Coping in the Hundred Acre Wood

I’m a big fan of Winnie The Pooh; not only have I read (repeatedly) the original books I also have some associated ones such as ‘Winnie Ille Pu’ and ‘The Tao Of Pooh’. So it’s no surprise that I was interested in reading a blog post about Pooh and relationships. I found this post incredibly relevant as it discussed how when we look at a problem what we see may be a lot more frightening than what actually is.

And all the time Winnie-the-Pooh had been trying to get the honey-jar off his head. The more he shook it, the more tightly it stuck. “Bother!” he said, inside the jar, and “Oh, help!” and, mostly, “Ow!” And he tried bumping it against things, but as he couldn’t see what he was bumping it against, it didn’t help him; and he tried to climb out of the Trap, but as he could see nothing but jar, and not much of that, he couldn’t find his way. So at last he lifted up his head, jar and all, and made a loud, roaring noise of Sadness and Despair . . . and it was at that moment that Piglet looked down.
“Help, help!” cried Piglet, “a Heffalump, a Horrible Heffalump!” and he scampered off as hard as he could, still crying out, “Help, help, a Herrible Hoffalump! Hoff, Hoff, a Hellible Horralump! Holl, Holl, a Hoffable Hellerump!” And he didn’t stop crying and scampering until he got to Christopher Robin’s house.

from Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne

Perrin has depression. To his great credit he is writing about it and actively taking steps to tackle it. What I haven’t really discussed here though is the impact that his depression has been having on me.
The reason for that is that I felt alone. My attempts to be loving and supportive are not sufficient to make him feel better. I struggle to deal with the fragile being he has become. He may have depression but he is not sad all the time. Even when he is happy, I am aware that at any moment the depression may be triggered and he will become withdrawn and irritable once again.
Sometimes the pain of living with someone who both is and is not the person I married makes me want to run away calling for Christopher Robin to come and rescue me.

Recently though I’ve been reading around. I’ve come across the term ‘depression fallout’. I’ve learned that my feelings are normal. I’ve been reminded too that it is important for me to ensure that my own emotional needs are met. To carry on finding ways to enjoy my life and not moping over how sad Perrin is.
To be fair, I have been doing that (or trying to) anyway. Mat’s presence has ensured that I am loved and supported even when things are difficult.

When I’m feeling better then it’s easier to remember that Perrin is ill. He is still the person that I love, even if it is hard to see that under the depressed, Eeyore like exterior at times.

So I carry on. Having adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. Glad to remember that when I think I hear a heffalump, it’s OK, under that jar is my very own beloved bear.

Depression

I think I’m depressed.

That is, feeling worse than just feeling a bit low. I’m not very depressed, certainly not enough (at the moment) to require anything other than the love of Caitlin and support of my friends, but I’m certainly not as happy and as confident as I should be.
The problem with this is that as I’ve been feeling low, I’ve been hiding away. Not talking to friends, and even pushing my beloved Caitlin away at times. I have not been good company.
It’s here that I’m beginning to understand the stigma of admitting depression. Its a disease, like any other, yet why are we so afraid of admitting it? In doing so, and writing about it here, I believe it will help me. I’m lucky that this is only a very mild bout. Some people I’m close to have been on medication for years — that’s no easy thing to deal with. In some ways, its easier to admit that I’m poly and kinky, demonstrably so, in fact, as I’ve been writing about it here for some time!

Now to address some of my symptoms: I have been being very withdrawn and silent. To my friends: I’m sorry about that, please be patient, and understanding if I appear to be ignoring you. I’m not, just unable to provide an answer at this time.

I’m also having problems getting off my arse and doing things, so please feel free to tell me to get on and do something 😉

That’s all for the moment.