I’m me I don’t wear a disguise

A blog I read regularly blogged about a link up to a nature photo linky.  I found the main page but it didn’t have the link. I clicked the ‘Home’ tab and found a post made today and it made feel so sad.

The post relayed her current lack of feeling of self-worth. She feels really low and has lost the point of being ‘her’. Crying at the slightest things, feeling worthless and not seeing why she’s needed. It left me feeling like she needed a big HUG. I know we all get days when we feel black but this post struck a chord and reminded me of my own experiences with depression.  I’ve left her a comment of encouragement but I know from experience that other people’s comments – face to face or otherwise – are of little value to making you feel better.

So I’d like to tell you about my experience of depression and how I’m coming out the other side.

The first time was when my youngest boy was one and he wouldn’t go to sleep without one of us being with him, the slightest noise woke him up. I was also suffering from a terrible pain in my neck. We asked for help from health visitors and all they could say was that some children are like that. Everything got on top of me and my breaking point came after having very little sleep for weeks on end, I was standing at the top of the stairs with son in my arms quite prepared to throw us both down. Hubby was at the bottom and ran up.. next day hubby made an emergency appointment for me at the doctors.  I broke down and the doctor declared I was suffering from post-natal depression and it had all got too much after the lack of sleep, pain and the problems with nipper sleeping. He suggested getting a gate for the bedroom door and letting our son cry himself to sleep – he had had the same issue with his son! It took 3 nights for him to just get into bed and go to sleep with no issues.
I was put on medication and took it for about 6 months but felt so much better knowing that I was getting the medical support I needed. It was at this time that the doctor discovered the pain in my neck was a slipped disc, a quick bit of manipulation (and a huge scream from me) and it was pushed back into place. A few exercises for physio and it healed in no time!

The second time was a couple of years ago, I had an accident in work and bumped my head which resulted in a cut near my eyebrow, the cut was glued and taped and within a couple of days I also had 2 black eyes with bruising extending down my cheeks! This happened 2 weeks before we were due to go on holiday, I had to go with 2 healing black eyes and tape still on my cut!
I came back home to the knowledge that I was to be made redundant. Whilst under the care of the doctor for my injuries she noticed that I was withdrawn and I told her ‘I’m ok’ (we always say that even though we want to say we’re not!) and christmas was coming so I’m sure to feel better in the new year. I didn’t of course.
I visited the doctor again in January, by this time I couldn’t cope with anything. Hubby could do no right and our ‘personal’ life was non existent. I didn’t care about anything or anyone, I would sometimes go for a drive and park somewhere quiet and just scream my head off. I cried at everything, a small spill in the kitchen, rain on the washing, you name it – I cried… I lost interest in reading, I became fidgety and even more short tempered.
Work was difficult and a few of my close work friends knew there was something wrong. Although I did a good job at hiding it from most of the management.

Depression is a vile condition, you don’t want to admit to being ill but lets face it you are ill and you want to be healed. I had the cut over my eye healed hadn’t I? So why not my brain?
The doctor asked me a series of questions to determine the extent of my depression. She confirmed that I was depressed and should consider medication. She was really lovely and I never felt pressured into making the decision.

I  succumbed to taking medication – it was weird and it was difficult getting used to the medication but within a month or so friends were noticing the difference.  The medication made me dream vividly – your brains way of sorting itself out I suppose.  The redundancy came in July 2010 and I was out of work for only the second time in my life. Signing on was horrible but I was coping. Having a bit of money in the bank was nice but the loss of my ‘own’ money was and still is hard to cope with.
I made the decision in October of 2010 to come off the medication, the doctor wasn’t convinced but I insisted.  I still get a few black days and so glad that Hubby puts up with me having a pop at him now and again. I get frustrated at not finding a job but that’s partly my fault now as I’m pretty lazy at trying to find a job after looking for 2 years!

I don’t think depression ever really leaves you, you just get ‘mostly’ better and as long you can recognise the difference between a bad day or a ‘funny 5 minutes’ and a full blown depression moment then you’re going to be ok.

Be thankful for the people who love and support you and remember it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy! You have a right to be here and people need YOU in their life.

HUGS to you all.

What’s your experiences with depression?  how did you get over it?

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