Monthly Archives: August 2012

Depression Exists – it really does

depression exists

Sometimes you just don’t want to face the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to do the simplest of things. Getting out of bed is an obstacle of Everest proportions, while breakfast, lunch or purposeful activity is nothing more than a vague dream. This is just one of the reasons that I’ve started this blog. It’s not just a case of my getting thoughts out of my head and into the world. It’s not a simple desire to share my experiences. Sometimes, I think it’s just a case of convincing myself that depression is real, that it exists and that I am suffocating under its savage blanket.

Depression Exists for me.

This is a bit of a ramble but that’s my state of mind right now. A little vague, a little random and quite a bit scared. That’s what depression is all about though, isn’t it? The inability to face the world, and a destruction of self-confidence of the most obscene level.

Did you know that from puberty onwards, women are twice as likely to experience depression than men? And that around one in six Australian men suffer from depression at any given time? That is a lot of people in the same boat. I think talking about it helps. For more information go to beyondblue.

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MUM

If you read my recent post on ANN, you could have been left with the thought that my mum is, excuse the French, a bitch!

After everything that happened that day, my relationship with my mum went from bad to worse. I would scream hate at her, call her a bitch and basically cried most days.

However, years ago I forgave my mum and I now absolutely love and adore her. If anything happened to her  I would be devastated. As I got older I realised she only did what she thought was right.

You can’t change the past! But you can make sure none of these things ever happen to you again, and you learn by yours and their mistakes.

The following things are what happened next……..

Eventually my mum couldn’t take it and I went to live with my dad. Which was difficult as he had a girlfriend, and didn’t really want me to be there. In saying that, he still was incredibly supportive of me and managed to get me out of school. After my breakdown there just wasn’t the same girl left behind. Trying to concentrate on learning was impossible. All I would do is cry! My dad absolutely hated the man that abused me, and that’s why he wanted me away from my mum in those days.

Leaving school at 14 was my saving grace! Working at Woolworths didn’t involve using  my brain, so it was the perfect place to be. Slowly I became happier and happier. I absolutely loved working, it was better than being at school. Like all teenage girls, my money went on buying clothes:)

My clothes became a way to express myself. I would buy 2 pairs of white shoes, and paint 1 blue,1 pink,1 purple,1 yellow. Then I would wear 1 yellow feather earring and 1 blue bird earring etc etc etc. My clothes became more and more colorful. Cindy Lauper was my idol – remember, it was the 80’s:)

After a few months I was reinvented  to this happy-go-lucky girl. God I was happy! Then I went to live with an aunty of mine (not biological), as my dad went away to work. She was so kind to me and I loved her very much. (She died 2 years ago.) Then my mum came to see me at work and told me she was going to make me come home to live with her.

No way did I want to do that! so I left my job:( which upset me heaps at the time. The only way I could think to not be made to go back with mum was to go up North and live with her sister.

Which I did. But not knowing what my future was about to become, I thought again how lucky I was and how happy I was to be there.

Working in a chinese restaurant was great fun. The sun was shining everyday. It was like heaven! I had a boyfriend who I couldn’t wait to see everyday, and everyone treated me like an adult and I loved it.

But, the peace didn’t last. My boss pestered  me to  sleep with him or he would fire me. Being young and so happy I really didn’t want to lose my job, so foolishly I relented and slept with him. He said it would only be once, but of course that wasn’t true. I felt sick every time, but that’s how much of a screwed up kid I was. Like I said, I just wanted to keep my job. Now I would kick him in the balls and tell him to stick his job, and would tell his wife. That’s now. I was only 15 then.

So I had gone from incredibly happy, to someone who had to lie to cover myself all the time.

Then the worst abuse ever happened, and went on for 5 years. It’s one I can’t talk about, even after all these years.

That’s when I learned to hide my true feelings and smile all the time, no matter what life threw at me. If not, I would have died a long time ago!

Music is the key to my soul.

This song is in honour of my aunty.

ANGEL         By Sarah McLachlan

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ANN

Depression Exists Ann as a reflection of me

Depression Exists Ann as a reflection of me

It was early in the morning and I had just turned off the shower when I heard my mum call me into her room. I put a towel around me and went in to see her. I couldn’t believe it!  The last person I wanted to see dressed like that, was the man that had abused me.

He started  saying “tell your mum I only did this to you, and that to you; I didn’t do this”.

