I have been very open about my mental health, however, I have very rarely opened up about my depression. I guess the problem I find with depression is as soon as you say that word, it is like you have that stigma related towards that word wrapped around your neck, and you feel like everyone knows what you’re going through. I think the most difficult thing is, from my personal experience unless you’ve been there, it can be very difficult to understand what you’re going through and what you could feel on a daily basis. It has been almost 4 years since my depression diagnosis and I am still coming to terms with what depression means and how to deal with it today. I honestly think that depression awareness week is a fantastic way for people to be able to understand more about what having depression means but also how to help others to feel more comfortable to be able to speak out! I have however spoken about my self harm story before here, a bit about depression here and my anxiety  .
Back in September 2012 I was working really hard, I was in an apprenticeship, I had met some amazing new friends, just celebrated my birthday with my amazing sister, I had an amazing boyfriend, and I was in an amazing place, or so I thought. I was at work one day, I was the first one in the office, and I just broke down, I sobbed my heart out, for no reason whatsoever, I had no idea what was going on, I thought I am just being silly, it’s just a bad day and I brushed it off. I just carried on, but honestly it got worst I should never have brushed it off in the first place but I’m the person who believes that I’m stronger if I just carry on with my day normally (safe to say I was wrong).
I had a late shift that night, so I was at work until 8pm, my mum came and picked me up because she didn’t want me walking, and I just burst into tears in the car, I couldn’t hold it back any longer, it was like the weight of the world has just crushed me. My mum had honestly no idea what had happened, she thought something had happened at work but it hadn’t, it was my past which had caught up on me. My mum tried her best to get me to go to the doctors yet I continued to brush it off, and said it was just a rough day, I kept going and going, however little did I know it was pushing me towards the edge.
By the time I’d got to the doctors it was just before I started self harming and I started taking medication, in all honesty the tablets that I started on didn’t really help, if anything it stopped me from talking. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and if you know me, then you will know I don’t actually stop talking – about anything! I was eventually signed off work because in all honesty I just couldn’t cope in general, I was struggling just waking up in the morning and finding the get up and go to just eat, let along be able to walk out the door to go to work.
By this point I was in a dark place, however, I got to see one of the best psychiatrists who has never left my side, he has supported me, uplifted me, stuck with me through various changes with medication, and I’m now in the best place I have ever been! I’ve dealt with the things in my past, even if sometimes the ghosts do catch me out on occasions. I’m not saying I don’t have bad days, and won’t have ever again, I don’t think I could ever say that would happen, even if I wanted it to.
The thing about depression is it doesn’t have a face, it doesn’t have a certain look, I know I would hide my depression behind a smile, a smile that I would put on my face just so people wouldn’t ask me if I was okay or how was I doing today. It could be the person you least expect, the person who is the bubbliest, funniest and most caring person could be suffering right now, the teacher who works hard to make sure that they are giving their students everything physically possible. It could look like you, and it definitely looks like me.
If you’re battling depression right now, the important thing to remember is the bad days don’t last forever, I have found that my bad days make me realise how strong I really am and that I can get through anything and everything. You’re not alone, if you need any support I am always here for you no matter what, but you are not your illness, just because you suffer with it, doesn’t mean that it defines you as a person. Take one positive out of everyday, I still do that to this day, it can be the little things like you managed to get out of bed this morning, or you woke up before your alarm, or maybe had an amazing lunch, there is a positive about every day, it’s about finding it.
Please if you believe you have depression, please see your doctor, it is important to get help as soon as possible because you should never be left feeling like this.
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