I have been in some very dark places indeed over the past months. Deep pits of blackness that are truly frightening. Depression sucks the life out of you, squeezes every last drop until you are dry and desperate, and then pummels you with despair. It’s the most relentlessly challenging experience I have ever faced.
And when it eases, I’m left with a feeling of fuzzy headedness like you do when you have a really bad head cold. So even when I feel vaguely normal, making decisions is hard to say the least, my short term memory has disappeared totally and I am unable to process complex information at all and by complex I mean putting together Lego using instructions. This is scary, frustrating and sad in equal measure. It meant that over Christmas I was unable to help the children put their presents together, an activity I would normally love. That’s not a great feeling.
However, when I reflect (which I do a lot of, not always in the most positive of ways it has to be said!) I can see progress. Small steps, tiny changes in the way I perceive things, in the way I am able to process very tough experiences. I can see that I have moved forward from where I started. I can see a glimmer of light dancing around ahead. It doesn’t always hang around, I think of it like a naughty pixie-teasing and tantalising. But it’s there.
And I have re-discovered my love for art and drawing. I’m keen to take my daughter down to the National Gallery this year to share with her some of my favourite paintings. As a teenager I spent many happy hours wandering those galleries (I didn’t do night clubs!!) I’d love to share some of these experiences with her. I’m a fan of the National Portrait Gallery too and want to show her that as well.
After much cajoling, I’ve also enrolled on a drawing course to start after Easter. I’m nervous about it but also looking forward to it which is novel (not looked forward to much recently), and surprising. My gut instinct is telling me that I need to follow my interests in art-I find it a natural way to express my mood, thoughts and feelings where words don’t come so easily. I enjoy it and it rarely feels like an effort to do.
And this post alone is progress-the most words I’ve written in a long time. So while it’s still difficult and some days I’m exhausted by the most mundane of tasks, I am moving on and stepping forward one tiny tip toe at a time.