Sunday, 16 November 2008

from depression to being happier

Earlier I wrote about how numb I have been feeling for the last few days, since then I have been busier.

First of all I took some old bikes to the tip I don't mean my friends.

I cracked the whip and got my boys doing chores.

Then I had a chat with Rae who was concerned about me after my last post.

I am now feeling much more like myself.

I know some of you were worried that I was showing signs of depression. So here is a confession.

For years I was very susceptible to depression. In my early twenties I was clinically depressed. I had to give up my job as got closer and closer to the edge until I reached a stage where I didn't know how I was going to survive the next hour let alone the next day. My GP offered me anti depressants but I chose to ask for councelling instead. A councillor came to see me at home and we talked for about an hour and a half. We talked about all the things that had and were going on in my life. It was quite an impressive list of things some that I hadn't even realised I was depressed about. My depression wasn't just about the one or two major things that I was concerned baout but a whole host of smaller things too. But unfortunately this councillor was moving on to another area so I would have to see someone else.

The someone else never materialised, but just knowing that my myriad of problems had been acknowledged was enough to start my journey out of the depression. Years later my mum described me during those months as being like a black cloud on the end of the sofa. I would stay up half the night not wanting to sleep then in the morning not wanting to get up. There was even a point where I was so low that I wrote out a list of my belongings and who I wanted to have what. It was my intention to end my life as it was so worthless and everyone would be better off without me. I don't remember now 25 years later what the trigger was but I pulled back, I realised that my family would be devastated if I killed myself. I realised it would be an incredibly selfish act. I managed to get some part time bar work in a country pub where I knew the chef. This was my first step back to recovery.

A few years later I was a new mum living in a strange town in a house that had no phone or neighbours. I knew very few people, my partner was working all day leaving me at home with a young baby. Then his best friend from his school days came to stay along with his girlfriend. He had sold his home after his divorce and they were planning to got to Australia and New Zealand travelling for a year but needed somewhere to stay for a month (it felt more like a year). I did not get on with this woman. Again I became depressed, this time I acepted the anti depressants but it didn't take me very long to discard them. I hated the feeling that I was about 4" off the ground all the time. Nothing felt normal, it was just the weiredest feeling, so I just managed as best I could for the remaining weeks.

Over the next few years I became depressed a number of times. It was not easy to live with an alcoholic whilst caring for my young children. The debts, the lack of money, the insults, it all added up. But after a few years I woke up and realised that it was up to me to change the way I dealt with my life. That is when I made the decision to be happy. I decided that I would only ever be happy if I decided to be happy. That worked for a while. But I wasn't really happy, my decision hadn't made me happy it had stopped me from being miserable. Which in my book, considering the life I was leading was a positive move.

In the last 10 to 15 years I have had days when I have felt depressed but I have always managed to pull myself out of it within a few days. I have learnt that when I get depressed now I allow myself one or two days to wallow in it then I give myself a good talking to and take measures to bring myself out of it.

During that first big depression I discovered that I had got myself into that state because I had kept all my feelings buried deep inside. My lover had gone off saying he would be back in a few days. I didn't hear from him again until he came looking for me 11 months later. During those months I had stubbornly refused to allow myself to get upset until I knew what had happened, why the love of my life had gone off in the way he did without so much as a word. These days when I have any problems I talk about them.

ouch writing that last paragraph has just made me see why I get so worked up about Romeo when I don't hear from him when I expect to. But I know the situation now is so very different to the situation then.

I have also had a chat today which has made the situation with Romeo suddenly become much clearer. I won't go into details about that as I feel to do so would be very wrong of me. Just trust me.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that I appreciate your concern but I will be ok.


Rae!xx said...

I am sure you will and thats the beauty of having suffered depression previously you can see the signs and stop them dead in their tracks before you get to the point of no return.

As you know through the last few weeks I have felt like that myself from time to time, I have had a couple of leave me alone days but I soon come back round with the help of friends like you.

So like always I am here for you..xx

Mei Del said...

i don't know how i could have missed all your posts. i'm hoping that once we get up to fire byrd's we'll both be feeling a lot happier.

trusting you to survive this xx

Elaine said...

You've had a lot to deal with lately, sweetie. I'm glad Rae was on the end of the phone for you. Hang on in there and remember that things can change in a single second. Be strong and try to be have the coping mechanism you need. x

nitebyrd said...

That's good to hear, LIR. Depression can be sneaky. Mine is always with me but sometimes it creeps up to become a monster. It's encouraging to hear that you've spoken to someone that's made you feel better about Romeo.

Fire Byrd said...

You should run a self help group on how to survive depression! that is a really great account of how to take responsibility for yourself. If you didn't live so far away I'd set you on....
Good to spot connections with our old and current behaviour.Helps stop repeating damaging patterns.

Mel said...

Isn't it amazing the things that come when we start putting pen to paper/fingers to keyboard.

Good for you.

I'm glad you're okay.
And I'm glad you stepped back to have a look and didn't simply discount the concern.


DJ Kirkby said...

Glad I came into this having missed a post or I would have been worried about you being depressed too. Hope things look brighter soon and that you get a chance to stop thinking so much.

having my cake said...

As has been said by others, at least you recognise the signs so you can do something about it. It is just so sad that, as women, we rely so much for our wellbeing on communication from a gender that often is not very good in that area. Chin up x

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