The worst part of depression is….

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While doing the rounds, reading recent blog posts that I follow I stumbled up a post by Jess over at Fat Bottom Gal called “The worst part of depression is…”.  This post in particular struck a chord with me. Jess likened depression to an abusive partner.  Constant emotional, psychological abuse which drags you down whenever you start to pull yourself back up.  She says “If you do manage to get away from it you always fear that it’ll find you again, that the happiness won’t last”. I have felt this way many times before. I have suffered with clinical depression since 2004.  I used to be ashamed of the fact that I wasn’t coping without medication.  I hated that counselling didn’t seem to be helping at all, and I slowly let my depressive state become part of my personality.  I stopped noticing how negative I was being.  Stopped enjoying things which had previously made me happy.  I’d convince myself I was happy, because I should be happy.

I would bounce between being medicated, and then suddenly stop as I (quite wrongly) believed that I was ok.  I was being silly and that I could snap out of it.  This cycle continued for YEARS.  My employer grew increasingly frustrated with my constant sick days, but when I did make it to work, I was good at my job.  I was just becoming increasingly unreliable.  I worked in a hospital as an administrator, and in a way, their sick policy only encouraged me to not seek proper help for my illness.  I thought that all I needed was to sleep, and have some time to unwind and I would be ok, but each time I had to return to work, my anxiety would increase.  I found answering the phone while I was off sick a near impossibility as the fear that it would be my manager asking the dreaded question.  “Will you be back at work soon?”.  That question sent me running back into my dark place.  Why couldn’t the world just leave me alone!!!!

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As you can imagine, this way of life was not a pleasant environment for my ever supportive husband, nor my poor children.  I would fly off the handle for the smallest thing, and although not physically violent, I am in no doubt that my outbursts and behaviour was scary to them.  They seemed to just deal with it, as they knew nothing else.  That realisation makes me incredibly sad.  It’s heart breaking to know that I can’t go back and take back the horrible words I said, or the times I sent them to their room when they were just being children.  To admit this hurts so much, but I know that I am not that person anymore.

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Starting university in 2011 saw the start of a change in me.  I’d given up my job as I just couldn’t continue in the cycle I was in.  Something had to give.  The change in environment, being busy and excited seemed to keep the dreaded depressive me at bay.  I was able to FAKE being a normal person for a little while, until the stress of dealing with deadlines and home life just became too much and I cracked.  BIG TIME!  I didn’t see it coming.  I couldn’t pretend anymore.  I couldn’t function day to day.  I wasn’t sleeping, eating, talking at all.  I was just numb. Almost catatonic. This time I had to be taken to the doctor and thankfully my husband has always understood my illness.  He understands the anxiety and the false smiles and has always been my rock, so for him to be worried was a big deal.  I had to admit that medication was my future now.  It had to be.  I had to get better. For my husband, for my children, but most of all for ME.

I managed to finish university and beamed with genuine joy at my graduation.  At the birth of my youngest daughter almost a year ago, and at my older children whenever they do something to make me proud.  That can be as simple as helping each other, or not fighting.  I still have the fear that I will become THAT person again, but that’s ok.  I worry that I will one day get tired of running from the darkness that is my depression and somedays I feel it’s cold breath on the back of my neck for sure.  Not every day is peachy, but 9 out of 10 days are, and for that I am grateful. I know that I am for now one of the lucky ones.  I’m winning!

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20 thoughts on “The worst part of depression is….

  1. You Baby Me Mummy says:

    Oh huni! I feel for you so much. I know a fraction of what you feel. I have PND and always think I shouldn’t. I try to come off my pills, but then just don’t cope well. Big hugs it sounds like you have made the right choice and are definitely winning xx

    Like

  2. Ginger & Bell says:

    A great read, it’s very brave of you to tell your story of depression. It’s not talked about enough. I had depression in my teens and early twenties but for me it was caused by a person and certain things would also trigger it. When I first moved to London 10 years ago I had anxiety attacks so bad I fainted a lot on public transport and in shops. I still get the occasional attack during stressful times but nowhere near as bad. I don’t think anyone is always happy, but I’m glad you are winning! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. themummybalancingact says:

      Thank you. It goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover. Sometimes the happiest looking people are the ones suffering. I don’t think it is talked about enough so here is to breaking the silence. 🙂 glad you are doing better x

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  3. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops says:

    It’s so difficult isn’t it. When you realise that you are in it for the long haul, it’s not going to get better next year or probably even the year after but you might always feel like this to some degree. Finding something that works for you is the main, and it’s wonderful that you are in a positive place now =)

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  4. Ana De-Jesus says:

    Well done for fighting back and seeking the help that you needed and you are brave for having the courage to speak out about it here so I applaud you. Keep on fighting you are a warrior and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Astrid says:

    I can totally relate. Though I’ve never been clinically depressed, I have a mental illness (borderline personalty disorder) too. I take medication and have been relatively stable for a few months now, but I still fear I’ll snap any day. It also took me breaking down for me to realize I truly needed more help. I am so sorry you have had to go throught his, and it must’ve beentough for your husband and children too. Glad you’re able to be genuinely joyful now.

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  6. Melanie Edjourian says:

    I’m fortunate in that I don’t suffer drom depression but have quite a few friends that do and so I try to be as supportive as possible and be there when they need me. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. laurahartleyy says:

    I find writing stuff down really helps, especially when you don’t want to talk to people, so I imagine your blog is doing you a lot of good too. It’s great that you recognise you have get better for you and not for anyone else – I think that’s a step a lot of people miss! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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