God, here’s the man that told me at 10 years old that no one would believe me if I said what he did to me. That I would get into trouble for lying, and it was our secret. WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING HERE!

Mum and him were yelling at each other – and me! Mum was yelling for me to say exactly what he had done to me. Are they kidding me! I’m this 13 yr old, who’s had a nervous breakdown as a result of my abuse, and is in therapy trying to get my head together. Now? she wants me to say what he did to me? NO WAY, NOT NOW – NOT EVER, IT’S TOO LATE, THE DAMAGE IS DONE!

I’M BROKEN AND NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME.

I froze, and yelled to them that he had done nothing and to leave me alone. I was so scared that I started to shake, and went to my room crying. Hearing them talk about what he did and didn’t do to me made me feel sick inside. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

Mum called me back and said I had to tell exactly what went on. Feeling like I was going insane in my head! I just told her to leave it, and  I wasn’t going to say anything if they went to court.

SO… I GO BACK INTO MY ROOM CRYING, AND HATING THE WORLD!

He insisted that my mum come to lunch with the rest of the family as his wife was suspicious as to why he took off from their house after my aunty had rung him so early in the morning.

What I didn’t know was that his sister had rung early in the morning to tell him that my mum was going to press charges against him. So he got in his car and drove to our house, to plead with my mum.

Why now? Why not years ago? Who will benefit from this? Not me! I’m still terrified and seeing a psychiatrist. I can barely get through one day without wanting to commit suicide.

How can I go to court? I’m a kid, where were you all when it mattered the most?

So for whatever reason that day, my mum made me go to their house for lunch. I don’t know a more sadder day, than that day.

Everyone was talking and laughing and I was in their lounge room rocking and crying. My aunty said to someone in the other room, that it must be hard for my mum to have a daughter like me crying all the time, and that I was after attention.

OMG! My abuser’s wife is saying that I’m an attention seeker. I thought, what the hell’s wrong with this world! She has no idea that all this crying is over her husband.  I wondered if anyone cared how I felt, and then I realised no-one did. I was alone, confused, and dying inside.

THAT WAS IT. THE DAY I INVENTED ANN!

The tv was off, but I was crying and rocking while looking into it, when I saw this girl playing and laughing, so I started to pretend that I too was in there with her. Something happened that day that made me feel really comfortable pretending that this friend really existed. Any time from that day onwards, whenever I felt scared or alone, She would always be there.

The psychiatrist I was seeing  told me that I invented her under stress and that she would go away.

Well I’m 44  and she never really has gone away. Everything bad I ever did, I blamed on ANN.

I’ve never been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Now I’m sure you’re thinking that maybe I should have!  There’s this song that Evanescence sings called  MY IMMORTAL, every time I hear it I think of me and ANN.

At some stage I will write more about ANN…

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Lithium

Lithium Medication Mind

Lithium.  I had no idea how my body would react to this drug, or how I would react mentally.

I was unsure if it would make me drowsy  and come with unwanted side effects. Well, I’m really pleased as I don’t seem to have anything that drastic happening. It’s early days but I can already feel my mood has lifted. I don’t feel like I’m all over the place for no reason. Not really sure what happened to me; one minute I was happy, next I was wanting it to all end again.

It was hard to admit to myself and to my wonderful doctor that I was everywhere yet nowhere. Each day it was getting harder and harder to appear like everything in my world (mind) was okay. I’ve said so many times that sleep was my only escape. Which it still is! What I mean by that is that it’s my only escape from my own racing mind. Peace in my head is so limited and at times it overwhelms me and I just want it all to end.

Thankfully, my doctor saw through the facade and put me on the Lithium. It’s actually working – it has already made me feel better, and I’m not having my brain go at 100 miles an hour. I’m no longer feeling like I want to cry one minute and laugh the next:) Weird, but it’s the only way I can explain how I was feeling.

The only thing I’m not wanting to happen is the weight gain I’ve read about, or the under active thyroid.

Fingers crossed it all works out.

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Depression Exists

Depression!

Even the sound of that word is dark and gloomy. I suppose if the word was Sun Ray, Sunshine or Rainbow etc etc it wouldn’t have the same effect. Maybe the word was invented to remind us that we were never supposed to feel remotely cheery during our dark days.

