All I had to do was move one bedroom to another. Not so life changing one would think.
The past decade has not been the best of times for me health wise.Caring full time for a parent and sibling drains one’s resources, add to that mix, accident, illness and hospitals for myself, where they removed various parts from my internal structure!and you will understand maybe how I have unwillingly another statistic.
They say, the experts, that
Those over 60,
Those with heart problems,
Those who suffer from major illness such as cancer,
Those who are carers,
Those with a history of depression,
Those who suffer from life changing injury,
Those who are constantly under high degrees of stress,
Are all more likely to suffer from long term clinical depression.
I apologize to those who suffer this dreadful ailment who don't fall into the above. I mention those above only because it seemed every time I woke up and turned on the news I became another statistic. I don’t feel like a statistic, I am me.
I have suffered from bouts all my life. It comes with the Dyspraxia. I found my own solutions, at school I retreated into myself and books. When I was free of such constraints I discovered that packing a case or rucksack and moving to pastures new could alleviate the problem, if it didn't immediately|I just moved on again. I had always had a wanderlust so that was a perfect solution when I felt the dreaded shadows taking over my mind.
Even when I had to return to help keep an eye on aging parents I beat it back by going to university and discovering a whole new world of knowledge, every term a newness, which kept that monster at bay.
Then I couldn’t move on, couldn’t try the new and strange any more. Slowly imprisoned within the house with full on caring duties, with ailments of my own walking alongside, the monster could just stroll in and make itself at home. Gradually over the last ten years it has almost taken over. This year I am driving it back, back and out.
When I was young one didn’t admit to any kind of variation in mental health,in the 50s and 60s the stigma was still great and if it ever came out the chance of good employment was almost nil, especially if like me, one wanted to work with children.
Most of us with clinical depression, function as others not afflicted. The majority of us are not mad or bad and it is recognized today, spoken about, admitted to and life is easier. However, after over half a century of keeping it to myself and ‘coping’ and ‘I’m fine’ I finally admitted defeat and went to the doctor. Why did I wait so long I wonder?
It is not an overnight cure ‘happy pills’ don’t work that way, at least mine don’t. But what it allowed me to do at the beginning of this year was to sit up and look around at the false dark world my monster was creating for me and see it for what it was - a nonsense.
Everyone was not against me. They were not ignoring me or talking about me constantly behind my back. I was not useless. I was not a failure. Life was worth living. Sunsets were still as amazingly colourful as always and . . .and. . .
And maybe just maybe it was time to banish this paranoia which attacks. The age I cannot do anything about, I am getting older faster than I like:) the heart problems are also ongoing and okay I may die but I could have died at any point since my conception so what’s new. I have had the cancer - it is in the bin - so I may get secondaries but again I might not. The accidents may have left me with damaged joints and tendons but there again wear and tear and old age might equally have done so. I am still a carer, the only difference is my mother has died so it is only one I care for now.
I have sorted and re-sorted the medication I need to take for ever, and found the combinations and times which suit me best and have regained my appetite and therefore some energy- amazing how food=energy:)
So I only needed to change a few things more in my life that was all. Change my bedroom, that would do for a start, only take a couple of days! Did I need more sunshine? I wondered, maybe. So the moving of the bedroom to the south facing room. Once in, I discovered the room needed re-painting if it was to help me. The old room, once the furniture had gone, also need repainting. This showed up the rest of the house and. . . .I looked around and saw clearly the neglected chaotic house and garden and have been slowly turning it back to something resembling order.
My writing stopped, the reassembling of my neglected life took all my time and energy. Slowly as the summer progressed I could do more each day, did do more each day. I grew more at peace with myself each day. More like I am normally. Before this bout I had never been depressed for more that maybe six months at a time. And with my safety net of change, movement and new variety not at all that often. I’m not saying the monster will not re-appear I suspect he will as I cannot move on, the difference is this time I hope I won’t ignore the problem for so long.
I’m not tempted to stop the happy pills any time soon, they don’t need to make me happy, I can do that myself, all they need to do is correct those chemical imbalances within.