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Mind Matters - #SB4MH It’s probably not a surprise that this is not one of my cheerier posts.

I have been down the proverbial hole for a while now, but for some reason, over the past couple of days, I’ve been in free fall.

Fortunately, I’m quite lucky that my well meaning close circle know better than to do the whole “cheer up” or “it could be worse” thing. They even know to avoid the “oh, that’s awful” and “poor you” and “hope you get through it soon” thing. The one thing that I can’t quite get them over is the “do you know what’s caused it?” thing.

I know they mean well, but that question really irks me.

The thing is, nine times out of ten, I don’t know what the specific trigger that sets a given episode off is. Nor do I know why sometimes I am able to ride them out without too much pain, whereas, on other occasions (e.g. this time) I plummet deep, fast and hard.

I know the underlying cause; i.e. I have a chemical deficiency/imbalance in my brain. I know that certain situations are more likely to be “risky”, e.g. anything where I am exposed to additional stress, or where I’m overly tired (the two are often related). Sometimes I am fortunate and I can sense things taking a down turn; I can take preparations that help minimise the impact. Often though, I just don’t see it coming; my mood can change, almost between heartbeats.

These are the ones that I really don’t know what the trigger is. One moment I can be fine, the next I am spiralling downwards into the depths, curling up on the sofa or my bed, wishing for non-existence.

And that’s the thing, in these darkest of dark spells, it’s not death I crave, it’s the total oblivion of having never existed.

It doesn’t matter how many people point out my good points. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me I’d be missed. Nothing matters in those dark moments. Pain, darkness, loneliness and an emptiness of the soul are all that exist. I am simply nothing more than a vessel for these feelings.

Ultimately I will climb back out and I’ll put this episode behind me – until the next time. That’s how the cycle works. Days, weeks or months (if I’m lucky), I’ll be back here again. It’s the knowledge of the inevitability of the cycle that is, so often, a contributing factor.

So, for now, I get to ride it out again. Even if I don’t acknowledge it, I am grateful for the support and kind words of the Twitter community.

The wheel turns and life goes on.