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May 13, 2009

Depression, Dreams And Lullabies

Hi All,

More often than not, people don't believe me when I tell them that I struggle with depression/
anxiety issues, and have for several years. Because I appear really very bubbly, bright and 'with it", people are always stunned when I say that I have fought with sucidal thoughts for years, or come from the background that I have. It's like that unless you fit in a certain box, or show certain emotions, that you must be 'ok': that depression only hits a certain group of people.

It's not so. It can hit anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Living with depression is like having a black curtain over the world: you no longer want to deal with anything. You want it all to go away. And yes, sometimes the curtain does get taken away: I do occasionally have good days, where getting out of bed is no longer a job in and of itself, and that is something which keeps me going through the bad.

When I realised that the way I was dealing with things (in the past) was actually quite negative, and creating huge problems in and of itself. I was shutting down when bad things happened: I kept my happy face on.

For an example, when I first reported my father, I remember sitting in Home Ec block with Amy, telling her about it, and getting really mad: mad at my father, mad at the world. She kept surprisingly calm and got me out of there to the counsellors office where I told the whole sorry story. I don't know how I would have dealt with it if she hadn't been there. Gotten more and more crazy I think, and I wouldn't be here.

The events after that (the denial by my father, the subsequent decision of my mother to believe him) shut me down emotionally: I put my happy face on: I didn't want to destroy my family. I remember reading my bible over and over again, trying to work out why God had made my father like the person he was, and why I couldn't forgive my father honestly, truly and deeply the way I was supposed to. How I had been taught to (and was being told to), more importantly. So I shut down, and tried to make everyone happy.

During my final few years at home, I never mourned what was happening to my family. I chose survival, I think. Shutting down, was to me anyway, was the only way I knew how to deal with it. Mum often called me cold (particularly to her), and yes, I believe I was. I think the huge impact her intial decision has made on our relationship is irreversable, even though I still call her mother, consider her a close friend, and admire and love her deeply for her decisions since then.

I slowly thawed out over the years after leaving home: let go of some of my emotional barriers...probably too quickly than is wise and safe for my emotional health sometimes: no leading to some of the problems I have discussed above. Now I try to deal with stuff as it comes along: to the best of my ability, but I don't think the big "D" will ever leave me. I am stuck with it for life. I just have to work with it: fight it, to the best of my ability.



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