Majority of us will have experienced this in some form, whether its having it yourself, knowing someone who’s had it, or feel you have dipped your toe into it from time to time but never fully slipped.
I wanted to fill this blog full of positive messages and positive feelings, as I want others to feel good when they read it and motivated to take care of themselves when facing challenges. But I am also aware of how patronising it is to tell someone who is going through depression to “think positive”, “happiness is there for you” or “appreciate what you have.” As when you are in that place, you do want to think positive, you do appreciate those around you, but you are just living in your head so much, that you may not show it, and you would do anything to feel happy again. But that murky, heavy cloud just feels like its over powering and will never lift. It’s a feeling of despair and darkness, that if you are going through this right now….I’m so sorry you are there…but I promise you will see some light again.
I remember not knowing I had depression, I would feel quite an angry person and agitated over the smallest of things. I would be up and down throughout the day, and feel like everything was far too difficult, whilst battling constant thoughts of self doubt. But then I could go out with my friends, get drunk, and laugh, so I couldn’t be depressed if I could do that?! Well I could. It started as what I called “walking depression”, I went to work, met friends, faked smiles, but I didn’t feel right, but I wasn’t sure why. I couldn’t shift the flat feeling and that I saw gloom everywhere, not all day, but in parts throughout. I remember being at work and saying to a colleague, “I need to do something fun, something big, as I just don’t feel anything ” And nope, I still didn’t know then the reason I was so numb. That was when I went on to do everything BIG and reckless, to feel something, which obviously ended in despair and a deeper depression. NOW I knew I had depression !!
I remember reading my messages on our friends group chat, Sam was talking about a new lamp she really wanted for her newly decorated living room, Fran mentioned a new top she had seen in Top shop she was dying to buy. And I thought, Seriously? How can these people care about a bloody lamp, or get any pleasure from buying a new top. I couldn’t care less about a lamp or understand how this was making them feel anything? I felt like a zombie.
But I did remember feeling joy over those small things once, I used to enjoy Wednesdays, Wednesday was magazine day, I’d treat myself to a new magazine, a chocolate bar and some flowers for my home. A little ritual that brought me some joy on my lunch break. I remember my sister mentioning she had noticed that, I hadn’t done this in some time. And come to think of it, she was right. It had been five months. I had stopped doing the little things, as I had been living in my head, and I felt that those small things no longer brought me any joy.
Id say it took over a year to fight depression away, and god I fought it, I tried mindfulness, exercise, therapy, self help books, happy diaries, medication ….name it I did it. I wanted to feel normal again.
Anyone going through depression for the first time wondering what the hell your going to do, well your going to do great… your going to win…and your going to feel joy again….just take all the small steps, being kind to yourself, still pushing yourself to do those small things and you’ll get there. And then one day those small things, that once brought you joy, will again.
Our generation, being more open about mental health and being more aware, is massive. It means were not alone, and now when I feel it lurking, I can nip it in the bud before it takes over that far again. I recognise it now. I know what it is. And I know its not who I am, but something I suffer from.
Saying that, I’m a realist and with surgery looming, I know it can come back at any time, but next time, I’ll be ready, I have the tools and I’ll be much more prepared.
But for now, Its Wednesday…. its magazine day xx