I’m not entirely sure I can find the right words to describe the last week. Last Friday, I was off on sick leave due to withdrawal nastiness, and Hubby had left for the weekend with the kids to give me some breathing space till it passed, or at least to give me a chance to keep things as quiet and stress free as possible for a few days. I was still in serious meltdown territory – Friday was particularly impressive. Monday morning started out pretty badly, but then suddenly, suddenly, it all changed. Things got exciting.

Us! In a paper!!!

A mail arrived from a tv3 researcher, saying that she’s seen my piece in the Indo – first I’d heard of it!! – and asking if I’d be interested in going on Ireland:AM to talk about it. To say I was excited would be a massive understatement. When I actually saw the paper, and saw my words in print, I was completely overwhelmed. I had no idea we would be the cover story, and I certainly had no idea we’d be given so much space. It was phenomenal. I felt amazing, honoured and really quite scared all at the same time. I mean, I’ve been writing for the best part of a year now, so it’s not as if there was anything new there. But, turns out there’s a big difference emotionally (well for me anyway) between hitting the publish button on my own site, and actually seeing myself in print.

You see, one of the biggest problems I have right now is that I have no emotional filter – whatever emotion I come in contact with seems to be what I take on, in addition to whatever may be underlying for me at any given moment in time (which could be anything – sadness, rage, frustration, apathy and anything in between). Also, I find it very hard to regulate emotion – when I’m happy, I’m full on happy. I have lots of energy, I’m chatty, I laugh and generally feel good about life. I can’t imagine ever feeling bad again. But the flip side, when I’m angry – best to steer clear or else come bearing chocolate/armour if you do have to talk to me. It’s exhausting, and I’m really feeling the fallout of it today.

Yesterday was unbelievable, amazing and wonderful in every way. To be honest, I almost can’t believe it happened (I watched the interview on player once from behind my hands, and once was enough – my god do I make a lot faces when I’m talking!!). The Ireland:AM presenters were just lovely, seemed genuinely interested, and really put me at ease. I honestly forgot the cameras were there once we got chatting. When we got home Mam very wisely suggested I take some time to do some yoga and try and ground myself a little as I was wired to the moon. Smart move. After that, it was a quick turnaround and back into town to meet Dil Wickremasinghe and pre-record an interview for airing on Global Village in a couple of weeks. My sister came with me for that part of the adventure, and luckily for me, took control afterwards – we went for a stroll around one of Dublin’s best kept secrets, the Iveagh Gardens, and then paused on the way back for something to eat before heading home. Once we made it back I was wiped, utterly and completely, but happy.

A blissful few moments of peace right in the middle of Dublin – The Iveagh Gardens

And then?? Well, not an awesome night’s sleep was had. In fact, I’d go so far as to say rubbish – nightmares that led to me shouting myself awake. Not pleasant. I came back west this afternoon and unfortunately arrived home to some shocking weather (inside and out) which was swiftly followed by a powercut that lasted almost 3 hours (have I mentioned that I really, really don’t like to be cold??) After all the excitement and adrenaline of yesterday it was particularly hard to handle and my mood shifted spectacularly – there was a lot of barely contained and unfortunately occasionally uncontained anger.

I’m tempted to be disappointed by this, after all, after having such a great few days, it feels like a big back step. But I need to remember where I’m at. I’m less than 3 weeks off anti-depressants. I can still hear my eyeballs move when the room is quiet. I’m still struggling to control my moods. Yesterday was all so new, and so exciting, that I couldn’t but be swept along with it. Today, I’m back to reality and it appears reality is still pretty unsettled. Also, I’m shattered. I could do with being in bed now but I feel too wired to sleep, so I’ll need to try and do something to settle myself once I’m finished here.

When I was speaking to Dil yesterday she used the phrase ‘work in progress’. That’s what I am. I’m not a happy ending, or a tidy little start-middle-end story of recovery from depression. Some days are good, some, like yesterday, are exceptional, and some, like today, are a series of small tests that push my self control to the limit. It’s all part of me. I am absolutely over the moon at the response to both the interview and article. I don’t for a second regret doing either, and I hope that what people heard may in some way help. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I knew the fallout would come. I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. But, I do know it will pass, hopefully soon with the aid of a good night’s sleep. And for anyone who’s willing to listen, I’m going to keep talking. Warts and all!

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Keep talking, warts and all. You are helping others talk too. A work in progress – I like that, it makes sense. One day the rapid ups and downs will start evening out – or be slightly further apart ! You said yourself how different life was a year ago. Day by Day Fiona, gently does it. I hope you get some rest tonight x

  2. Wow,what a week you have had.Whirlwind is right! Read you in the paper,and your interview on tv3 was amazing.Very brave,and i think you have really helped a lot of people affected with both PND and depression.A work in progress is a good way to look at it.Can relate to that-some days up someday's down.Someday's up when you "should" be down and someday's down when you "should" be up. Speaking for myself can say you made a difference this week.Even though the work is in progress, its good to know there is support and people around us to aid the work and to relate to.Well done,have a break for the weekend and get a creme egg Easter egg!

  3. Hi, I just discovered your blog last week after your interview in the Indo. Congratulate yourself as you are doing really excellent work highlighting the real everyday experiences of people dealing with mental health issues in Ireland. I've since watched your TV3 interview also and I thought it was top notch too.

    I hope that your withdrawal issues are easing somewhat. I suffer from bouts of clinical depression myself and I know just how hard it can be to wean yourself off some of these medications (the doctors never quite get around mentioning that when they prescribe them do they!). I'm sure that it'll pass soon and you'll be feeling so much better.

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