Holidays and the Black Dog

I suffer from depression and anxiety. I had a major breakdown about 10 years ago, and have been without antidepressants for over two years. I’ve had occasional periods of mild depression since, but I’ve never quite got to the depths of about 8 years back.

One time of year tends to make things harder though, and that’s the summer holidays. I’m a person who copes better with life in routine, take that routine away from me and that allows those thoughts to take over. Every year I try to plan things to do to fill the time, and every year it isn’t quite enough.

I spread out going into school, so that it gives me something to do over the weeks, I spend time writing, reading and playing music. I have a dog who needs to be walked daily, so that gets me out and about a bit, though he’s recently decided he only wants to go as far as the pet shop around the corner.

The one thing I lack over the holidays is human contact. I don’t have many friends outside of work – the result of too many times cancelling plans with people, so don’t really have people I can call on.

I try to involve myself in discussions on twitter, but the back dog makes me feel like I’m an outsider there, that my contributions don’t matter and people wouldn’t notice if I wasn’t there. Holiday photos and comments from work colleagues just hurt, so I’ve muted all conversations. My long suffering husband is working at his school during the holidays, and is only home in the late afternoons.

The thing is, I know I need the holidays. I need the break from work, physically I’m exhausted. But mentally I struggle with it. I struggle with feeling trapped at home.

There isn’t really a point to this blog post, other than to allow me to air these thoughts, to acknowledge how I’m feeling currently and hopefully move forward.