Let me introduce myself to those of you that do not already know me. My name is Sharon, and I have just recently turned 46; I have been married for eight years; I have no children of my own, but I do have 2 cats, 1 dog and a very well loved and cuddled teddy bear, and all have proved to be absolute lifesavers at various times in my life. Sixteen years ago, I lost one of my brothers, and then two years ago, two months apart, I lost my mum and one of my sisters. Since then, life really has not been, and will not be the same again.
I wouldn’t like to state a time and date, when my depression really began, but I do know it was well before it was diagnosed, just over 8 years ago. When I was told what the problem was, I was completely shocked, and no doubt said and thought the same things as many others before me “depressed? I’m not depressed I am just tired and worn out!” I hadn’t realised it at the time, but later when I had a chance to really review my life all the signs were there, they had been for years, I just hadn’t seen them.
I had continued to be hard working, loyal, aspiring and always looked for new challenges. I was Sharon, the one who would roll up her sleeves and just get on with it, without complaint. All the time I was being “Super Woman”, my body and mind were slowly shutting themselves down, bit by bit, completely burnt out, until one day – enough was enough. So the person that everyone knew as being a rock, confident and out-spoken protagonist dissolved in to a pile of sand, broken pieces so small; that a world full of glue could never stick back together again. I could never be fully restored. People close to me had no idea what had hit me, and had no understanding whatsoever. All they could see, was that the person they knew was somehow no longer there.
To be honest, I was eventually glad, I was thankful for having the opportunity to be released from my life and fall apart. I no longer needed to seek permission to feel and think the way I did. I was being given a rare chance to get to the root of myself and figure out what went wrong and why. But more importantly, I was being given time to re-assess absolutely everything in my life, and this is still on-going. The end result of starting to find some of the keys was that I viewed my family and friends in a very different light, and then I withdrew into my solid, tranquil shell. A place, where no one could find or touch me, unless I wanted them to – the visits were few and short; and I stayed there for quite some time.
For a long period of time, I felt useless, damaged, deflated, dysfunctional, I was a heap, and I knew that I would need every ounce of strength that I could muster, to repair and rebuild. I have learned so much more from my self, about myself. I have learned from other people in the same sized boat, and I know there is still more knowledge and understanding to come. But more importantly I had to learn how to heal myself, and that is where my story begins.
(8th July 2011)
(Where I used to be)
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