Summertime Sadness

Alternatively titled: 'Why I Currently Feel Like I'm About To Explode'

I've come to realise that around this date - at the time of writing it's the 23rd July - I find myself heading down the total and utter complete breakdown point. If it's going to happen that year, it will happen between the 20th and 25th July. Weird? Maybe. It's almost SAD (but not the usual winter SAD), but not, because I can fluctuate throughout the year. But the big stuff - that's mostly a summertime job. 

The more I think about it, the weirder it becomes. July 24th(ish) 2013: that time I ended up in the hospital and ultimately a psychiatric ward for the summer. July 2014: I don't really remember it but I do remember sobbing and sobbing because I couldn't hack work any longer. July 2016: post-leaving uni, not knowing what I was doing breakdown. July 2017: another not-knowing-what-I-want-to-do breakdown, desperately applying for uni clearing. July 2018: where we are right now.

In fact, the only year since 2012 that there hasn't been a July sobbing fest was 2015, and that is because I was travelling. Possibly the cure?? I don't know. But the only sobbing I did in July that year was on our third day of real travelling when I was scared we were going to completely fuck it up. The rest of July? A bloody dream, inter-railing around Europe with one of my best pals. Remind me in June next year to go on holiday at the end of July and we'll put the theory to the test in a very scientific manner.

I don't really know what my point is here, other than I need to document this for my own sanity because I have such an appalling memory. 

It's been on my mind today though because I took a trip to the Dr this morning - completely hijacking my own appointment because it was originally PCOS related - and got back on my medication which I haven't been taking for around 6 months now because I was going through a pretty stable patch. But I'm tired of feeling every emotion all of the time (at least, that's very much what it currently feels like) to the point of having to lie down very still for several hours at a time because I'm afraid that I will literally burst open with an sudden movements. And I don't want to burst open. 

The final straw was - and this is completely bloody ridiculous - sobbing at the first 30 minutes of Mamma Mia 1 when I stuck it on this morning while I did skincare/makeup. It's not even the sad bit of the movie! It's the hilarious bit with Donna and Tanya and banging songs. But for some reason it was quite simply the straw that broke the camel, and continued on when I gave up on the movie and moved to the soundtrack instead. Full on tears to 'Slipping Through My Fingers' which, in my defence, is a fucking bittersweet song.

So anyway. Mamma Mia aside, it was to the doctor I went. At this point, I've told so many different doctors in different areas about my extensive mental health history that it's not a big deal to me anymore. Admit how I'm feeling, have a cry, get some meds. Jobs a gooden, Fanny is your aunt. And I do feel better just for taking responsibility for how I'm doing mentally, not running from it, and getting the help before it gets too bad which I've never really done before.

I guess ultimately I'm saying all of this to show that quite often with mental health, it's cyclical. There will be good patches and bad patches and really good patches and really bad patches and patches where it's neither good or bad, it's just life. Dealing with those patches can dictate the outcome, but often it's just a game of doing what you know works for you - after years of trial and error - and waiting it out. Riding the big fucking wave of depression and anxiety onto the calm shores again. And tracking your mood, even though it is a giant ballache, can often give you insight into your mood patterns and even alert you to triggers or times of the year that are harder for you. 

The more you speak, quite often the easier it is to speak. It just becomes a routine part of your life - 'ah yes dr, I have been struggling again. Please give me some of those lovely pills that make my brain behave again, refer me to someone I can spill everything to, and I'll be on my way' - and becomes less of a big deal. At least, five years in to this rollercoaster, dealing with my mental health is just as mundane as dealing with my physical health.

Finally - I know the title is a Lana Del Rey song. What can I say, she's my go to gal during the depression months. And it's a lot easier to explain away crying to Lana Del Rey than it is to ABBA.

Check in with yourself today, and be brutally honest. Is there anything else you could be doing to help your mood/keep yourself on track?

Love, Cordelia