I’m in a state of disorientation. Is this really happening? Am I really surrendering my denial and accepting that I am depressed? The woman at the women’s support centre seemed to read exactly what I could not say…she asked if I was fit for work and I said no and she helped me find advice on going on alternative benefits that would mean that I didn’t have to look for work. Is this what it feels like to have someone understand and want to help…to care? I told her that I thought I had to look for a job…I didn’t know any other way. She opened up other opportunities for me and I felt so welcome.
I mean, shit, I was having suicidal thoughts again and seriously struggling to cope and trying my hardest to put a brave face on when I felt so much pressure on me from myself…that I had to get a job because I was still able to shower and brush my teeth. The reality was that I was eating 2 pieces of toast with tomato puree and maybe some more toast in the evening for the entire day. I would say that’s not being able to function properly. And those thoughts of wanting to get some sleeping tablets and sleep for days or run a blade over my skin are indicators that I’m not OK. I haven’t been OK for a long time. I know the basics of how to look after myself, but caring about myself I had neglected. I was running on automatic, doing what I could to survive and then when I lost my job (if you can call it that considering I verbally handed my notice in where there was no contract in the first place to have my boss tell me she doesn’t want me working the rest of my notice) everything crumbled. A functioning person would not have let that get to them so much and would be looking for a new job and would understand that they had some kind of worth…I had no idea where my worth was and the depression I was hiding had completely consumed me. Again, I felt like I was not coping and didn’t know where to turn to for help. Again, I felt like I had to completely rely on myself. And then it got to the point where I called Samaritans (not because I felt suicidal, although I was having the thoughts but not wanting to act on them, but to talk to someone) and the lady on the phone advised me to go to the doctor. I was desperate. I cried at the doctor and admitted that I needed help and since then I’ve been seeking more and more help. ‘Desperation’ my flatmate said. Yes, desperate to live, to not want to let the thoughts destroy my life again. I’m accepting that I need help. I need support, guidance, to be acknowledged that I’m not OK and for someone to take my hand and tell me they’ll be there with me and help me as best they can.
I’m 27 and I’ve been depressed since I was about 6. 21 years I’ve lived with this. Enough is enough. I’m done with the struggle. I want to heal these wounds and learn what it means to live rather than survive. And I only have so many tools in my toolbox. I need to seek the help and support from others to add to my collection.
Annie was right too…in order to be able to help others, I first need to help myself and as much as I’d like to say I can do it myself, I can’t and I need to live the example of reaching out for help to show that it can be done.
The next step is figuring out what to do next. Where do I put my focus? What do I need to heal first? Is it about taking care of my basic needs…food? And learning to pamper myself/focus on my inner child? I have time…maybe now I can invest some of it in reading or learning about plantlife or sewing or learning mindfulness or learning what it means to take care of myself (like washing my clothes, exercising, changing my duvet cover, changing my PJs that smell of stale sweat, cleaning my fingernails, organising all my bits of paper all over my room, massaging that painful bit in my back, doing yoga on my painful hips, buying food, drinking enough liquids). I’ve neglected myself, emotionally, physically and spiritually and now is the time to nourish and love those areas.