Health and Wellbeing

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Depression can creep up on you without you even realising. I was having the time of my life, until one day I tried to commit suicide.

We hear a lot about depression. It is a dark place, so much so that some people suffering from it take their own life. You wouldn’t see it coming, it is something that can be hard to diagnose. It can creep up on you without even realising.

I was this happy, carefree 20 year old, and for some reason my doctor said I was depressed. When he asked if I wanted to take medication or get my system boosted in a natural way, I questioned what he was on about!

After all, I was having the time of my life, until one day I tried to commit suicide.

Looking back  I can now see what was happening. Hindsight is a great thing! There I was young and bright, wanting to be a young adult. Wanting to do the things I wanted to do. Live, love, discover, try new things. On one hand I was doing that, on the other I faced the disapproval from parents and partners and the lecture on all the things that I ‘should’ be doing.

It just felt like ‘I have to live up to all these expectations and no one is actually listening to what I am saying’.

For me the time I popped all those pills was a cry for help, a way to get someone to finally listen to me!

The Dr who admitted me listened to my story, before calling in my partner at the time and asking him, ‘Do you ever listen to what she wants?’ It was a surprise to him, and a wake up call for me. I realised that if I wanted to be happy, it was up to me to make it happen. So I left the relationship, and even the state.

Some may say it was running away, to me it was reclaiming my freedom. It was a new start. I cut contact with the nay sayers of the past.

I no longer wanted to fit in the mould of expectations, instead I wanted to go after things I wanted. Luckily for me, my new chosen home was more open to giving people a go. So I got a job in the industry that I’d been talking about for ages, and excelled! Loved every minute of it. It allowed me to be that young adult I so desired before. I was up late. I went out nearly every night. I hung out with new people. It was awesome.

However, patterns re-occur when you don’t learn your lesson, and although it took some time, I faced depression again. At that time, I had a new baby, so it would be easy to say that it was post-natal depression. Whilst hormones may have had something to do with it, realistically looking for acceptance from the outside was still haunting me.  And when I didn’t get it from the person I thought was the most important to me, I started spiralling out of control again.

I have never before cried so much. It was dark, it was sad, it was desperate! Because of my previous experience,  I was more prepared. I started looking, although in all the wrong places. I was looking at ‘why’ I was not being accepted?I was trying to live up to others’ expectations again, I lost who I was in the process.

On the outside most people didn’t see the sadness that was going on inside.

What I learnt over time is that, no matter what friends or family say about you, or to you, all the advice in the world cannot help until you are ready to find your own answers.

You cannot move on until you can accept yourself.

I used to say that ‘If I am not happy, then no one is happy’, and it was true as my moods also affected my children. Finding what it was that made me happy was hard. If it is not about pleasing others, or achieving something to be accepted, then what was I to do? Can I really do things that I love?

Learning to accept me, stand up for me, making things happen for me were challenging. Taking time out for ‘me time’ took some effort, but it is something that is amazingly powerful in getting your inner strength back. Setting goals for you, whether it’d be financial, weight loss, travel or anything else you enjoy and kicking those targets for you makes you feel invincible! I know I felt on top of the world!

Depression is a dark place, but you have a choice. Will you let it take you or will you find the light to the real you, and the strength to make your future a brighter and happier place?