I have wanted to write this post for such a long time but in all honesty I just never really knew where to start and I still kind of don’t but I know I need to start somewhere – so here it goes… Hi I’m Stephie and I am depressed and it took me a long time to admit it to myself.
I for months and months just didn’t want to acknowledge that I was because I always felt like someone else had it worse so therefore I couldn’t possibly be depressed. I tried to put too much onus on gratitude but some of the happiest people you can meet are depressed. For instance you can “hear” it in the tone of my writing in this earlier Time to Talk Tuesday post.
This has been growing from a low mood since I wrote that post and I started having daily intrusive thoughts and feeling incredibly suicidal. I thought going back to work might have helped and for a time it did until I started getting bullied at work 5 months in. I would cry on the way home and the 3 mile walk often gave me ample time for 00Steve to not notice when I got in; other times I would just get in and either lay next to him and cry or just go straight to bed.
It got particularly bad in January and that affected my eating habits a bit but thankfully with all the walking I was doing my brain and stomach were friends and I ate. I stopped eating as much I guess in April and it started to affect my concentration. Not only that my sleep was broken and I was constantly on edge.
3 days after Button turned two back at the beginning of June I went to the doctors and broke down. I had stopped eating bar one meal a day and had lost 1.5st in a really short amount of time. My stoma care routine was none existent and I had to force myself to have showers. In fact so I could do two birds with one stone I would have a hot bath so I needed to change my bag. That is really when I knew I was depressed – I had to persuade myself to have a bath and I love baths.
I was only leaving the house to attend mental health (fat lot of help though I haven’t seen them in 9 weeks) and doctor appointments oh and the school run. I tried to not talk to the other parents because why would they want to talk to someone who was struggling to be positive. In fact the idea of talking to them panicked me (it still does) especially the ones I had thought I was close too, I would over analyse the most insignificant things and convince myself they hated me and it was better if I didn’t go over and chat unless spoken too. I spoke to the odd person when I took Ra-Ra to tap and acro just so I didn’t seem like an absolute douche and they have made me feel really welcome and invite me on their nights out.
Only one person in my day to day life stopped to ask me how I was one day, this person barely knew me. They met me for coffee and after that made a point of including me in everything they could just so I would leave the house. I would tell myself I was doing it for Button so he could play with other kids and not be couped up with me. I don’t think this person would ever know just how much that meant and means to me.
Hell I was putting myself in situations that were really out of my comfort zone with my heightened social anxiety. For instance I went to my friends house for lunch and there was a group of people there I barely knew and I worked through the anxiety attacks. I still went home and hated myself for every dumb comment I thought I had made but my brain wasn’t exactly going to give me a break now was it? I even went for a picnic in the moors that I couldn’t just walk home from and I think that was the hardest situation I put myself in. In fact I had tried to get out of it but my friend wasn’t having any of it and Button even though very tired and whingy LOVED it.
Being depressed has definitely affected my marriage and my parenting. I have a very short fuse at the moment – yeah more than normal! I have no motivation, the fact that it takes me every effort to get out of bed means I don’t do much housework but I try to do something each day. This isn’t good enough to those who have an issue with needing things tidy and think I sit and do nothing all day. I constantly get compared to people with average mental health who can sort their kids out and keep the house tidy. It’s so not fair. I do what I can and I know for some people it will never be good enough. One of the main reasons I’ve done an activity every day with the kids over the holidays is so I don’t feel like the worlds worst mum. Some of it has been a real chore whilst other bits I’ve loved doing.
Everytime I would hear from work I would feel sick and anxious, someone told me that that place would kill me and I was a flower in a garden of weeds. Now I wouldn’t go as far as that but it was definitely making me seriously ill (being depressed can be a silent killer) I knew I had to get out. I’ve been offered a zero hour contract position in the same line of work as I do now which might not offer me the same money but I already feel happier in myself like a huge weight has been lifted. 00Steve has decided to sort my driving out so I have some independence and can see my friends when I want too.
I’m still pretty depressed and having to force myself to eat is becoming a chore rather than fuelling my body so it can be the best version of itself, but I’m having days where not everything seems as bleak. Which is absolutely amazing to me plus the fact that I can start to look to the future and plan stuff. I ADORE planning things I never really care if they happen I just like being able to sit down and research things and create an itinerary. I have a long way to go but for the fact I have tried to do this by myself with no meds (none of them worked for me in the past) and little professional input is pretty amazing. I think whether you use meds, therapy, both or nothing at all doesn’t really matter just as long as you are showing signs of progress no matter how small they seem. The way I look at it is you are still further up that ladder than when you started.
Have you been depressed? How could you tell the difference between that and just low mood?