My mental health is in maybe the best place it’s been for years at the moment.
It’s a weird sensation: the irreality of wellness.
It has been two years and four months since I fell into the worst depression I’ve had for a decade and it’s been one year since that depression hit a new all-time low.
It feels like a long time ago now but that doesn’t mean very much. Time has not been playing ball throughout the last year. Memories and emotional responses have been wildly out of joint.
Guilt and grief can run away with your head, but nothing exacerbates them more than alcohol and cocaine. I was offered the latter for the first time at a friend’s flat this time last year and the buzz was good but I’ve regretted it every day since. I knew it had done something to me but I didn’t know what.
Last week I heard a radio report about the suicide of a former Love Island contestant who’d had a similar night according to her toxicology report. Medical advice argued that alcohol and cocaine, taken together, increase suicidal tendencies by up to sixteen times. I feel lucky to have clawed myself out of the hole that cocktail burned through me. It has taken me twelve whole months.
Usually I change locale between episodes like this — just because that’s life rather than by choice — so it’s extra strange to feel so happy in the same flat that I’ve previously felt so abyssally depressed in. It’s also unusual to still have the same blog, with websites often near the top of my self-destructive hit list after a depression plateaus.
I’ve shared a lot about my lows on this blog in particular over the past two years, alongside what I’ve been up to to try and rid myself of them, and it’s been important for me to be open about this, irrespective of my infrequent bouts of regretful oversharing on Twitter which are arguably a symptom of my inner uneasiness rather than an attempt to combat it.
That being said, though, tonight I’m left wanting to mention some highs for a change.
It’s not been easy to get to this point. It’s taken a mixture of strong(er) drugs, triple chronotherapy and falling in love with Cornwall, which together have fixed more than I could have ever imagined possible. This week I feel like I have Cornwall to thank for this the most because my sleeping pattern has been shit ever since I was made redundant three weeks ago and I’m generally bad at taking my meds, but still I feel like I’m on a new level of contentment.
More than anything, I think this is down to having the best person in my life I could ask for.
We’ve been together seven years, lived together for four and done long distance for ~two. It’s been a rollercoaster. She thinks all my internet drama is hilarious and dumb and my records and books spoil her minimalist style. She also wonders when I’ll ever get over my “new goth phase”, like I wasn’t wearing a Bathory T-shirt for most of our first summer together.
Suffice it to say, she puts up with a lot.
Despite the stress that often comes from having less than we’d like to have in common, I’m feeling very grateful to know that we’ll follow each other anywhere regardless, especially as we talk — only half-facetiously — about leaving this city for the seaside in the midst of my new financial precarity. (You can donate to my Ko-fi if you’d like to help me make rent next month — it’s currently looking extremely unlikely that I’ll manage it!)
It’s important for me to say this because she is so often separated from this blog world — although there were plenty of pictures posted of her here last week — but she is a constant presence and support, always on hand to make fun of Deleuze or proclaim her will to be taller than me a hyperstition.
Over the last year, despite but also because of all this, our prolonged entanglement has been a major part of my depression. When my self-esteem hits rock bottom I feel totally unworthy of her and guilty about not being as strong as her. It’s not as flattering as that may potentially sound. It’s horrific for us both. I have felt suicidal in the depths of this guilt which obsesses over all the ways that I’ve failed her.
This time last year I thought I might never climb out of that feeling. I told myself it would pass but it took a doubling of my SSRI intake to do it. I’m glad I did, no matter how, and I have her in part to thank for it. This present feeling of being the best team we can be is priceless and it is a feeling I have kept in my mind’s eye as I’ve tried to return to myself. I think it worked.
It’s so good to feel like the future is bright despite the fact so much has ended recently. It’s so good to realise just where exactly your joy in life is coming from, and be able to hold her tight and tell her so.