I’m not a patient person by anyone’s standards. When doctors ask me how I was like before I got ill, I start snapping my fingers really quickly. To me everything had to be done today, if not yesterday. I wasn’t “never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today” as much as “bitch, why haven’t you done it already?”
I never missed a deadline. Actually, I’d submit the work a few days early. A go-getter and perfectionist. The easiest way to enrage me was to put me in a slow-moving queue or place a slower person walking in front of me. How do all these dimwits have so much time? I sure as shit didn’t.
I worked every summer age sixteen onward. I was a university graduate and a qualified journalist by age twenty-three. I paid both the journalism training course and getting a driving license myself by working at a construction site during the five months between being accepted on the course and the starting date. Did I mention I flunked my driving test three times and a retake was around 500 euros a pop?
With the added expenses I almost couldn’t afford the course, which had to be paid before the starting date. I’ve said this before but the reason why I write is because I have no other talents. As a last minute effort I ended up pitching myself an extra gig of writing a 30th anniversary historic complete with interviews and convert technical language about high-speed drills into an easy to read-brochures for the company I worked to make that last instalment.
The last stage to make your learner’s permit a permanent driving license in Finland involves a ‘slippery drive’, either on a snow track or a simulator, again costing a few hundred quid that I had to cough up, plus accommodation, flights and living expenses for my course.
I completed the drive a week before starting the course and did my last day at work three days before boarding the plane. The course lasted for seventeen weeks, and I started at my new job two weeks later. People often think I’m older than I actually am.
Slapping me with an illness with such a slow recovery time such as depression must’ve been karma. Had I broken my leg I would’ve been given a number of weeks in a cast and you can be certain I would’ve hounded doctors to remove it on the dot regardless had it actually healed or not. Let’s get on with it, bitch got places to be!
That was the other side of the card. I never really had time to recoup. Partly because I didn’t allow myself to. It wasn’t until I found myself from a hospital bed that I realised this was the first time in almost a decade I haven’t been in school or a full-time employment.
Depression has required a complete personality change to say the least. It operates in its own schedule and it’s. So. Fucking. Slow. The fact that I lost most of my likes, dislikes and other personality traits due to the illness might have eased the process along. Now my irritability towards waiting has virtually disappeared.
Ten minutes until I can pick up my prescription?
Train is late?
A traffic jam?
See if I care. After nearly three months in hospital, several months of not sleeping more than three hours a night and having to go through two full lots of ineffective antidepressants? I’ll wait. I’ll fucking wait. I’ve had to get used to it, and it’s been about as enjoyable as swallowing a tanker’s worth of fish liver oil.
I feel like my life is a sitcom someone else has scripted.
This is not to say my old personality traits don’t make a comeback from time to time. I haven’t written anything for a few days because I got massive anxiety that lasted several days. It started with a simple day of many things happening at once. Nothing too major but it meant that the phone would ring a lot and things kept coming up.
My threshold for stress is ridiculously low these days, so I became instantly overwhelmed. Add in irritability over the fact that this seriously wasn’t anything big, I would juggle ten stories at once on a normal day as a journalist, and the vicious cycle was complete. I wanted to get things sorted because that’s what I do, but was unable to. It was as if someone had lifted everything on the top shelf, out of my reach.
* ~ “You just need to take one day at a time.” ~*
The moment you begin the fun and games known as mental health problems, you get told this from everyone and their mum. Easier said than done. Sometimes you just simply get sick of being sick and want to be well again.
Tough cookies kid.
It’s out of your control now. You’re just waiting for a better time.