When I woke up this morning and heard the dreadfully sad news about Robin Williams death I felt I had to republish this post.
Robin Williams, comic genius, acting god and all round good guy had apparently succumbed to one of the darkest illnesses of all. Absolute proof that anyone can be struck by anything regardless of sex, race, age or anything else you’d care to list.
What a sad, sad loss.
The statistics on depression, mental health and suicide are frankly astounding and worth reminding ourselves of;
There is an excellent campaign called Time To Change which has loads of advice, support and information on how you can help someone you know if you even have an inkling that all is not well.
Below is my post of some months back which is an insight into how it can feel…
Hey dudes, sorry this isn’t a light hearted post with reference to the big little pulling her trousers down and shaking her booty in the supermarket yesterday- though that is factually accurate.
I just need to get something off my chest. I promise not to bang on about it afterwards though. I am sure I’ve bored you all before with the fact that I have suffered from depression in the past. Urgh, this sounds so absolutely melodramatic. To be fair though, when you’re in the grip of it, the way that it can make you think and act and feel is pretty grim so perhaps I’m not being over the top.
Anyway, I have noticed in the last few weeks and months that it was creeping back, the bastard. I tried to ignore it, I tried to shake it off and now I have relented and decided to face it so, after 4 years without medicine it was seeping into my daily life and I am so sad to say that I haven’t been able to hold it at bay without going back to the doctors. Again, URGH.
So, now I am back on some tablets to sort out the chemical imbalance that is going on in my teeny tiny mind. I am cross with myself because I haven’t consistently been doing the things which I know help me. I haven’t been running regularly, I’ve skipped yoga and I’ve eaten a truck load of crap and- surprise surprise, It’s no good for me and my mind is proof of that at the moment.
The best way I can describe it is to say that it is like in Spiderman when the black web creeps onto Peter Parker and takes over. I haven’t got time to be annoyed about that though- I need to get back on form for my babies and, for now, that means citalopram, every day.
Even as I type I am totally in two minds about publishing this post. There IS still a stigma around all things mental health and, since I consider it to be a huge weakness within me I think it will be quite some time before the taboo is totally broken. My doctor and my mum and my counselor have all given me the good old ‘If you broke your leg, you’d put a plaster on it’ analogy but I still think it is a sign that I am weak and a failure.
So, for my benefit and for everyone else’s I have written the following about my struggle with depression but I have changed one word. I know I’m not the first to do this but I don’t think it makes for very comfortable reading. Sorry about that. Please don’t be offended.
I’ve got asthma/eczema/chicken pox/the flu.
I knew I did. I’ve had it before. I went to the doctor and he agreed. He gave me medication and told me to make another appointment for 3 weeks.
I didn’t take it and I didn’t go back.
I am so over this. I hate it.
I shouldn’t even have it. I have two gorgeous babies, a loving husband and family and plenty of wonderful friends. I’ve got no right to have asthma.
I haven’t been taking the tablets because I should be able to do this on my own. I just need to get on with it. I need to just power through and sort myself out with a bit of PMA and exercise.
But it hasn’t gone away.
I haven’t mentioned it to anyone. I don’t want people to think, Oh, for crying out loud- really?!
Haven’t you got this cracked yet?
I definitely don’t want the concerned head tilt. No one wants that!
I feel so weak and so angry with myself for letting this happen. I wish I was mentally stronger and then I wouldn’t be pill popping like an idiot to try to manage something that most normal people can solve on their own. I don’t want to have asthma but I don’t know how to get rid of it on my own.
Just to clarify- I am not, in any way at all trying to make one illness sound better or worse than the other. They are not more or less important and I am certainly not a really serious case and I will get better again. Even writing this has been a help. I am getting the help I need but so many people aren’t because they don’t want to talk or can’t talk or have no one to talk to and for them the rest of us need to shout a little louder.
One of the worst things I can imagine is for either of my babies to experience this stone in the stomach, wanting to tear out your insides horridness. I hope that day never comes but, if it does, I will try to heed the following advice which I would recommend to anyone who is trying to support someone with any sort of mental health shenanigans going on.
With lots of love to you all,
PS- Here is a handy guide on reasons for and against me being depressed; it’s such a help I might pin it to my fridge!
Reasons not to be depressed:
I have a loving husband
2 gorgeous babies that I love with all my heart
A supportive family
A fantastic group of friends
A lovely home
A job I enjoy
Reasons to be depressed:
BECAUSE IT’S AN ILLNESS. NOT A CHOICE.