This post isn’t about my progress with the film project- it’s a personal post; a reflection with how I’m feeling; but it still links, I guess, because it’s the main inspiration for the film.
The film is based on my on-going battle with Depression and Anxiety. The film’s antagonist; Alison is a metaphor for the manipulative way that the mind can trap you, and prevent you from going forwards.
So anyway- going back to my reflection:
I’m not okay. I’ve been up and down. Mostly down, but occasionally up. And the rare instances that I’ve felt happy have been hijacked by the negative thoughts which warn me not to get too happy, or I’ll crash and burn. (Like I’ve done many times).
Lately, I’ve been quite progressive: I’ve been doing all of the self-care things I’m supposed to like meeting up with my mentor on a weekly basis, going to the gym, and eating healthily. I’ve been proactive- I interned for a month, and I’ve been in and out of the edit suite, trying to piece together the film.
I quickly scribbled a poster in large font titled ‘How to Manage the Highs and Lows’: I made this when I felt stable, as a reminder that I’m going to feel low again, really low like I do right now- and the purpose of it is to give me some basic, easy things to do when I feel at breaking point. But I’m looking at it right now- it says things like “Don’t overthink, but when I do- I can CHOOSE how I react; I choose to focus on something else”. It’s so much easier said than done. When I look at the poster now, the words are meaningless, they are empty.
When I feel like this, the warning signs are there: unwashed dishes piling up, basic hygiene practices are thrown out the window, and I’m physically and mentally exhausted, but my brain won’t switch off and I know I’ll have trouble falling asleep.
Everything right now seems pointless. University. The graduation film. My career goals. My personal goals. Something tells me that I’ll make it through, but right now I can’t be positive, even if I tried with all my might.
This is the reality of this horrible, chronic illness. Yes, it’s an illness. There’s a taboo around calling it that- but that is what it is. If I could help it, I would not be this way. You know, sometimes I am stable, and I try and hold onto that as much as possible. But sometimes there are triggers- this overwhelming sadness and numbness feels random, but I know it’s triggered by reminders of the past. And there was a trigger this morning, where I knew that it would hit me really hard, and well…now it’s hit me. I am drained, tired, and feel really, really numb and low.
That’s all I can say. It will get better. Well I hope so.