Depression is one of those things that people don’t like to talk about – after all, it’s nicer to think about the happier things in life. When I became depressed several years ago it came as an absolute bolt from the blue – totally unexpected and without any notable trigger. Although my marriage had broken down and I had two small kids to look after, I felt happy and resolved in these areas – dare I say happier than I had felt in quite a while? And then…BOOM!
Waking one morning with a sense of absolute dread offered me my first glimpse of what was going to become the darkest three months of my life and, believe me, I have faced some pretty huge challenges over the years. I can only describe feeling depressed as living in a relentless world full of fear, anxiety, self-loathing and sadness. My family, thankfully, gave me a reason to function, but getting out of bed every morning felt like walking through treacle and I cried more in those few months than I have my entire life before or since. I was lucky; I was able to fully communicate my emotional state to my parents and family and they made sure that, after I had put my babies to bed, they were at my door. It’s strange to think that what I needed most in those times was for my mum and dad to come round, hug me and tell me that it was going to be ok. I needed them to let me know that I could go home if I needed, and that I was loved, even when I was sobbing for apparently no reason whatsoever.
I was fortunate in many ways; I had people willing to be there for me – people who listened to my desperate and, at times, deluded thoughts. I was also able to talk to my doctor and, after having tests, it was established that I needed a blood transfusion and several iron transfusions (low iron is linked to depression). Soon after these had taken place I woke up one morning and felt the light return; the dread had gone and I was Emma again. I am sharing my story with you because we need to stop being afraid of the less-pretty moments in our lives and be ready to ask for, or offer, support when depression impacts our world. Funnily enough Jamie, who is my best friend and who works at Switch, bought me a mug the other day with my favourite saying on. It reads, “Everything will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.”
Let’s start sharing our stories and, together, we can make that saying a reality, not only for ourselves, but also for those whose lives we touch.
You’re amazing, believe it!
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