The last couple of days have been rough: my period is due and the whiff of shifting hormones sends the Black Dog wild. I feel weepy and hopeless, too tired to do anything and too wired to do nothing. Nobody loves me, nothing I do is good enough, I am weak and bad to let myself be ill….
The usual stuff. Today I remembered the simplest trick for getting the Dog out of the house for a bit – play some music. I thought of making up a special happy selection on Grooveshark but couldn’t summon up the energy and was sure I would get it all wrong anyway and should be getting on with other important stuff not wasting time, etc. So in desperation I switched on the radio. Oh the sweet relief of somebody else taking responsibility for being upbeat and keeping the show going! And the slow, seeping optimism of a cheery tune or two to marinate my strung-out brain. Add to this the effect of an old tune that takes me back to a happier time and a happier me – even if it is only taking me back a few months – it’s like having a partial Healthy Me reboot. Even realising that the music only has to remind me of something a few months ago is a huge comfort because right now I feel like I have been depressed for a hundred years: it is good to be reminded that outside the bubble of misery I am happy and the bubble is really very small.
Music and touch speak to the depressed brain more eloquently and persuasively than words and reason. An uplifting dance tune, my little boys holding my hands and jumping up and down in the kitchen to the music with me, my legs remembering that they are not depressed and still have bounce in them even if my head does not, all brought gentle relief when I was beyond being able to reason my way out of feeling so worthless and alone. I suppose we start life able to have anything soothed by a cuddle and a lullaby – is it so surprising that contact and melody still comfort me?