I hope from this blog i have shown that I am a truely and genuinely happy person. A person who loves life and wants to capture and remember all that which makes it wonderful.
The ‘D’ Word. The word which goes unspoken. The word that goes unfaced. Is a word that haunted me for too many years to imagine. Is it wrong to say it? Is it wrong to have it?
These are things I used to wonder. Thoughts I faced when, yes, depression consumed my soul. I sit here writing to share more of ‘my story‘ like I said I would. I want to try break some of the stigma and bring a light to such a topic of Mental health.
Its not easy to write this, to try and get all my thoughts from my mind into words which can be read by others. But i shall try my hardest to share this with you. It scares me, I’m not going to lie. Now knowing anyone and everyone has the key to my darkest secret.
To get to the point, I had Depression. It consumed me. All of me. My mind seemed to be a constant battle as it raced so fast, even too fast with thoughts I couldn’t bear. How my mind raced and how it affected me was terrifying. I have been told before I have a conceptual mind… for art, photography or creative things it’s great. But when your mind is so conceptually against you, showing you things that don’t exist it is a curse.
I could sit in a room or walk down the street and within seconds I could have lived something awful. My mind could show me frame by frame the loss of my family or even reshow me my father’s death as if it was real before me. I could recall in detail my mother’s yellow coat rush past the door on the day my father died. See her in that coat, sit in the kitchen and hear her say the words over and over ‘your father has died’ just as she had that day. I could see the realistic detail of my fathers lifeless body laying within ‘that’ room of the hospital. The room at the end of the long long hall. The room I will always remember. Once out of such a trance I would be left still in a ghost like manner shaking uncontrollably, tears streaming down my face, and my legs as weak as jelly.
I found it close to impossible to get out of bed… not that I was tired but because I didn’t see the point. Being around people felt like the loneliest place to be. It was as if I was trapped in my head, I could see what was around me, hear what was around me but not fully interact. It was like I was by myself, talking through a wall. Battling to break through to say what was in my mind, what I was really thinking, how I was really feeling. But, I couldn’t, the wall was just too thick. That’s why my bed seemed safe. It was just me and my mind I had to battle. No one else or nothing else.
I could lie there, have hours pass me by without a notice. Have a shower and sit on the floor, all alone with my hair dripping wet. Still as can be and have time pass me by without a trace. I could lie on the floor at night and not have the strength to move. My mind took all the energy I had. I could smile on the ouside while be crying deep within. Tears seemed evil, seemed wrong and seemed to show weekness. I wouldn’t let myself cry. This is why I would just stand still. Not move or else I’d burst. Spill so much emotion and hurt out for the world to see. For the world to judge.
Eventually I did break. I spilt my guts out and I fell before my friends just skin, bones and tears. Broken, shattered and lost. I spoke, opened my mouth and finally shared all that which scared me, all that which had taken over me, and all that which consumed my mind. I was finally breaking free.
Like I said, it’s hard to share this and get all out as accurately and understandably as I can. So to try and share how truly ill I was, it eventually came to be that a councellor had to tell me I was beyond their help. Diagnosed with such acute depression, a trained professional genuinely had to tell me I was too broken for them alone to fix. I had to be refered to one of the best psychotherapists in the country. A psychotherapist to whom was a herbalist and one who upon my first visit to see her, had put me on medication to control and slow down my mind… someone who was so against drugs, used drugs for me. I had neglected my mind for so long I had become so lost, so scared, and so broken she had to go a different route. A route to fix me because I, and anyone else is always fixable.
I had even been told at one point I shouldn’t being doing my final school exams, the leaving cert, at all. I had been told doing such could destroy me and told to quit half way through. I was meant to go to a place that would help me fully, go day to day to get better and recover my mind from which it lay. But…I fought. I didn’t quit and I did both. I got better. Battled depression and got into college with a 470/600 mark in the LC exams. The battle wasn’t quite over but my life was finally beginning.
I use the word mind because that is what was ill. My Mental Health is what I had neglected and what needed help. I now may seem crazy but I was simply not well. That’s the stigma, the simple title put towards such an illness… craziness.
I share this today for hope. Hope to all those who are still in that place and even those who are worse then I was. The place that consumes the mind and locks you away from the world. Locks you away from reality. This is also for those who are simply unhappy, and longing to smile with meaning. You can. I was not happy but I am genuinely happy now. Genuinely content with myself and loving life. This is why I’ve wanted to share this post. Because I’m not ashamed to say I had depression, I’m actually rather proud. Like, fuuuck, I HAD DEPRESSION, had one hell of a journey and am out the other side. I’m so proud to be able to say I’m proof there is hope and proof that there is an end to the tunnel.
I know there are worse out there, know there are people who’ve gone through greater loss, but accepting Mental Health is so important to look after is still the first step. Knowing there are things that can be done and said to make things better, to make you better, to make us better. I do still have days where I may cry or be at a loss for words but that’s because I am still human. Tears and sadness are in our nature. They show us just how good the good times are. Sun-rays on the skin. Snowflakes on the tongue and laughter in the heart.
Now that this is said. Now that I’ve shared my heart and soul, I’m left to wonder what will people say? What will people think? That is why it took me so long to post this. Im scared of the judgment. Those who’ll now mock me or those who’ll dissect this post with inaccurate detail and twist my words. I’m still me, still that girl who smiles and laughs at the simplest of things. Just a girl who’s now known. My darkest secret uncovered and my heart shared as good as it can for the world to see. This is me. My inner most thoughts, my most darkest of secrets.
I have chosen today to share this because today is my father’s birthday. He would have been 80 years old.
So this is a present to you Dad. The final release of all that could have destroyed me. You may not have been here but you raised me still. You taught me that life isn’t made up of the big things and huge achievements, but is a collaboration of the important everyday trivial moments that make life great. You gave me the passion to capture the small things in life. Just as you always had your camera with you, I always have mine. Just like you, I try never to be angry, try not to take things out on others and try to uncover and see all the great things around me. You gave me a love for the arts. Love for the world. Love for life.
Happy Birthday Donald, my Dearest Father and most loved Dad.
I’ll always remember..
.. you tucking me in on the coldest of nights, kissing my forehead and making me safe.
.. you burning your toast because that’s how you loved it with marmalade jam.
.. you shuffling your feet when you walked down the stairs.
.. your naps on the grass in which I’d run outside and curl up in the nook under your arm.
.. you bringing me for trips to the ice-cream shop after school for no reason but to spend time with me.
.. your bald head and exceptional excellence of the English language.
I’ll ALWAYS, remember.. You.
There is hope.
There is an end.
There is a smile, a laugh and love to be had.
Hold on. Always hold on.
Until next time,
– The girl with the [Train Tattoo]