Appetite for Destruction

I’ve always had a difficult relationship with food since day 1 really. As a fussy vegetarian child, my diet consisted mostly of baked beans, lentil soup and potato in its many guises.

But, in time I grew to love food for the most part. Though the last week has shown me that in crisis, my body just doesn’t want fuel. Food can bring out great emotional responses in people, triggering memories, both positive and negative. But when you feel empty, where’s the joy?

I hadn’t eaten for almost 36 hours by the time I arrived at the doctor’s surgery. Not through any sort of blind dieting, but my appetite had upped and gone. Just like my get up and go.

Resolve and determination to change myself dragged me into that appointment. And I began on my road to recovery for the umpteenth time. My gp was really supportive and confirmed my severe depression, putting me back on a previously successful medication regime.

Some people will argue that pills don’t build skills. But for me, before I start thinking about any further self help, I need to redress my chemical imbalance. This is a long road which many think will be a quick fix, but I’ve never found it to be that way.

Having made the decision to speak out about my depression, I knew that I had to maintain some of the things that keep me going in life. Work is definitely one of those things, I have a great job surrounded by great people. This gives me a reason to drag myself up in the morning however hard it may feel.

Though starting difficult conversations has never been easy, compiling a blog a week behind allows me time to reflect on the weeks events, thoughts and feelings.

I feel these conversations are starting now, and that can only be a good thing. Suffering in silence isn’t the way to go. I’ve thrown a happy face on far too many times to know its really unhealthy. Time will tell if the stigma around mental health will change.

But this is me, this my stuggle, my difficulties, my relapse and it will become my recovery.

Not seeing the wood for the trees

I woke up like I would on any other day, but I noticed something wasn’t right. I’ve felt this way before, then it dawned on me, I was back to where I had tried so hard to get away from. I was in a pit of depression again, and I didn’t know what to do.

I have suffered from Depression for about 12 years, since the unexpected death of my father, which would knock any teenager for 6. But I took heart from the support of friends, family, teachers and counselling staff. I thought I was strong and could move on, and tackle the world in my own unique way.

Depression has hit me hard over the years, it has ruined relationships, friendships, employment opportunities. It has taken away my confidence, it has kicked me when I’m down and made me question a lot of my life.

I had been almost symptom free from Severe Depression for around 9 months. I hadn’t taken any prescribed medication and had been discharged from therapy, and on the surface everything was going my way. In the last year, I have married the love of my life, settled down into a great job, and now we have a baby on the way. But waking up on Bank Holiday Monday changed all that.

I felt like all my progress had been taken away from me in the blink of an eye. Everything I had worked so hard for had slipped through my fingers without me even noticing. The house of cards I had built, had come crashing down around me, and it felt like every time I tried to put two cards together, the winds of depression took it away.

I spent a large portion of that day trying to busy my mind, hoping that my depression would lift. Tidying the house was the first step, but my thoughts were racing and scaring me, so I eventually took to the sanctuary of bed. I wanted to feel safe, I wanted to shut the world out, sleep it off and then wake up from this awful dream. I had no motivation whatsoever, all pleasure from watching TV and playing video games had evaporated. I led in my bed, eyes open, almost catatonic, staring aimlessly out of the window, watching the sun move across the sky. I couldn’t bear feeling this way again.

Speaking out about my Mental Health has never come easy for me. I’ve always felt vulnerable when I do, fearing judgement from those around me. But I know that things have to change. There’s only so long that throwing a smile on my happy-go-lucky personality will last before the make-up starts to run.

Coming to terms with this, I knew I needed more help, more support.┬áThe first step was admitting that things weren’t all that┬árosy anymore, but without an identifiable cause, I knew that medication was a must to get me back on-track and back to thinking straight.

This is my story. This is my relapse. This will be my recovery. I intend to speak out, I don’t want others to suffer in silence. If my stories can help just one person have a conversation about their own issues, then I’ll feel like I’m making a difference.