Depression has always
been present in my life.
As a child I had my first
experience of the beast growing up with a mother who suffered severe
depression. She was always unpredictable and her moods would swing
from one extreme to the other. There were days when she couldn't
get up and us four kids would have to take care of ourselves. And
there were times when she would just simply disappear only to return
weeks later. As I grew older I realized she was going into hospital
during those times after yet another suicide attempt. She had
Electric Shock treatment and my childhood was spent being shifted
from one relative to another as she tried to get better. Early
memories involve visiting her in hospital watching her make
Christmas crackers as part of her treatment. I still to this day
wont have the things in my house.
As I became a teenager I started to feel different to other kids my
age. I felt older and seemed sadder. Finding it hard to relax and
smile and be silly like 'normal' kids. I would find it difficult
finding then maintaining friendships as I felt no one thought like I
did. No other person my age did the things I did to myself just to
get out the house every morning so I could face school. No other
person my age would go to bed and cry herself to sleep every night
for no other reason but she hated herself so deeply she wanted to
die. I felt alone in my sad little bubble world. I thought I was a
freak. Everyone just said I was shy when I couldn't talk or never
went out. But all those things simply took too much effort.
As I got older I hid the
feelings in drink. By the time I was 19yrs old I was an alcoholic
and heavily in debt. I lived alone in a bedsit and would drink to
get to work and take Bacardi in a coke bottle to drink from so I
could get a fix during the day. Evenings were spent in a drunken
haze. My drinking stopped when I abandoned my child at a toddler
group one day and the police found me in the local park sitting with
the drunks desperate for alcohol. Nowadays I can drink small
quantities but I can keep it well in control. I am always aware
though how easy it would be for me to slip back into old habits.
Things came to a head
when I gave birth at 22yrs.The depression hit full force. I hated
myself and my child. Couldn't love her. Couldn't touch her. Could
barely function. But all the time I smiled, acted 'normal' and
tried to appear like any other doting mother. When she was 2yrs old
I had my first breakdown. Finally I told someone how I felt. I got
help. I was diagnosed with Post natal Depression. Since then I
have had various CPN's and therapists. I have good periods and then
before I know it I am back down in the black hole again. I have
tried various meds but nothing seems to work with me.
Depression has been in my
life forever in one form or another. It has helped make me the
person I am today. Paranoid, insecure, unlovable...It almost cost
me my children and on occasions almost cost me my life. It has cost
me many relationships.
ATM I am struggling
again. The black walls of the pit are caving in on me more and more
But things are also
different now. I have help and support...both in RL and from the
wonderful people I have befriended online on boards such as BTB. It
has helped knowing I am not alone in my thought patterns. And it
helps knowing there is a small glimmer of light at the end of the
tunnel. Just sometimes things become cloudy but people here remind
me the clouds will lift again.
Life is hard work. I am
tired. But am not giving up on the hope one day I will realize the
darkness within has lifted.