One predicament which I never expected to find myself in is continuously saying no to nice things. I know that it’s a nice thing but I just can’t motivate myself into doing it.
I vaguely remember a time, a very long time ago, when I was offered a nice thing and I was able to go through a thought process: nice thing —> fun —- > can’t wait! Clear-cut. Simple. Perfect.
Nowadays when I’m suggested a nice thing my brain goes on a complete tangent through the wildest and the most unnecessary scenarios which by the end have either made me forget the original question or decide against the idea of attending.
My thought process now is more along the lines of: a nice thing —-> who’s going to be there? —-> do they know that I’m depressed? —> If they don’t I have to pretend to be normal —-> what am I going to even wear, the meds have made gain weight —-> I won’t have anything to say —-> what do people talk about —> HAA, they’re only inviting me because they feel sorry for me! —-> How dare she patronise me like that the fucking bitch —-> OR that she just wants you to be there doing a nice thing with her you fucking psycho ——> Do I have to go? —– > I did miss her wedding because I was in hospital —> I’m a bad friend —> don’t be stupid, it wasn’t your fault —-> what if this is all a ploy to get me out of the house —>
And so on and so on and so on.
Because I’m too tired, can’t handle people, want to be alone, need some downtime, feel anxious, can’t be arsed, there’s going to be people there and I just got comfy.
My energy levels are of an elderly woman. Seriously. Talking to people is especially draining. A couple of hours of human interaction and I’m done.
It’s worse when it’s someone you don’t know very well because you need to pretend to be somewhat normal with them. But I can’t. I don’t have any anecdotes that normal people have.
I used to. I remember how long time ago I was able to keep up a conversation. Now I can only talk about meds or doctors or how shit I feel or what series I have been binging on. I even sound like an elderly woman now.
Parties are the worst. I don’t want to say no when one of my friends invites me to their birthday party but by the time the occasion arrives you can bet your ass I’ve spent countless hours stressing about it. A fun thing.
But all I can think about is the noise and how I’m going to be going to bed later because of this, all these people who I don’t know and the expectation of me being happy and sociable because I want my friend to have a nice birthday. Just the thought of all that makes me want to jump into the nearest cactus.
I should be relishing an opportunity of just forgetting for a couple of hours that I’m a mental health patient. But I can’t. I used to be bad at small talk, now I fucking hate it. I hate hearing about your job as a marketing assistant, Wendy who grew up with my friend whose birthday we’re celebrating. I’m so sorry. I used to be better at this, honest! It’s nothing personal, I just don’t care.
I don’t care about your allotment, I don’t care about your boyfriend Dave, who works in sales. I don’t care his family’s from Coventry. I don’t care that you’re going on a holiday in Tenerife, and have a Pinterest board for your wedding even though he hasn’t even proposed. I. Just. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck.
I must sound like a horrible person at this point. Maybe I am. It’s the groups and the strangers I have the biggest problem with. My friend had to nag at me for months before she got to drag me into a speed dating night. It went as well as you could expect from someone like me.
I can’t give any value to useless chitchat because it drains me and makes me search my brain for answers I don’t necessarily have. The speed dating thing highlighted it. Nobody wants to bring up their poor mental health at speed dating. I had to make up a story a couple of times because I was in hospital during the time the person opposite me was referring to.
Also my sense of time is fucked. Everything happens extremely slowly in the world of depression. When I’m in a social situation it positively drags.
It’s easier if the person I’m with knows about my illness because I can ask for a break or we can go somewhere else more quiet. Even though I’m always knackered the next day, I don’t mind spending time one-on-one with a close friend.
It is frustrating, but what am I supposed to do? All I can do is make myself as comfortable as possible on this wonderful journey called The Recovery. And at the moment it definitely doesn’t include formal gatherings.
In honour of Friday, I thought I’d compile a little depressed person’s party guide:
- If you can’t drink because of your meds and are nervous about people asking about it, ask for a slice of lime on your tonic water. Looks exactly like a V&T.
- Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. The situation is already taking a lot from you, you don’t need to be uncomfortable as well to spice things up.
- It’s ok to take a time out if you need it.
- You don’t need to pretend to be anything you’re not. Nobody asks to be unwell. If you feel something or don’t feel like doing something, it’s perfectly fine.
- If somebody asks ‘how are you?’ and you don’t want to tell them, just turn the conversation on them as quickly as possible. If this person knows about your illness, it’s likely that they don’t want to talk about themselves and will leave you alone. If they don’t know, people tend to love talking about themselves so you should be golden.
- Agree with the host/hostess beforehand what time you’re going to leave, as it’s likely to be earlier than most people’s. You may even want to say goodbye to them early on so you can just slip out when the opportunity arises.