As anybody who suffers wit depression and anxiety – and, I suppose, most other mental illnesses – you can’t plan too far ahead. You can plan for a day out in two weeks, look forward to it at the time; but as the days go by you slip further down, things go wrong, and when it comes to it, you’re ill. You use it as an excuse to get out of it, but you say you have a cold, or a headache. A common one for me is a sore throat: as a singer and brass player, my friends understand that when I have one, it’s no talking to try and preserve playing ability.

In the spirit of not planning far ahead, I’m not going beyond Sunday. Obviously I have lectures, but I’m not planning anything else: I’m taking each day as it happens. Today is a chill day, with an essay read through. Tomorrow, I’m taking my house mate to her 0900 exam (pretty much the only way I can help a computer scientist), then going to the gym. All will be over by 1400. Saturday, nothing that I can recall. Sunday, I have a 2017 unibrass meeting, then I’m in a kayak again. I genuinely can’t wait for that: it’s been far too long since I’ve been on the water.

Yeah, there’s one commitment in there that spreads past Sunday: unibrass. I’m the education coordinator for the 2017 contest. I’m terrified, genuinely terrified. Not only is it a large workload, but I know people are cautious about having me on the organisation committee. I know I can pull it off though. Organise some workshops. That’s what I’ve simplified it down to in my head. I know lots of people who can help me with that, lots of contacts I can call in across the brass band world. I just need to keep my head. I’m friends with the rest of the committee, so if I do get a little stressed then they’re there. If it gets too much, I won’t feel too bad about standing down because I know that they’ll understand. That’s the most important factor at the moment.

Planning my days like this is helping me function at the moment. Writing lists too. If I have household jobs to do, I can write them down and check them off. Then, at the end of the day, I can look at what I’ve done, no matter how small a job is, and feel like I’ve actually done something instead of just moped. I know that’s not a good way to describe a depressed day, but it helps motivate me to do something. ‘Moped’ sounds miserable, and there’s enough of that emotion. There’s enough of depressed, tired, anxious, stressed, etc. etc. as well, but hey. We can’t have anything.

There is one thing that I’ve been noticing about me lately which has been worrying me a little. Not too much, because I’m on a cocktail of medication for many things, and who knows what effects they all have together. But I’m struggling to tell what’s real and what’s not. My dreams are so vivid, so real, I’m waking up and doubting what has actually happened. I can’t remember what’s happened the day before, not without a lot of effort. I’m shaky, very much so in my hands. I keep going vacant, replying to questions and then having to ask them to be repeated because I’ve no idea what was said. I get this can be normal, but it’s happening with a frequency that’s setting a small bell off. I’ve looked my meds up, and non of them say anything like it specifically, but like I said, I’ve no idea what the combination of them creates. I don’t know whether to bring it up with my GP or not. Chances are it’ll be my medications, but I don’t want anything else to be wrong with me, and I can’t stop taking any of them, not for my head or heart. I literally need them to live. I think I’ll wait a while, see if it settles down. If it’s medication, fine, if it’s something more serious… I’m not sure if I don’t want to know or if I don’t care completely.

I hate depression.

 

Add on: there is something I forgot to include… the person who was reading this has stopped, finally. In fact, they seem to have left me in peace. I’m sad, but relieved. They hurt me, a lot, by continuing to read this and then lying to my face about it. I think they’re back in Germany now. The distance kind of enforces the fact that they’re another person I’ve lost through… I was going to say my illness, but it’s me really, isn’t it.

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