I hope, I haven’t made this whole thing about depression and healing myself sound as if it were easy. It was far from it. What a lot of people don’t understand about depression is that there no magic cure, it is not about “picking yourself up”, or “getting over it” or “popping pills” in your mouth. There is so much more to it than that.
People with real depression only wish that they could do, just that. But it’s not a choice that we have. People who ask “What have you got to be depressed about?”, or say things like “I’ve got a friend (etc), with the same problem and they did this”, or “You need to be getting out more and enjoying yourself”, etc, etc, etc.
These people, who can voice such incredible words of thoughtlessness, and insensitivity, have absolutely no idea what they are saying to a depressed mind, or in fact to the person they are saying it to.
In my life, they were people who knew me, until I realised they knew nothing about me or my life. They merely saw the material things I had gathered, the confidence I held in myself, the way I would always be the one to speak up, and who also always got the job done. They didn’t bear or even consider the pressure I was under, or notice my gradual decline. They didn’t see what was coming. Neither did I. But one day I was stopped.
Not by choice. I had nothing to do with it. My body had literally decided it couldn’t take anymore, it was burnt out, exhausted, and it was crying out for rest and quiet.
And for a while, in such a weakened state I had tried to defend myself against these people and their words. But, no matter how many times I tried to explain, why this had happened to me, it fell on deaf ears. And eventually I stopped trying to explain, and became almost silent.
All they wanted to do was find something else to blame it on:
- Buying a new house
- Building work that was going on,
- Even my recent marriage.
Never did anyone, not even any of my family acknowledge, the stress they’d put me under, or the demands they made of me. And my employers seemed to think it was okay for me to do the job of 4 people, whilst studying and doing staff training on their behalf. Never, did anyone think that they could be held even remotely responsible.
And that’s when I knew, that for my own sanity, I had to remove these people from my life. Mentally, emotionally and physically. They were causing me more damage and more pain than I needed or could cope with, and they completely zapped my energy.
(First written 5thMarch 2012)
I began calling my depression, my own personal journey, because that is exactly what it is, both personal and a journey. But I am fortunate enough to be able to voice what’s in my head, and record my own thoughts. I can’t always be poetic about my feelings, so at times what I write may come across as being very raw, but it is honest.
I guess that’s why I feel that depression is such a very solitary thing.
People think they understand and have all the answers, as though it were as simple as going to the gym, or getting your hair cut. But unless they have experienced it themselves, they really have no inkling of what really goes on in our minds.
Some of us may be lucky to find things that gives us some release, with me it’s my creativity and writing, but it can be a battle in itself to start that process. For others, they may remain completely trapped, unreachable almost, being lost in their own world, where they see or feel no joy.
Because of the nature of all the illnesses I suffer with I am still depressed, it would strange if I weren’t. Nobody can put up with constant pain, fatigue and a host off other issues, with a smile permanently on their face! And I know I will be on medication for the rest of my life, there is no getting away from that, and I accept that. Just as I have come to accept many things…
But one thing I do know for sure is:
It takes an almighty person, with the right set of keys to unlock the darkness inside someone’s mind and release the light.
(Updated Wednesday 5thDecember 2018)