One of the first signs that I'm spiralling into depression is an overwhelming feeling of having no control. I want to run. I have no idea what to do with myself. I can't settle. I feel unloved, unwanted and alone. I become hypersensitive to noise and movement. I start having major sense of humour failures. Food and exercise regimes go out the window.
The sooner I catch it, the better.
I'm hoping that I've got this one in time. The longer it lasts, the longer it takes to get rid of.
Looking at the list above, this is what my week has looked like.
And I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm in one of my depressive cycles and now is the time to sort it.
Work is a contributing factor to all this. I've moved jobs, I'm learning a new role, one in which I feel somewhat unsupported - though I know I can do the work - I'm just without much guidance. The office is about two kilometres away from the last one just out of the city, where I'd made friends. My new team of three aren't particularly social, but this isn't saying they're not nice either - and there is nothing to do and nowhere to go at lunch, unless you take your sandwiches to the park. The local coffee shop makes coffee that tastes like mud - though thankfully the coffee machine in the kitchen provides perfectly drinkable espresso.
Most disturbing is the radio that plays constantly throughout the day. Our pod is directly under the tannoy. Set to MIX FM and GOLD FM, it reminds me constantly of the music they played at the Blue Light Discos of the early eighties. Here are some of the gems from yesterday:
Call Me - Blondie
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
The Wall - Pink Floyd
Who can it be now? - Men at Work
The Boys are Back on Town - Thin Lizzy
You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
Dream Police - Cheap Trick
Maneater - Hall and Oates
American Pie - Don McLean
What You Need - INX
Your Song - Elton John
Young Turks - Rod Stewart
True - Spandau Ballet
Staying Alive - The Bee Gees
Set on you - George Harrison
Two Out of Three Aint Bad - Meatloaf
We Gotta Get Out of This Place - The Angels
Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
Simple the Best - Tina Turner
Crackling Rosie - Neil Diamond
Follow You Follow Me - Phil Collins
Can You Feel It - Michael Jackson
Hey Little Girl - Icehouse
Bow River - Cold Chisel
Heaven Must Be There - Eurogliders
I wanna hold your Hand - the Beatles
Tusk - Fleetwood Mac
I'm not sure what's more disturbing - the fact that I've listed these or that I know most of the words to these songs and the artists' names. Some of these artists I rather like - but I've heard all of these songs ten times over in the last fortnight. And yes, fine for a long drive in the country - but not all day, every day in a working environment.
This particular office environment has redefined purgatory for me.
Wearing earplugs is only an option for part of the day - you have to take them out when people talk to you. Shoving your iPod on with my music works for while, but having things shoved in your ears all day isn't a proper answer to all this. I really think that it's unfair to have to do this on a daily basis.
So my hackles have been rising for the last few days, my energy levels slumping, not helped by the injury (which is healing) meaning exercise has been scarce.
What gets me most is the feeling of isolation. I feel alone at work. I live alone. We have the 'C' thing coming up - which I am yet to have my Christmas freak out - maybe this is part of all this too. Though not a Christian, there is all the rigmarole around this time of year. It's overly busy, you eat and drink too much. In my case I try and focus on the fact that I'm alone and it's the time of year that I feel most alone. The "Oh, what are you and your partner doing?" questions don't sting as much as they did - but it's still not pleasant.
Stupid thing is, I think I have this year planned right. There's only one or two things on. Christmas day will be spent with friends and family (from the part of the family that I like) - it's not a drama. The Christmas parties I do have to go to can be either skipped out on early (the bank one - sod that for a game of soldiers) or really enjoyed (the consultancy one is an overnight affair - take thongs and sit by the pool). Half my shopping is already out the way.
Freaking depression makes me look at the not so good side of things, rather than the stuff I'm looking forward to at this time, like time with friends and a week off. I've got manicures, pedicures, a possible tree walk, a massage or two all planned and paid for - it's great. I'll have my favorite cat staying with me too - something I know I'll love. Christmas will be fine. Just in the state I'm in at the moment you'd think that I was about to join a leper colony.
The incident last Friday with the git from internet dating didn't help matters, if anything, it was a contributing factor to the spiral starting. Once again, dwelling on the twats I seem to attract online hasn't helped matters. Last night I took the decisive action of taking myself off the website. Anybody I attract in this frame of mind isn't going to be good for me. Pressing the delete button felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.
Okay, so now what. What am I going to do about all this? Seeing I'm not clinically depressed and not on medication - and refuse to take that stuff anyway, the plan is in place.
Exercise - now the bum is mending I'm back in the gym grunting out the grumblies. Just back from a session with Pinochet - sweaty hugs aside, bench pressing 30 kilos is good for the morale. He's onto my moods - and for a lunkhead, ketone freak - he gives sound advice. Five times a week - it's what keeps me in check. I've got it planned and it will be fine.
Watch my diet - out with the sugar, in with the fresh natural stuff. Done. At least I'm not out much this week, that will help.
Get out of the office for lunch - so far I've got three covered next week - Alice, Brenda and Jonella are meeting me. Done. Get's me out of that awful environment, if only for an hour.
No alcohol. Okay, this is a no brainer as it contributes to depression, though in saying this, rocking up to beer club last night for a couple of quiet ones was the best thing I could have done for myself. Just being around fun, intelligent, non-banking company who seem to like it when I turn up there did wonders for the mood. Greeted at the door by an old friend, I got a smile, a hug, a comment that my new glasses look good and was told to sit down while a bottle of Polish beer was arranged for me.
Maybe I should start looking for work back in Telecommunications - it appears to keep me saner than banking - the people, though just as mad, are a bit more down to earth.
And lastly, be good to myself. Accept what is, is. There nowhere I should be but here. There's no fairy godmother who can rustle up a loving husband, an interesting job sans GOLD 104.5 FM and the dullards who work there and a life free of stresses and anxiety.
It will be okay. It's going to be okay. I'm onto it. Some of my friends are aware of what's going on and they're being supportive.
Realising what is going on is the first step to fixing it.
Being good to myself and allowing myself to heal is the second.