"One sign that signifies a deterioration in your mental health?"

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend and I said, “I think the depression's coming back”. They asked why, asked me if I was feeling particularly low. The truth is, I wasn't feeling all that low at the time, in fact, I actually felt kind of numb. But I'd looked around as I was sitting in my room and realised that the mess was slowly piling up.

A similar thing happened last night. I looked around and started to cry. There were only tiny portions of carpet visible. The rest of my floor was covered in rubbish, dishes, empty envelopes, books, CDs, clothes...and despite my room actually being quite large, I found myself feeling claustrophobic. My anxiety rose. I looked at Hazel's cage (Hazel being my hamster) and cried all the harder. It was desperate for cleaning. My mental health was effectively endangering another living being.

When I calmed down, I marched myself down to the kitchen to get two bin bags and a roll of kitchen roll. I came back upstairs and put Hazel in her ball to run around (as best she could given the mess), and began cleaning out her cage with disinfectant. Half an hour later, I put her back in her cage and sighed with relief.

Next, I continued filling up the bin bags with rubbish from my own living space. It was time to create a safer environment for myself. Within an hour, I'd filled a bin bag, sorted out some mail into piles, binned some now irrelevant mail, placed books on shelves, and started returning CDs to their stand.

Today, I'm able to stretch out fully on my bed. I've not been able to do that since before Christmas. Half of my bed had become filled with rubbish, books, make-up, and dishes.

The thing is, when I start to get ill, I begin walking through life with blinkers on. I mentioned to a friend that it's like I develop tunnel vision; a lot of what I do revolves around my laptop or trips to London, and I stop noticing the things around me.

I don't know if my realisation of this fact indicates that I'm improving again. I'm not holding out a lot of hope, as the last month has been indescribably stressful. However, with that being said, I am making an effort. Next month I'm going to London for a week to be a tourist. I'm going to stay in a hostel and I've booked tickets for some of the main attractions around the city. I'm forcing myself to notice the things that I've walked past so often.

I'm determined to feel something.

I'm also determined to be able to walk through my bedroom without twisting my ankle.