Some could argue that it’s not meant to be a cheery name, and maybe that’s true. I suppose personally I just don’t like the word. Because the word  feels, sad, lonely, dark, isolated, anxious, lost, taboo, suicidal etc etc etc…. and we’re more than those words. Those days or weeks are dark enough without a word so gloomy:)

My doctor told me that there would be not one person that hasn’t suffered from some sort of depression or depressive episode in their lives. I thought long and hard about that and wondered  deep down if that could be true. If it was then I think again how terrible is it; that we – meaning those of us that do suffer with Depression – feel so different and alone at the time!

People don’t want to talk about it, which I completely understand.

Before I left the old people’s home two people  told me that they too suffered with depression. You know what?  No way would I have known that if they hadn’t told me. They both said it’s something you don’t talk about. I’m like that myself, so I had to agree. But how many people must there be out there, alone, with no one to support or comfort them? It makes me feel pretty crappy just thinking about it.

We all suffer with Depression for different reasons.  For example:  Death. Divorce. A Relationship Breakdown. Abuse. Rape. Drugs. Genetics. Loneliness. An accident that’s taken away your independence and changed the way you now live.  Or maybe even the job you once loved.

Many Many other reasons! but at the end of the day we are all feeling pretty much the same. Like it’s never going to get any better.

But we all know that there a good days.  And the not so good days. It’s trying  to remember that tomorrows another day – and who knows what it may bring.

Go to bed thinking that tomorrow WILL BE A BETTER DAY!

Start reading a book you’ve been putting off, go for a walk, lay in the sun if it’s shining, call a friend and go for lunch or a coffee. Just don’t be hard on yourself, or lay around feeling sorry for yourself. In the end it will do you no favours. And worst of all don’t isolate yourself. By doing that, your depression will only get worse.

This is strange (I know) but I go and look for the perfect cupcake:) I make a cup of tea and sit down and enjoy every mouthful:) Fattening or not, it makes me feel happy:)

When feeling depressed, i go out to find cupcakes

Make today a great day, BE HAPPY……..

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Putting Me First


Today I quit my voluntary work at the old people’s home:(

As you would see from my last post, I’m having to take Lithium tablets (for now!). I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and that everything seems that much harder to achieve. So, I had to make the decision to stop for now.

I’m coming to the  end of the finishing touches of a house that we are renovating. Hopefully when it’s finished someone will see the great effort we went to give them a new home, without it actually being a new home. Anyone that’s renovated or built a new home would know how stressful it can become. So with doing the home and going to our farm every Friday, and going overseas, it was all getting too much. Rather than have a complete meltdown, I decided to give it up.

When I made the decision, I actually felt really bad and that I was deserting these old people who I had come pretty fond of. Some of them registered that I was leaving, but I think the majority didn’t really understand. Still, at this moment I know I’ve made the right decision.

Guilt is a wasted emotion! But one that eats us alive, if we let it:)

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Moods


Well, today has been a strange day with lots of highs and lows going on. Just when I think I’m on top of things, something blindsides me and I come tumbling down.

Today I’ve been put on Lithium. I really didn’t want to take this medication but what choice do I  have; when you can’t control your own moods and thoughts you need to turn to something that can get you back on track.  So I’ll give it a go and see if it stabilises my moods.

We go through life doing our day to day things, but what do you do when those simple mundane things become too much. Brushing your teeth, your hair, getting out of bed, etc etc etc… How do we hold onto the will to live and, quite frankly, why do we bother? I realise it’s  because of our family and friends, and the people around that love us. It all sounds so obvious, yet at the time none of that matters when your moods are everywhere.

When you’re like that, the truth is – you’re not you! You’re this kind of lost soul, spinning around in your own mind.

You can love someone, or many people for that matter, but still feel completely isolated. Not necessarily on the outside but on the inside. Who can hear those thoughts you’re having right now? Not me, not anyone. Only you know what your thinking! So when you’re low no-one actually knows  unless your crying, or you simply tell them that your day has been pretty crappy. Externally we all look quite balanced, happy and healthy, but we must reach out to someone when we know deep down there’s trouble brewing, and we need someone to talk to.

To say what we are really thinking and feeling can be hard. Because when someone asks “how’s your  day’? They’re not really wanting you to say anything other than “oh really good thank you, how are you?”.

It’s kind of like the polite thing to do, and you don’t want to pull others down with you!

SO, okay, what am I really trying to get  at?

Just that we need to seek help when everything around us comes falling down, or appears like it’s falling down. You don’t need to be alone in your own thoughts. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness!

I think it takes great courage to say “Hey, I think I need some help!”

Why do we think that we have to always appear that everything around us is just so perfect.

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