People like me don't get depressed, depression doesn't affect people like me, I'm always smiling, happy, always the first to make a joke out of a bad situation, if you hand me lemons I'm the first to grab a large glass and make a gin and tonic full to the rim, I'm naturally an optimist.
People like me are always 'good thanks' always lending a shoulder for someone else to cry on !
I remember the first time I opened up to a friend about how I felt how I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression "how can you be depressed" stab right through the heart she didn't mean it in a nasty way she was asking a simple question she sat glaring waiting for a reply, I couldn't answer. I seem to have everything a husband who loves and cares for me a healthy little boy,who's smile brings so much joy, I have a house, a job I go on nice holidays, I'm surrounded by so many people who love and care about me what more could anyone want ? I GET IT totally. But I didn't have the one thing most people do have I didn't really have good health,my heart doesn't beat properly now it barely bests on its own at all it mentally that hurts.
Money can buy a Ferrari right ? and you can have the luxury of crying in your flashy Ferrari but money doesn't bring you happiness nor does it pay for someone to sit with you and take your hand in the car. As selfish as it may sound I have all these things ( not the Ferrari btw) but you get the picture was it acceptable to be sad, to my friend its like it wasn't, It's like because I had all these things my life wasn't bad enough to be depressing, The worst part was I felt I wasn't as lucky as everyone else I didn't have my health to enjoy all the things I was blessed to have, things that do play a huge part in happiness.
' I have this happy personality and a sad soul in one body. It feels weird sometimes'
It was like a Pandora's box had been opened with so many different emotions and I didn't know to deal with them I didn't know to deal with sadness, it was an emotion I simply didn't understand. I felt like a burden to everyone around me I felt Like I was draining the life and happiness out of everyone exactly like my condition was doing to me, most days my heart didn't allow me to get up and go to work in the morning like everyone else did It didn't let me just be me, be a mum, I even thought at one stage life would be easier for everyone if I wasn't around if I packed a bag and ran away hopefully the sadness doll in my head wouldn't follow at the back I grow tiered of living in a body that's damaged and can't be repaired things I would normally carry in my stride I couldn't anymore, every setback every difficult moment,anything that went wrong it,tore another huge chunk out of my sanity and it's like one day a light was switched off my able-bodied legs gave way from underneath me and I fell into complete darkness alone.
With depression I always imagined someone looking sad and miserable someone who lay in bed and cried everyday, someone who if I handed the glass of gin and tonic to, would just see the glass half empty, I basically imagined the doll sadness from the film inside out someone who's smart but yet pessimistic and negative all the time that the best and only thing to do in life is to lie around and cry over everything, That person wasn't me In fact I rarely cried it's like my tear ducts didn't work exactly like my heart didn't, I just felt numb, I didn't lie in bed crying everyday Instead I woke up in the morning just to go back to bed again at night it's like there wasn't any purpose to life.
When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I couldn't accept it I didn't believe it, I felt sad but I used to think the sadness I felt was nothing compared to what depression feels like, if what I was feeling was even half of what Depression feels like it's such a horrible lonely place to be in but I wasn't depressed , I couldn't imagine what having Depression was like because it doesn't happen to people like me. Part of me even felt ashamed for feeling the way I did but I couldn't find the switch to turn the light back on I didn't even know were to start looking, it just sort of became a part of me, a part I didn't really like but I Just had to get along with anyway. I've had people close to me suffer from lots of different mental health issues, I didn't judge them, I just felt compassion towards them I would help them but I just couldn't see myself with depression, how could someone who normally sees all the positives in life just see negatives it's like my rose-tinted glasses had fallen off.
My Nana always used to tell your minds a strong powerful thing and that you shouldn't judge someone else's mind because you never really know what's going on inside it the ironic thing was the first time I witnessed mental health it was with her, she had bipolar and a few years down the line she was diagnosed with dementia, that saying she always told me stuck, it made me compassionate to others who were going through things I didn't understand Especially mental health, you don't judge someones mind when you don't understand what's going on inside it.
Yet here I was comparing the doll sadness from a film linking her to what people depression look and act like. I was so wrong to do that, it took a doctor telling me my sadness was depression she saluted me for holding it together for as long as I did, like I deserved a badge of honour, a badge I felt I didn't deserve to wear, because I still didn't believe my sadness was depression. It took that for me to recognise depression has so many different faces and forms, mental health can affect anyone it doesn't matter if your fat or thin, rich or poor, it doesn't care if your male or female nothing matters,it is what it is, it strikes without warning and takes over your life, You can't help the way you feel, you can't just snap out of being sad, there's not a happy pill that you can take which instantly lifts your mood so your happy, It takes going to hell first, lying in hells bottomless pit to eventually reach the white cloud up in heaven.
Admitting it wasn't easy nothing is easy about accepting you have a mental health problem nothing was easy about going further down the rabbit hole taking tablets that make you feel worse before they made you feel better but yet admitting it and accepting it was like a release button had been pressed it finally made me let go, I wasn't dealing with it alone now it was out in the open accepting depression eventually brought true peace because I seeked helped and was open and honest about how I felt. Sharing all my emotions online with strangers took courage, I feared being judged, because there's so much stigma surrounding mental health.I feared people I know reading because I didn't want people to pity me, that was the furthest thing I wanted,when I felt like I had lost my voice and I couldn't speak writing was my greatest comfort because truthfully I didn't know how to cope with the feeling of sadness, it was an emotion that I simply didn't understand why it had effected me the way it did an emotion that I wanted rid of, I wanted my own joy doll to come running with open arms and save me from the sadness that had invaded my head.
As much as I've hesitated over this post, because people will judge it's inevitable but if people like me don't open up about the reality of mental health the stigma surrounding it will always be the same. One voice is like a small drop in the ocean but all together it creates a huge wave speaking up about depressing has the Power and the ability to change what people think and see.
I always thought it wouldn't affect me, people like me don't get depressed, till it did. Life's likes a bottle the bottle eventually becomes full the lid explodes and sometimes you just need help to start filling it back up again, it's ok to ask for help,it's ok not to be ok, it's ok for nobody to understand because you don't understand what's going on in your head either. Keeping it hidden on the inside feels like the safest place for it to stay but actually there's nothing safe about it you just end up feeling like your drowning in sorrow while everyone else is breathing around you.
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