As I creep into her bedroom along with the first glimmer of daylight, she is sleeping peacefully, completely unaware of my presence. I watch her breathing, in and out, as calm as the sea, and I make myself at home within her mind as I wait patiently for her to rouse from her deep sleep, I am poised and ready to sink my claws into her brain when the time is right. When she stirs, momentarily stuck in that vulnerable state between sleep and wakefulness, that is when I shall strike. Before she can even think her first thought, I will be there to ensure her fate for the day is sealed, by the end of which she will wish she’d never opened her eyes.
The time comes and without hesitation I get to work by bombarding her with thoughts of all the things she FAILED to do yesterday, she gets that sinking feeling in her stomach before she’s even had the chance to fully come round from her sleepy state. Of course there were things that went well yesterday, things she could be pleased and proud about, but I don’t allow her to console herself with these, oh no. Before she has a moment to think about these I instantly remind her of all of the things she needs to do today, menial tasks they may be but there is just too many and now she is feeling overwhelmed before she has even got out of bed. She knows that the day is not hers and she is merely a puppet on strings.
I admire her effort to keep me at bay by getting up, washed and dressed, but it is all in vein my dear, I will not give up so easily. “Is that what you’re wearing?” I ask as she looks in the mirror. “Urgh you look dreadful! You’ve really lost yourself since becoming a mother haven’t you, lets hope no one sees you looking like that today”. I follow her around with every footstep and I criticise her failings, her flaws, giving her no rest-bite. She glances at a mess in the house, “You should have tidied that by now, shouldn’t you. You are so useless”. As she makes the bed my good friend OCD is telling her that she hasn’t done it right, she needs to do it again, but I tell her “You don’t have enough time to do it again, you and your stupid OCD, there is so much more you need to be getting on with downstairs. You’re falling behind, how ever are you going to do it all?” She slumps on the floor at the end of the bed, feeling weighed down by it all she begins to cry.
After a few moments she wipes her face dry with her sleeve in an attempt to compose herself before returning downstairs. It’s not long before her children are squabbling, she is struggling to look after herself, never mind anyone else, so as she tries her best to deal with the argument I tell her “What a terrible excuse for a mother you are too! I mean really… what is the point in you?” As she cuddles her dear children tight and kisses their little heads, I remind her “These two would probably be better off without you, you know that don’t you”. She’s struggling to hold back the tears, today is going to be easy work, for I have already won.
When she takes the rubbish out to the bin she is surprised to see the beautiful sunshine outside, I hadn’t let her see past my gloomy fog whilst we were inside, and I won’t let her take any joy from the pleasant rays she usually takes solace in now. Instead I numb her heart and it sinks with the realisation that nothing can pull her from this deep pit of depression today.
On returning inside she feels defeated, she can’t face the things she knows she should be doing, she looks drained, like the weight of the world is on her shoulders as she sits down in despair. Her mind is swirling with negative thoughts, she knows the only way to escape my clutches is to not exist. Against all odds she still has a flicker of fight left within her and she makes a last desperate attempt to break free from my grip, she contemplates writing in her gratitude diary to try and see the positives in her life, to let some light back into this dark day, but I don’t let them through, I won’t allow her to see past her pitch black mind right now. Finally she gives up and writes off the day, wishing that the ground would open up and swallow her. She just scrapes by for the few remaining hours, exhausted and emotionless. And tomorrow I can remind her yet again of everything she has failed to do today.
Depression 1, Katie 0.