Sometimes Sunshine, Sometimes Rain.
I seldom talk about personal things here on my blog, I sometimes think about it, especially when I have read a post that resonates or moves me from a fellow blogger. However for some reason I now find myself wanting to share some thoughts with you.
I am not sure when I first became aware of my depression, probably around the time of my marriage breakup. Trying to describe feelings of depression is almost impossible, I believe that each person's depression is entirely unique to them, we are all individuals and I simply don't believe that one size fits all. I am NOT in a state of depression or malaise all the time, in fact most people that know me would say I am a jolly, fun person, but sometimes I wake and the day is just wrong. I have learnt over the years to recognise the signs of a mood change and take necessary steps to lessen the impact of the negative blanket that seems to engulf me. For me, time alone is vital, especially at the beginning, I usually head into the countryside with my dogs and just try and connect with my surroundings, listen to birdsong and walk. I counsel myself as I walk and slowly that darkness and feeling of being overwhelmed by life, starts to lift. Simple things really do make a difference to me, be it a bunch of flowers, the sun on my face, a new glossy magazine or a hardback book.
I worried enormously when my daughter was young that my "condition" made me a bad Mother, that I was letting her down when I had my low days, that somehow if I wasn't the wonderful Mother who was always smiling and upbeat it would damage her. Now she is older, we have talked about these days and amazingly she said it made her feel more valued because she felt important and protective of me and she is very compassionate with people she sees as vulnerable. I am thrilled and relieved to say that she shows no signs of a depressive nature at all.
It is one thing learning to understand one's own depression, but a very different thing getting other people to understand the condition. To me that is the greatest sadness, if you walk into a room with your arm in a plaster cast or a broken leg, people immediately sympathise, offer to help, give you encouragement and empathise, not always so with depression.
I have done a lot of work on myself over the years, trying to banish negativity as my default state and be more positive, I am winning, but there are still days when out of the blue I feel like I am struggling to stay afloat.
Sadly depression is still pretty much a hidden illness, we are rather ashamed that we should sometimes feel less than good, after all there are so many people who have to endure such hardships and tragedies
and it does make me feel guilty. However we are only human, we can't always get it right, can't always shine, can't always achieve, but I feel I have the upper hand, that yes this is something I will probably always suffer from in one way or another, but when it hits, I will take myself off somewhere good, pick and smell those flowers, walk through the fields in my muddy wellies, lose myself in a good book, and take care of me. I call them my snuggle days when I have to give myself a hug, tell myself I am a good person, that it is Ok to feel a little low and that soon I will be back out there.
all images from previous posts.