I realised this morning the blog is almost three years old. My first post was short and sweet,
‘So I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for at least the last two years, and have come up with many and varying reasons as to why I shouldn’t. I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed. I’ve brought this on myself. I don’t want anyone to know. Why can’t I just cop on to myself and cheer up? Who would would want to read it? Depression isn’t really an illness……. I could keep going but you get the picture!!
Anyway, I’m well on the road to recovery from a particularly difficult episode which led to my being hospitalised for 5 weeks, and during that time, I realised that hiding my depression was hiding part of myself. It doesn’t define me, but it is part of me, and much as I would like to deny that, there’s no getting away from it. I realised that had I been in hospital for any other reason, I’d want everyone to know. I’d want visitors, flowers, chocolate, sympathy, the works!! But, because I was in hospital with depression, I went with the age old attitude of hiding it. It doesn’t help. At all. What has helped, enormously, is being honest and open with people. Yes, it’s a really tough thing to admit to, and it makes some people extremely uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. It’s so difficult to understand an illness that has no visible symptoms, that has no easy solution. But for others, it was just accepted, and the support I received was wonderful. There’s a huge sense of relief in not having to hide anymore, that on a bad day, I can just admit that it’s a bad day and move on.
Today, starting this blog feels like a new beginning. I want to leave depression behind, in some ways I can, in some ways I can’t. This episode is under control and coming to an end, but I’ve been warned that it will happen again, and I will have to learn to manage it. But right now, in this moment, the decision to share my journey feels like a huge step, and a hugely positive one. Right now, that’s enough.’
I wonder how I would have felt if I’d know then exactly what was ahead of me – the fact that depression was just the tip of the iceberg. That things would get more and more complicated. That self harm would increase, not decrease, same with meds. That a whole new label was coming my way, one that would explain so much, yet prove so difficult to understand, to accept, to manage. That I would attempt suicide, and that that would lead almost directly to having to finish with my beloved Therapist. That depression would come back. That the HSE would let me down over and over and over again.
But. There’s a but! I’m still here, and I’m so much wiser than I was then. If I’d known what was ahead of me chances are I never would have left the hospital. I didn’t though, I had to come home and make a go of it. I’ve had so much help – from Hubby, from my family, from my lovely friends, and of course, from Therapist. I’m not where I want to be, not by a long shot, but I’m so much further down the road. I’m finally about to start DBT, I’ve my first proper session tomorrow. I can see a way forward, even if I can’t see how it’s going to pan out. Given how the last three years have gone it’s probably just as well I can’t see what’s ahead of me. But I’m quietly optimistic that sooner or later things are going to change for the better.