Wednesday, 31 August 2011
The Unwelcome Visitor
The unwelcome visitor I hear you say...no I'm not talking about your Auntie Maud who smells of mothballs and lavender and really should get that mole on her chin removed. I'm talking about the most unwelcome visitor of all....depression.
Some people never suffer from depression and if they do they just shrug their shoulders and give themselves a mental talking to and move on. For the rest of us...it's not that easy.
We muddle through, we smile and we joke, and the game face is securely on so no one will see that inside we are broken. We have to carry on, we have children, jobs, lives to attempt to live...but there reaches a point where you just can't do it anymore, and even you can see the cracks beginning to appear in that carefully sculpted mask.
People who have never suffered from depression, and I don't just mean you wake up in a bad mood and by your 10.30am cup of coffee all is right with the world again; I mean heart-wrenching, soul-destroying panic and the mire of darkness you can't seem to get out of. I mean the kind that when your friend says, "have a good cry, you'll feel better," it's hard to make her understand that you are too terrified to cry in case you never stop. I've heard the expressions; attention-seeking, drama queen, lazy, just pull your socks up for heaven's sake, and more of the same, from people who make you feel like you are completely insane for feeling this way and that it's all in your head and you're just making it up. These are the sort of people who stand and stare when you say you've decided to get help. Because they have no idea what it means to be struck down with this illness.
And it is an illness. It's a chemical imbalance in the brain that can attack anyone, at any time. Some are lucky enough to be able to pull themselves out of the swamp of emotion they find themselves in, but most are not and it is through a lack of understanding on other people's part, that they don't seek the help they need. They consider it weak. They think that maybe they are making it up, that it is all in their head and they are just seeking a bit of attention.
Been there, done that.
But it's not weak to seek help. It takes courage and strength and determination to stand up and say, please help me...I can't do this by myself. I did, and if you are suffering at the moment, or know anyone who is, I hope that maybe something I said here has made you think..."I can get the help I need." Or "Oh God, I need to help her/him find the strength to get the help she/he needs."
Just remember one thing, anyone in their cosy little bubble who thinks it will never happen to them and that depression is just a ruse to sit on your arse all day....
Depression is an ILLNESS. It doesn't care who you are, male or female, young or old, black or white. It grabs hold of you out of nowhere and hangs on tight because it thinks you're weak, it thinks it can take you down. But it can't - not if you stand up and say "I will beat this. I will accept the help there is available to me, be it psychological or pharmeceutical. It won't keep me from achieving my dreams."
So my final word is to Depression itself - I am stronger than you, I am better than you and you can just FUCK OFF!