeping you awake last night are actually untrue, and your head has allowed you to get through this day without a mean voice badgering every move. There is the deepest navy of those days where you feel like you will never see periwinkle again and the only place you deserve to be is crying in the corner of a dark room because you are worth no more. Some people might think that to have depression means only having navy, and to not have depression means everything is periwinkle all the time, but they don’t see all those shades in between where people suffering from depression spend most of their time.

When it’s a bright day my brain tells me I’m exactly where I need to be and that I deserve every success. On a pale day, it tells me I am lucky and that I should be grateful. On a dark day, it tells me no-one knows quite how I’ve held on for this long and the world will soon discover my happy life is all a mistake. How I feel about life depends on the shade of day I’m having, and it’s easy to see why depression is so exhausting.

I’m at a really busy time of my life at the moment – thankfully, I am often too busy to be concerned with what shade I am and the only option is to plough through regardless. Although this is a successful strategy for getting stuff done, it does leave me feeling knackered and more susceptible to the darker blues when I am lying in bed late at night with a tired body and a whirring brain.

Night time is the worst time, hence me writing this blog post at such an ungodly hour. No matter how busy I have been during the daytime, as soon as evening comes along I am panicking about the night and readying myself to fill it with activity to the point where my eyes are struggling to stay open and sleep is the only option. I distinctly remember dreading bedtime when I was a child and now I am 25 that fear has not gone away – I just have no adults to make me go to bed now, so my early hours are filled with work, books, jobs around the house and music until my brain is forced to succumb. It’s not ideal when a good night’s sleep is billed as the ultimate keystone for a healthy life, but anything that stops me from crying into my pillow at 4am gets my vote.

The clock is pushing 2.30am now and I feel like I’ve dragged this night out as long as I can. In past posts I have managed to wrap everything up on a positive note, but perhaps this post is about being comfortable with how things are going whatever shade you are feeling. It has turned into the first day of a new month, and it’s a month which marks the start of a very busy, meaningful and exciting time in my life. I know happy times don’t guarantee a happy mood, and that a difficult patch doesn’t mean constant dark days, but I am learning to make the most of the light in every day no matter how dim it can seem.

Morning will be here soon in more ways than one, and if there’s one thing I can be sure of it’s that I always feel better in the morning.

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