End of summer
The water has reached my ankles this morning
I can feel it in my lungs already, even though it’s not there
Phantom pain of suffocation, my lungs preparing
to shut down again
I scratch at the skin on the side of my neck
I mentally measure the water surface climb up my body
track each millimetre until it’s lapping at my lips
craning my neck and standing on tip toe
until nightfall when I’m expected to lie down and sleep
I wrote that down this morning, sitting in bed by myself and having my morning coffee and watching a documentary on YouTube (the sequel to Stephen Fry’s BBC documentary “The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive” called “The Not So Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive: Ten Years On”) while my partner sat out in the living room and had his coffee and breakfast there, watching football. Our normal morning routine is that he gets up to make coffee while I snooze, then he comes back to wake me up with a kiss and to tell me coffee is ready. Then we have it together and, since the end of May, watch Modern Family. He got up and made coffee as normal this morning, but he didn’t come back to get me. After a while I got up and went and poured myself a cup and came back in here.
I’ve been struggling with almost crippling anxiety for all of August — anxious about summer coming to an end and getting low in the autumn/winter — and in the last two weeks it’s been really bad. It’s already taking its toll on my relationship, which is the main reason the anxiety is so bad in the first place, because, as terrified I am of getting low considering my depressions seem to get worse each year, the awareness of how my being low is going to affect my partner, and our relationship, and for once in my life having so much to lose has taken the anxiety and fear to a whole other level.
I’m also aware that it’s the anxiety more than the depression which is creating the situations that are pushing my partner away from me and creating the very reality that I am so scared of. My anxiety about anxiety is making me an impossible and infuriating person to be around and live with. And being aware of that exacerbates the anxiety, and speeds up the suicidal thoughts.
Because what kind of person puts their partner — the person they love the most — through this kind of Hell?
I’m at a crossroads now.
I feel the fog at my door. Whether I called it here with my worrying or it was time for it to join me now, doesn’t really matter. It’s here now. I can use the last of my energy to fight it by doing things I know are good for me and my mood, such as exercise or painting, and risk fuelling my anxiety at the same time and put myself in danger of myself. Or, I can give up fighting it, lie down and let the fog sweep in, let it fill my lungs, my head, my heart and just hibernate until it passes, and hope that I still have love in my life when it does.