I think we need to talk about depression….
The state of my mental health recently has not been good, life has been hectic and stressful and my poor brain has been given a run for it’s money.
I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while now but the truth is I’ve been feeling ashamed to admit I’ve been struggling.
Yes, me, Little Miss It’s OK Not to be OK, Little Miss Power of Positivity, embarrassed to admit I’m suffering. It’s sobering to realise that I am guilty of allowing there to be a stigma around my own depression.
I’m feeling like a failure, here I am banging on and on about positivity and the truth is I’ve been feeling a bit like Gollum, negativity, jealousy and resentment have been eating away at me, making me obsessed with the things I can’t have and it’s draining all the colour, light and beauty out of me, hunching my back, darkening my soul and making me ugly and lifeless, from the inside out. I hate myself when I feel like this, I hate that I care so much about the things that I don’t have that I can’t enjoy the things I do have.
This is why I want to write about it, because I think that no matter how much we know that it’s ok not to be ok, there are a lot of us that still feel embarrassed to admit that that there is something wrong.
Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 people suffer with mental health issues and as (in the words of Blur) modern life is indeed rubbish, there’s probably even more that we don’t know about. I still think life is beautiful, and the power of positivity tends to still win the day for me, but to coin a phrase from my twinny, when the part of my brain that struggles with life comes out in full force the (much larger) part of my brain that thinks life is beautiful cowers in the corner until it can fight it’s way back to the centre.
When the negative part takes over it’s chaos in there. Honestly, perfectly simple things become an ordeal, I panic about something awful happening to me or the people I love. I can convince myself that my friends think I’m a loser, my husband doesn’t fancy me, I’m not good at anything, I’m ugly, pathetic, paranoid, ungrateful selfish, and good for absolutely nothing. I mean seriously the negative part of my brain is a real mean old bastard! I would never ever even think these things about another person let alone articulate them. So why do we think it’s ok to think them about ourselves? It is not acceptable to treat yourself like that! Not ever! Not for any reason!
I try to be kind to myself when those thoughts take me prisoner and not put too much pressure on myself. Yesterday I took a day out from what I was supposed to be doing and did something else instead and I refuse to feel guilty about it, I wouldn’t carry on as normal with a broken bone, so I refuse to carry on as normal with a broken brain.
It helped and thankfully the dark cloud seems to be passing today. I’m feeling like myself again, and I can see quite easily that those feelings are not real, they are just a reaction to a particularly stressful year, mixed up with some hormonal changes and a bit of post traumatic stress thrown in making me anxious and I am not in any way like Gollum, but he’s still there, whispering away at me, reminding me of my fears and at some point, during a weak moment, my ears will prick up and he’ll be out of his cage…
So I want to say, today while I’m feeling ok, that suffering from depression, for whatever reason, does not make you weak, there is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of, it takes unbelievable amounts of strength and dignity to go through life with depression, your sensitivity is a gift, give yourself some credit, you deserve to love yourself….