In an ideal world, at the age I have reached, with the amount of therapy I have had and the sheer variety of depressive episodes I have endured (I should say ‘survived’ but it’s a bit melodramatic, no?), you’d think that I’d be sitting here jiggling my fat bag of healthy coping mechanisms. I should be fully tooled up, by rights. I take a violent interest in my own and other’s mental health. I have a very sensitive and even-if-I-do-say-so-myself rather inimitable mad-dar. I speak the language of recovery. I am still alive. And yet I feel that I am – to all intents and purposes – a maniac capable, at any given time, of ripping someone’s fucking head off if they look at me askance. That’s just how I feel – do not be afeared – in reality I would be more likely to blushingly apologise if you trod on my toe.
The point is, where I might not act out (in other words, behave like a madwoman), I still vividly feel like a madwoman. I can be triggered by – Oh God, I don’t even know. I think at such brain-shattering speed that I can never even identify the reason why I am suddenly grief-stricken or furious or defeated.
It seems to me that my bag of healthy coping mechanisms contains two things: a box of anti-depressants and the telephone number of a titanic therapist who – weekly – convinces me that everything might, just might, be OK in the end. And my question to you is: does that count?