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Sometimes, especially in the winter when the days get short and dark, I can barely think for the depression. Every little thing is an uphill battle. Every little criticism is doom from above. But I am not always like this.
This part of my life I have come to accept. I know that sometimes I can’t remember what “happy” feels like. I know that all I have to do is hold on, and that I will find it again in the future.

When I am at my lowest, things are constant and unchanging. I know that I’m not fit for work. I know that I am suffering from a chronic illness that affects every aspect of my life. I know that it is not my fault. I can feel the effects of the depression through every nerve and vein and tendon. I AM NOT WELL.

But I am not always like this.

Sometime during the spring the ice grip of constant depression fades from my being. I begin to think again. To hope again. To live again. The sun comes in my window and I smile. So long since I last smiled unbidden. So long.

When I start to leave the lowest point things are volatile and uncertain. There is joy, but also a deep fear of losing that joy. My depression is at its worst in winter, but it is present all year around. Now I must face the fact that although I feel well one moment it may be taken away in the next. And I am still not well. The tiredness still haunts me, the thoughts still come hard, the suicidal ideation doesn’t go away. I am better, but I am not BETTER. My mood is changeable, and plans I make one day may not be possible for me the next.

But I am not always like this.

Sometimes there are weeks or months of joyous normality. Long stretches of time pass without thoughts of pain or death. The colours of the world can be enjoyed without the endless grey shroud of depression damping them. These times are the best… but they are also the worst.

When I am in my deepest depression I cannot imagine ever not being depressed, but when I am high I can’t quite remember what it was like when I was low. I do things that I could never have done mere days or weeks or months ago, and I wonder why I couldn’t do them. The self blame sets in. The hatred. Why couldn’t I have done that when I *needed* to?! Why did I let things get in such a state when the fix is so… easy!? Why was I so useless? Why am I always so useless.
And always, although I can’t quite imagine it, I still sense the depression hanging over me, waiting, and I know that at any moment I could be useless again.

But I am not always like this.

I think that’s one of the things that makes it hardest.
What support is there for a part time invalid?
I can’t take on a permanent job. I know that as soon as the depression hits I won’t be able to cope. And justifiably. Medically justifiably.
And there’s no way I can pick and choose when I can work, and when I can’t. Society seems quite clear on that. Either you’re employed… or you’re not.

I’m trying to meet it half way. I’m trying to make and build and create in my own time, and to contribute when I can, and to accept help when I can’t. But it’s so difficult. And no matter whether I am on a high or on a low, I always find myself judging me by my worst points. No matter what help I can give my brain always tots up what I have failed at and needed help with. No matter what I produce my brain only focuses on what I have consumed. No matter how much I achieve, my brain only tells me that I cannot achieve like that all the time. I am inconsistent. I cannot be depended on. Because I am not always like this.