I think I have mentioned before that I suffer from depression. I was diagnosed with recurring suicidal depression in my second year at university.
At times my depression has been horrendous but at other times I am completely happy and content with my life. I have to admit, that during the past few weeks I have been struggling. This is all my fault!
When you’ve suffered from depression for a long time you have to be very conscious of your actions in life (I am sure this is the same for any illness). There are questions that I need to ask myself on a regular basis; these are questions about my physical and my emotional state.
- Am I getting enough sleep?
- Am I exercising regularly?
- Am I eating healthily?
- Am I getting enough fresh air?
- Am I looking to others to give me self-esteem?
- Am I worried that I’m missing out on things?
- Am I getting less tolerant of others?
- Am I trying to be perfect at everything?
- Am I comparing myself to other people?
In the past, the answers to these questions have meant that I was extremely ill. At the moment, they mean that I need to look after myself better and that I am feeling fragile.
At the grand old age of 36 (gasp!!!) I have been living on the long and winding road of a life with depression for a good number of years. I know the signs that I’m getting low and I know what I can do to help myself. But helping myself is all about will-power.
It is about growing my self-esteem and trying to feel happy in my own skin. It is about not comparing myself and my life to other people. It is about allowing myself to be human and to make mistakes.
It is about realising that the world won’t end if I go to bed. I don’t need to stay up past 2.00 a.m. buying clothes for Little Miss H on the Mothercare website (yes, I’m ashamed to say that I have done that in the past). It is about making myself take Little Miss H for a walk even though I would prefer to curl up on the sofa with her and take a nap. It is about exercising when it is the last thing that I feel like doing. It is about eating a banana rather than the largest chocolate bar that Cadbury make. It is about putting on a dress and some make-up. Even if I would love to slob around in my 17-year-old hoodie and a pair of leggings.
So tomorrow I need to start looking after myself. I need to stop being a silly Mrs H. Thankfully I’ve done it before and I know that I can do it again. Wish me luck!
PS. I originally wrote this post back in November 2013. It was the first time I had truly written about my depression in my blog. It is a post that is very important to me and that I am proud of. For that reason, I decided to re-write it and re-publish it. I hope that my story and experience can help others.