Yesterday I had what may well be my penultimate counselling session.
During the winter last year I came to the realisation that my depression needed properly tackling. In recent years I have become ‘comfortable’ with the adjective Depressive to describe myself – it was a helpful shorthand for my ups and downs and helped me understand some of the repetitive patterns in my life. Last year, while in Southborough, MA, I decided that I needed to tackle this part of my nature more head on.
I came back from the States and started both counselling and antidepressants. The last year has been a journey of management, adaptation and trying to understand myself. It has been about finding things that aid stability – and encouraging them – and those that destabilise – and avoiding those!
In the process I have:
- stabilised my income (somewhat)
- found a place to live
- entered into my first ‘proper’ relationship since the breakup of my marriage
It took me a while to realise how significant those things are. But they are significant. As is the (daily) struggle to stay here, in London, in the moment, with my friends and community. A struggle that I am now winning more days than I am losing…
Its strange when in a mechanism that has become normalised, where you discuss your fears, your apprehensions, your concerns, you suddenly realise that you don’t know what to talk about. But that’s what happened to me last night. I sat ‘facing’ my counsellor (we do sessions over Skype) and realised that I didn’t have anything to say… and that was a good thing.
Its not that I am no longer depressed. Or worried. Or that instability has left my life. Not at all in fact. But those things are not looming over me to the same extent. Maybe it is the medication, maybe it is the mental exercises I have been trying to teach myself, maybe it is spending time in relationship once again… (probably a combination of all three) but that depression is… manageable, right now.
And I am hopeful that it will stay so. Even though my ‘stable’ job is coming to an end, even though relationship brings up all sorts of issues. Even though I am still out of love with London, and community has some real issues. Because I think I am beginning to understand this thing that has been part of my life for so long (perhaps always). And with that understanding comes a journey in learning to manage, to survive, to not be overcome.
You could say I’m quite happy about that…