Today’s Daily Prompt is: When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?
One of the things I’ve always hated about people with depression is how they always manage to turn everything into being about their illness. Everything is always about them. So, sometimes I’m reluctant to do the Daily Prompt in case anyone thinks I’m doing the same. But then I realise that this blog is actually about depression, so maybe I get a free pass!
So – Fight or Flight. It’s something most people associate with a massive life event, like facing a lion or standing on the edge of a bungee platform or being attacked in an alleyway. Sometimes I wish I had those problems! For me Fight or Flight comes into play every morning when I open my eyes – do I roll over and give into the urge to hide under the duvet until afternoon (which is pretty obviously the flight bit) or do I get up and have a shower. I know what you’re thinking – a shower is your fight?! Well, in a word, yes! A shower is my fight, my big finish, the big climax of my waking-up story.
When you have depression you face these little mini-hurdles over and over again, every hour of every day. But to us, they don’t seem so mini. Some days after I win the battle to shower I lose the battle to dress. Some days I’ll fight right through to getting out of the house and meeting some friends. Occasionally it’ll feel like I’m not even fighting, so easy are the hurdles. I clear them all with the ease of an Olympic gold medallist. I love those days.
Some days I fight through the whole day and some days I fall at the first hurdle. And what do I achieve with all this fight? Well, I can go to bed at night satisfied that I actively participated in this thing we call “daily life” for a whole day. And if I flew? Well then I go to bed promising to fight tomorrow.
As to the second part of the prompt, was there ever a time I wish I’d had the opposite reaction? Only every single day! On the days my illness makes me think are bad I wish that I was different. Come 2pm I’ll wish I had gotten up that morning. Come 5pm I’ll wish I wasn’t still in my PJs. Come 9pm I’ll wish I had achieved something that day. This is the curse of depression, on the days that you are “up” you congratulate yourself on every achievement, you feel proud of your actions and your self-talk even forgives any little mistakes you make. But to every yang there is a yin and oh boy does depression come with a pretty unforgiving yin. On those days I treat myself with a disgust and disdain I should reserve for my very worst enemy, which is oddly congruent because on those days my very worst enemy is, in fact, myself.