If you were anywhere on social media last week you probably would have seen a bunch of posts urging you to ask someone you know “R U ok?”.
I think it’s a wonderful idea, anything that encourages people to open up and to know it’s ok to ask for help when they are struggling is a great thing. Those of you that follow my Facebook page or twitter might have noticed the lack of posts or memes from me on RUok day. (or maybe not, with Facebook limiting peoples reach and news feeds, it’s not hard to lose track.)
And the truth is, this is a cause I wholeheartedly support but I felt I was in no position to ask anybody else R U OK?
Because I, most definitely, was not ok.
This last year or so has had it’s fair share of ups and downs and I think I’ve been handling them fairly well for the most part, but this last week something went wrong. I don’t know if it’s this seemingly never-ending Melbourne winter getting to me, the two and a half month bout of bronchitis that just won’t bugger off, or my gorgeous “threenager” who is testing lots of boundaries these days (not to mention testing my patience and sanity on a daily basis too.) but somehow my juggling act fell apart and I landed in a big heap.
I’ve since picked myself up and dusted myself off. I’m not completely back to my regular snarky self yet, but I’m getting there.
If you know what depression feels like, then you have my wholehearted sympathy. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. A friend told me “Depression is such a sneaky bitch”. She was so right. You think you’re doing ok, you think you’re holding it together and then all of a sudden, BAM there she is, the bitch is back. And there’s really nothing you can do except wait till she gets bored tormenting you and leaves you to pick yourself up and start over.
If you don’t know what it’s like, I really envy you.
It’s so hard to explain, because everyone’s experience is a little bit different.
For me, it starts out just a tiny little negative thought or feeling the kind that you can normally brush away or ignore, except that this one won’t go away and it’s just rolling around in my head kind of like a tumbleweed blowing down the street in an old cowboy movie. As it’s rolling around it picks up speed and gets bigger and bigger until that little puff of wind blowing the tumbleweed turns into a tornado. It gets bigger and bigger, sucking everything else in until it blots out the sky and my entire mind is this chaotic, dark, swirling mess going a million miles an hour and it feels like my head is going to explode. And just like a tornado, there’s nothing you can do. You bunker down and wait out the storm and hope there’s not too much damage afterward. After a while you start to notice that you can hear other noises through the howling of the wind, that the sky is getting a little bit lighter, the clouds are starting to lift, the fear is loosening it’s grip on your chest, it’s a little bit easier to breathe, you start to look around and see that everything is still where it should be, the storm is finally over and you survived it. This time. And you pray it’s going to be the last time, but you know it won’t. That fucking black dog will be back and there’s nothing you can do about it, you just keep going because there’s nothing else you can do, you just keep going and taking it one day at a time, and
if it when it comes back (because it always comes back) I will keep trying and keep going until one day I will beat this fucking thing.
** note ** I wrote this last week. I am feeling a lot better now. Not 100%, but a hell of a lot better than I was this time last week. I almost wasn’t going to publish this post, because I don’t want to worry anyone and I don’t want your sympathy, but this is my blog and my blog is like therapy for me. This is my place to share whatever I feel I need to share, good, bad, funny, whatever. But everything I chose to share with you, I share honestly and from the heart, so I felt that if I didn’t publish this, then I’m not being honest, not with myself or with you guys and I need to do that.
Also, I have checked in with my GP and discussed my medications and what’s going on and he’s ordered a bunch of blood tests just to double check there’s nothing more sinister going on.
If you are struggling, please, make sure you reach out and get help. If you need it, there are some wonderful people at Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and Lifeline that are trained to deal with these sorts of things and are there to help you and know that I am sending a heap of good vibes your way xoxo