If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why? If that seems too easy, try this one: who would you like to have spend a day as you and what do you hope they’d learn from the experience?
I wouldn’t want to be anyone else for the day, but I would love to see what someone makes of me from the inside if they were to spend the day as me.
I would especially look forward to the debrief session afterwards where hopefully they would offer some sort of insight into how I could be “me” but a bit better.
Let me explain.
As you may know already I have experienced several bouts of severe depression in my life and every now and again it rears its ugly head again and I feel myself descending on that black spiral to a horrible place. That horrible place where I don’t even want to breathe in because it means living for another couple of heartbeats longer. The front door on my house grows bars and the thought of stepping over the threshold fills me with such dread that even going outside to put something in the bin feels like a major ordeal. Once or twice in my life I have been at the point where I just don’t want to carry on living because it all seems just too much. I am lucky that I have the loving support of my family and a few close friends who understand me and give me gentle encouragement to keep going, and I am forever grateful not only for that support but also for my faith in God.
Depression is a multi-layered beast and I wish I could understand it more so I could deal with it better when it creeps up on me. Along with the things I’ve mentioned above there is a huge amount of guilt that goes with it too. I know my family and friends hurt when I’m in the depths of it, which although I’m aware of I am powerless to do anything about. As with anything, when you’re loved ones are hurting you hurt too, but when you are the cause of that hurt then the guilt trip is massive.
I feel guilty about the waste too. Waste of time (spent lying shaking in bed, sat deciding whether a shower is worth the effort or not, looking out of the window at nothing); waste of sunshine that could be enjoyed in the garden – if only it wasn’t outside; waste of opportunities to have fun with the kids, which ironically would be a massive step to recovery from the darkness; waste of opportunity to reach out to other people to help them through their difficulties; waste of just so much.
I can tell when I’m at that certain stage of depression because I mourn the sunshine and celebrate cloud and rain, and it happens more often than I’m happy to admit.
Even when I’m not in the depths of depression I find myself riddled with anxieties. Totally riddled. I get anxious even when there’s nothing to be anxious about….because I’m worried that I’ve forgotten something that I should be worrying about and I get anxious about things popping up to surprise me. Which makes me scared. You can see how one thing feeds another? I wish I could break that cycle.
I can’t get my head around why I’m like this and I would love someone to live as me for a day or so to see if they could give me some insight as to why everything is a source of stress, anxiety, worry, fear and ultimately depression.
It recently dawned on me that to live my life the way I do, filled to the brim with worry and anxiety, is a demonstration of lack of faith in God. Which, guess what, has put my on yet another guilt trip. I thought that if I am truly faithful, which I profess I am, then I should be able to turn my life over to God and to just relax, let him take it and leave me to just live my life without the miniscule anxieties that define me.
I would love someone to come and help me with it because the fine line between “living” and “getting through life” sometimes gets so fine it disappears altogether. I would love it if someone could come and taste my life from the inside of me, step outside again and then say “Look Pam, it’s not worth the energy to worry about it, just let it go because you’re losing your focus on what matters and you are missing out on so much”. People have told me that already but again, my anxieties take over about their motivations – “why did he say that?” “Why does she think I’m not good enough for that?” “Why don’t they recognise my talents in this??” etc, etc.
Having written what I just did, I’m rethinking the question again now and I think I would like to swap places with someone who is confident and who doesn’t let their anxieties dictate their life and I’d like to see how they deal with them. I know that everyone has anxieties and stresses, but not everyone deals with them in the same way and I would love to learn from someone who can manage theirs successfully and maybe adopt some of their techniques and thought processes.
The issues around my faith are something else – a brand new anxiety for me! – and that needs a little bit of thinking about yet before I tackle that one. Perhaps if I can sort that bit out then the rest would fall into place?
Perhaps I could do a “Freaky Friday” with someone who could short-cut my thinking and just help me solve it overnight. Please!