Green Tea

One of my best mates, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder a good few years back. Sleeps with music in the background. It helps drown out the voices.


 

Tea. Green tea.

I don’t even like green tea, but apparently it’s very good for you. I learned this from Information is Beautiful, so don’t necessarily run with me on this. Still. Green tea.

Here’s how most of my days have gone, this week: Gym, walk, museum, walk, park, gym, home. It fills things up, keeps me on my feet. Now in a cafe, in Clapham, drinking green tea. Good ol’ healthy me.

I thought, when I first dragged myself out of the house on, that there was a definite upswing in the air. Possibly a lot of an upswing in the air. Half hoping everything was going to be alright, half worried this was hypo, that it would lead to a crash. And thinking fuck it, fuck it, I deserve this joy. I need this joy. I danced. By the chest press.

Buzzed over to the British Museum, which is always gorgeous and a good choice. A wander around the beautiful Enlightenment gallery. Took in the poor, overlooked, and tiny exhibits on South America and Polynesia. Wasn’t I just having a grand old time?

And yet.

I’d caught the bus in, and sat smiling at the blue, blue sky. Sunny world, pierced in a heartbeat by anger, despair, fuming hatred. Stupid fucking world, idiotic, grease stained life, grubby fucking people with grubby fucking lives, me among them, greasy grubby pointless fucking tiny life and back to blue, sunny smiling world. Having a grand old time.

Neuroticism is a common personality risk factor for depression. Maybe bipolar too, for all I know.

It was a good day. Can’t deny that, can’t deny I’ve enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than most other days these past few months. Same goes for yesterday, today. Out and about busy bee. But the day wears on and I have to admit I wear down. Counting in my head all the ways I despise the world, all the reasons to step out of this chaos and greed and grief. By evenings, I’m tired. Low. World jagged, rough, jaded.

“I think I’m just distracting myself” I tell Nick, in the pub. Sipping a diet coke.

“I mean, I suppose it’s better than lying on the sofa, sleeping, watching Netflix. And I’ve been distracting myself with alcohol for the past few months, so I guess doing it with the gym and museums isn’t so bad”

“Alcohol and Netflix sound like terrible ways of distracting yourself from being depressed”, he points out. I need the obvious pointed out, sometimes, from behind my broken glasses.

“This almost sound like you’re getting better”

I guess he’s right.

But Christ, I do hate green tea.

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Gravity

No milk for tea.

I’ve been sunny, these past few days. Birthday of Brother #2, tea with friends (I’m cutting back on coffee; besides, tea’s nicer. Amazing, how habit often overrides pleasure). Uni has been going well.

For one reason or another, or several reasons interlocking and which nobody really understands, SSRI antidepressants take 6-8 weeks to kick in. For me, the worst of the side effects – chattering teeth, sweats, anxiety – pass after two weeks.

The world comes back and I come back – not gently, but in strobe light; a jitter-jugger, lurching to life. This all takes time to settle. it’s been sunny, these past few days. But deep down I’ve known I’m yet to settle.

One mistake. One dumb and daft mistake I make yesterday, and I’m crumbling inside, my mind whips ups both fears and rage, rage at myself. I know I’m going nowhere so I go home, the world all sunny and me longing for the comfort of rain. Walk from the station – this is why I’m useless, this is why I’ve failed, this is why I should never, ever try; this is catastrophic thinking, this is the ‘all or nothing‘. Arguing with myself, wishing I’d just shut up. Frustrated; a few more weeks on the citalopram and I’d have been fine.

But right now I’ve been standing unsteady, and a trip leads to a fall. That’s just gravity.


 

When it’s just a trip, when I just get grazed rather than broken, sleep often works. I force myself under and wake in the morning, strangely reset. Get on with the day, with life.

But all sleep brought was a nasty, choking paralysis which I screamed my way out of, and a morning too sharp and tender.

Forgot to drop by Tesco yesterday. No milk for tea.