I have suffered from depression for 18 years of my life. And I will suffer with it until the day I die. Depression is a part of me. I’ve had it for the majority of my adult life. It has made me the person I am today.
I know I’ve talked about it on this blog but I’ve mainly written pretty prose about feelings or the fear of relapsing. I haven’t ever talked about the nitty-gritty of living with depression.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 and I now feel it is time that I share the full story of my depression. From the beginning to where I am today.
Sharing the story of my depression
There are a number of reasons why I want to share my story.
To give hope
I want to give hope to other people who are struggling with mental health issues or are going through a dark time in their life.
During my early 20s I was on a path to self-destruction. I didn’t think that I would live to see my late 20s. And I certainly did not envision the life that I have today.
Because despite having depression and sometimes struggling, my life is pretty great. I have a wonderful family. Two beautiful children and a gorgeous husband. They are my world and I love them dearly. I also have this blog and before becoming a stay at home mum I had a career that I was proud of.
I turned my life around. And I hope that by sharing my story I will inspire other people. I will show that having depression and mental health problems doesn’t prevent you from having a normal life. In fact, you can have an extraordinary life. A wonderful life.
I have a habit of not being able to put the past behind me. In fact, Mr H once wrote a song called Walking Backwards about that very thing.
I write to get things out of my system. During our miscarriages, words poured out of me. It was my way of processing the hurt and pain of baby loss.
By writing the autobiography of my depression, I want to get closure. I need to have my story heard so that I can move on.
But it isn’t just my story.
18 years is a long time and other people have been affected. My family and friends. People I love and that I would never want to hurt. So there will be times when I can’t share every detail. I hope that you will understand that and respect me more for it.
To end the stigma
I’ve always been open about my depression. I find it hard not to be. It is a part of my life and I feel no shame in that.
If I had high blood pressure, epilepsy or I was a diabetic then I wouldn’t feel the need to keep quiet. I wouldn’t be ashamed.
So I will not feel shame for having another illness. I did not choose depression. I did not wake up one morning and decide
“Hey, it will be really fun to be depressed. What a blast!”
By sharing my story I want to help break the taboo surrounding mental health.
On the surface, I seem like a happy and smiley person. I am positive and sociable. I know to many people, I don’t look like I suffer from depression.
What does depression look like? Obviously, it is different for everyone.
In my posts, you will see what depression looks like for me. It may be uncomfortable reading at times. But it will be the truth. My truth.
And I will show how I went from surviving to thriving.
I would be very grateful if you could come on this journey with me as I write and share my tale of living with depression. I can’t tell you how long it will take or when I will publish posts. This is going to be a big exercise for me. It does involve sharing the most difficult times in my life. But I know that this is the right thing to do. And I know that now is the right time.
It would also be fabulous if you could share my posts. I want them to reach the people who really need to read them. Not just those who are struggling themselves. But also their family and friends who need to be shown that there is hope.