So, without bringing anyone down, I wanted to share what we’ve been through in the last 12mths.
I know I’m not the only one who suffers on-and-off with depression and it’s important that our stories are shared.
This could be a bit of a long post, so please bear with me…
I’ve had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since I got Glandular Fever (mono) at 16, which was plenty of reason to feel down over the past 25 years (I’m 41). This time was different, so we all kind of missed the warning signs for quite a while.
I learnt something…
depression doesn’t necessarily mean feeling sad
instead this year my emotions were numbed,
I lost interest in everything around me.
To make it easy to follow, here it is in point form:
- Hubby made redundant
- Lasted 6wks – he took on a 12mth contract because Christmas was coming up
- My mother had open heart surgery for a valve replacement – we joke that she smells like bacon now because of the pig valve!
- L finished year six in the same week (lots of tears & worry), with her presentation evening the same day as Mum’s surgery.
- Mum came home on Christmas Eve, to stay with us for six weeks.
January – February this year
- Hubby was working incredibly long hours
- L started high school (and loved it)
- Mum went home
April – Mid June
- By now, I knew that everyone else was going to be fine
- I began to feel kind of numb & disinterested in the things and people around me
- Lost my appetite (and 10kg / 1st, 8lb)
- Stopped painting, stopped enjoying anything
- Realised that I was depressed and saw our doctor
- Began medication on the same day Hubby was made redundant for the second time.
- I began to feel again
- Began enjoying things again
- Picked up my paintbrush and had a ball!
- Hubby found a great job and started work!!!
Needless to say, life could have been better – but it certainly could have been a lot worse..
Nobody died, my marriage didn’t fail and we didn’t lose the house.
Yes, it could have been a whole lot worse, and for a lot of people it is.
It took three months for me to feel I was almost whole again, and I’m so lucky to have had my wonderful husband at home to care for me throughout the episode, regardless of the reason.
Mental illness is a terrible label for this, depression is a physical illness, with physical causes and often at least a partial physical cure in the form of medication.
There’s nothing shameful in taking a tablet for blood pressure,
and the same is true for depression.
Even someone with experience dealing with depression can still miss all the signs.
If you’re having difficulty coping, it is just so important to ask (and keep asking) for help.