Hi. I’m Krissie. I’m 48 and I Have Depression

I’m peri-menopausal and I more than probably have high functioning ADHD.

Photo by the wonderful Bee Alecia Photography

Today has been a proper struggle. This has been the lowest my depression has taken hold in a LONG time. The last time I was this kind of low was a good year or so ago. Thankfully I’ve never returned to feeling quite as low as I did on the one and only time I’ve had suicide ideation. I have the type of personality that says ‘well this won’t do’ so I sought out help and my therapist put me on shop bought serotonin which has helped dramatically.

What you are never prepared for is the down swings when they happen, especially if you’re on the level equilibrium for a long time. I’ve loved having my sense of humour back, it’s been like finding an old friend that was hidden under tightly packed weeds. There she was under the moss and dross of life, waiting to be let back out in all her toilet humour, double entendre spouting glory.

However, those lows are a doozy! I tend to hide behind the carefully crafted wall of confidence that people think of as ‘Krissie’, paint the face on and put the smile into overdrive. Lo and behold, there she is, the facade that faces the world. In reality, like most people, I’m still a child inside wondering what to do next to have people tell me I’m worthwhile and of value, or if I’m going to go arse over tit and make a complete arsehole of myself which has happened on plenty of occasions. Daft isn’t it? But I would guess pretty much everyone reading this thinks exactly the same even if they don’t want to outwardly admit it. And that’s OK. We are a social species and no one has their shit completely together, no matter what face they paint on their life. This year I have learned that what people think of me doesn’t matter, that’s their issue not mine. Not everyone likes me…and that’s ok, they’re wrong, but it’s ok 😀

So my depression comes in random spurts every so often. I have a handle on it mostly but today, today has been tough. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did. I don’t really want to talk to anyone but I have to at least talk to Mr K, and he is an absolute rock (while he is gluing his plastic Space Marines together in the room next door as I write this). Just knowing he’s there is relief in of itself. I’m guessing my period is due next week as over the last year I’ve noted that a week before my period I become quite low (not this low but enough to notice it), then in two/three days time I’ll get a migraine, and then three to four days later it arrives. Or it’ll arrive early because right now I cannot guarantee when it’s going to appear. Ah the joys of womanhood.

Add to that the itching, OH MY GOD!

Why does no one tell you about the itching? My ankles and my boobs have been itching non-stop for two weeks (yes I have checked for any other signs of changes and I’m all clear on that score). I have itch relief cream in the fridge to help as that’s the only thing that does but no one prepares you for any of the symptoms of menopause. We have to do better at talking about this shit. I would very much like for the whole menopause bollocks to be done now but I think I’m going to be one of those who is peri for a long ass time… can you sense my joy at this revelation? Urgh!

Davina McCall’s book is a wonderful read by the way, for anyone going through peri/menopause (available from all good booksellers).

I’m currently going through a spate of self-loathing that I’m finding hard to shake, and it’s made all the more awful by the amount of weight I put on. I feel like I’ve left myself down very badly due to putting back on at least 60lbs of the 93lbs that I lost back in 2012/2013. I am currently the biggest I have been in the last 10 years and it makes me feel utterly awful. My skin feels awful my hair was thinning for a while but thankfully that seems to have stopped and has thickened back up – surprising considering that amount of colour abuse it goes through every 8-10 weeks (thanks Greg for being a superstar and looking after my mane). All the pretty clothes I bought are in storage for whenever I will get back into them but right now I just can’t. I feel like someone has just zapped all energy reserves I have and it takes all my energy to move from the sofa to the computer to even work at the moment.

End of 2022 I suffered burn out

It came on from the super stressful job I had that was just pressure on pressure on pressure. In May this year I moved to somewhere more local with a hecking lot less pressure and it’s taken me until now to realise I am still suffering the after effects of that burnout. So I’m trying to be gentle with myself but my brain deciding stressful dreams about work being the way forward isn’t helping. Thanks brain.

Talking of the brain, so after a lot of research and talks with my wonderful therapist, it is likely I have high functioning ADHD. I hyper-fixate on things – the when you pick up a new hobby you go all in and learn everything about it hyper-fixation, see Singing, Personal Training, Streaming, VO etc. I also joked that I was wired up wrong because coffee made me sleepy if I drink too much or post a certain point…yep that’s a symptom of ADHD. Oh and also see the above statement on confidence as a mask behind a smile and wall of makeup. Masking anyone? Let’s look at some others and you might go ‘oh…huh interesting’ like I did:

  • Running late
  • Struggling to manage your time
  • Constantly procrastinating
  • Getting easily distracted
  • Interrupting others in conversations
  • Struggling with self-esteem
  • Leaving things unfinished
  • Frustration for no other reason than ‘people’
  • Excessive talking
  • Restlessness and fidgeting
  • Impatience
  • Forgetfulness and loss of focus
  • Abrupt behaviour
  • Lack of attention to detail

And they’re just a few. The interesting thing about ADHD in adults is that it’s not in your face at all. It’s like a slow moving glacier until you realise these little things you thought were just quirks of your personality suddenly come front and centre and you’re like ‘ohhhh, this makes so much sense’. I don’t feel I need medication to help with it. I recognise it, have obviously had plenty of coping strategies in place in the past to help with it, I now just need to understand how I add my peri-menopause symptoms into the mix.

So yes that’s me.

Unmasked, vulnerable, downright low, want to cry because the heating has just come on and I’m now too hot as a flush as just taken hold, overweight, likely pre-diabetic (if I’m honest), but still has zero motivation to do anything right now other than wallow, self – oh and I have a magnesium deficiency which brings about restless legs and cramp if I forget to take my tablets. YAY! I’m exhausted but somehow still managing to smile even with Pandora harping on about how useless I am. Yes she’s still bitching about in my head. I guess that’s the ‘no one else is going to sort my shit out for me’ spirit that we have a tendency to attribute to being British – Keep Calm and Carry On and all that bollocks!

I’m not blogging this for pity, just for a little self reflection. I have an awful lot to be grateful for and I genuinely am. 2023 has had some absolutely fuckery about it but I look at the positives as much as I can. I actually feel a whole heap better having written this out and gotten a fair bit off my chest around it. So I’m going to dig out my planner that I purchased two years ago and never used, dig out my StrongFirst books and old programmes from when I was hench AF and put some actions in place. I am a firm believer in rewards for hitting even the smallest milestones, so I will add those into the plan. I am loathed if I am hitting Fifty being this size when I was Forty and Fabulous. Ah, there she is, the fighter side of me…come on in, ole girl, let’s get some semblance of shit together and start 2024 as we mean to.

Oh and please be kind to the ‘new year new me’ crowd in your local gym. We were all new gym goers once, show them some love and they might just get passed Jan 19th (the day most people give up on their new years resolutions apparently). Me? Nah this isn’t a new year resolution, this is just where I am right now. Who knows, I might get back to blogging in 2024… or I might get distracted and fixate on something else instead! We shall see what the brave new year has in store.

As always,
Be kind to yourself, you rock

Much love
Krissie x

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