A wonderful hello to you for this glorious Tuesday and I hope that it has been a special day for you. I often wonder if other people go home thinking about what they achieved for the day and what they have lined up for the next day? Or is it about what is lined up for the evening. I know that when I was a full-time Mother my mind never switched off…childs stuff first, housework next then my stuff last. Well, I hope that you did have a good day and your evening will be relaxing and calming for you.
I have done something a little different today…this is what I have been working on when I am drifting out and I intend to take it to my head doctor when I visit her. Please do not feel as if you have to read it I have been working on it for my own recovery and therapy. I really am not coping at the moment, and I do feel better when I can write the words out.
I am a 55 years old woman, who has raised two children to adulthood as a single parent because my husband left me for another woman. He never had anything to do with the raising of the children other than to formally complain and create problems for me. My own family would often side with him as I have always been a problem for them. I have battled depression and anxiety since I was 17 or about 38/39 years. I have spent long periods in silent depression pretending to the world that I was just quirky, an oddball or weird, and then the periods where I have felt okay. However, in this last not quite six months or so the depression, anxiety, and panic disorder have taken complete control over my life. I am struggling to focus on anything for any period of time, I can not sleep, organise meals, get up and shower, clean house, or even form an idea or plan for how to deal for this or that… I have a constant feeling of panic, hopelessness, and impending danger so I am living in fear of everything or something getting me., and me not knowing what.
I used alcohol as my coping crutch during my teen and twenties and for a great deal of the time it certainly masked my anxiety especially, and I generally coped with anything that life was throwing out…most of my friends loved me as I was the odd one always up for the most out there, rebel raising behaviour. However the ‘Adults’ voices of disgust were deafening, of course not one of them ask me why or what was hurting me. I no longer drink as I live in fear of using it to hide behind again.
I was lucky during my thirties as I had my children to raise and I decided to go university. I discovered that neither situation required any level of the normal social mental behaviour. I have encountered problems now because my children are now independent adults and I no longer have that cache of coping skills to hide behind form my younger life.
However, after a lot of reading, I realised that I do need to access therapy, I need to change the way I think, I need to acknowledge that this is just like any other illness and not to be ashamed of it. I think that I need to really take the time to heal myself properly and not return to the workforce. I now that helping others is important but I can not do that if I am broken myself. I have to realise that these are not the factors in my depression/anxiety, but the change I needed has to be made in my head. I’ also need to part take in something soul-soothing like yoga, another way to bring me mental comfort. It should allow me to find another form of soul.body/mind focus and help me fight those utterly overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and absolute despair that often swamp me.
As one who has that odd hippie idealogy, I really do not like medication and have had major problems adjusting to the small pharmaceutical company I now have in my bathroom. However, I have noticed a difference since I have started taking the antidepressants, so I now firmly believe that medication is vital for me, for now, moment. I have decided that I want to be more active than taking tablets to prevent any further episode and so I am doing heaps of research on self-regulation and care, general well being, mindfulness, and the neuroscience behind it all. I would also like to look at attending talking therapy, along with a couple of the other ones that I have heard mentioned.
In the past, not quite, six months, I have had my life turned upside down because of my depression, anxiety and other medical issues, but I am determined that I can learn to live with them and that I can find a direction for myself that will allow for my illness and me to co-exist happily. I know every day will not be a breeze but I can pretty certainly state that I don’t ever want to feel like this again. I am hating feeling like this and I would like it to be the lowest point of my life, where I can state twenty years from now “that was when I had the weight of the world on my shoulders”. I am now working toward destroying these feelings of hopelessness, and constant panic being replaced with feeling serenity, calm, contentment and able to focus on the now.
I have been very surprised by the number of other people who are like me and have had depression, and various other mental health matters but suffer in silence because of the social stigma attached to it. Please let us become a vocal voice…first support each other than let us teach society that this is real and need to be treated as such.