Friday, 23 August 2019

Facing Depression: Beginning Again


I have had depression for a few months now. I haven't published anything during that time and I have become a master at procrastination. Finding other things to do has become something of a speciality, whilst I avoid this truth. Avoiding admitting that things haven't been going so great and I haven't been handling things as well as I could. Today's parents were raised to see coping as a sign of strength and anything else; disorganisation, apathy, emotion, as a sign of weakness. As such, I see my inability to fulfil my life roles, for whatever reason, as a personal failure and I assume others will view it the same way.


I think this is why we find it so hard to talk openly about things like this and social media makes it worse, because all we see is other people coping. The reason for this, of course, is that people don't post when they are falling apart, for all the reasons above, but it's what we see that matters, not what we don't.

So where did it begin? I don't really know how it came about and that in itself is driving me crazy. I am a do-er, not a thinker. I make solutions, I look on the bright side, I fight my way through. Then something comes along and stops everything. And I mean everything. I've had depression before, maybe that makes me a carrier, who knows. Previously, though, I've been able to root out the cause and with that, the symptoms right themselves. I wrote about my battles to stabilise my mental health when my daughter started school. I also suffered when I lived in a rough area as a young mum and felt vulnerable, but I fixed that by moving house. This time it hasn't been that simple. It arrived slowly. I got hit by a really bad cold, I don't want to say 'flu, but it was a bad one and took weeks to recover from. As a chronic illness sufferer, everything is a fight anyway, and it took a long time to get on an even keel, with the infections that followed. But, when I did, I found I had lost all motivation. I... just... couldn't. I started making excuses for not doing things and it got to the stage where I was having full-on rows with myself in my head.

Around this time, I did something which was probably unwise. I put my blog link in a critique thread on Facebook. The idea is that you add your link and fellow bloggers give you helpful hints on how your blog looks, if everything's working as it should, if there's anything that doesn't look right, that sort of thing. I don't know what I expected, but all the other blog links had a mix of positive comments and areas that could be improved. Mine however, was all negative. Not one person could think of anything nice to say about it and, since I was already vulnerable, it hit me really hard. I am a great believer in the Turd Sandwich, which means if you have to deliver bad news, try and sandwich it between a couple of positive thoughts, especially when you are talking about something that someone has invested a lot of time and effort in. But, there was clearly too much turd for this sandwich and I didn't know how to handle it, so I just retreated further away and couldn't bring myself to even open my laptop, never mind publish anything.



I have really missed writing, though. I've missed having a voice, even if no one reads it, and the challenge of editing and creating content. I've missed being part of a community and all the fun parts of blogging. So, I think it's time to start again. I'm planning some changes to the blog, both structural and in the way of content. When I first started writing, L was 6, but he's 13 now and understandably not so keen on being such a big part of my blog. He has his own YouTube channel now and I don't want to cause him embarrassment, which isn't difficult to do with teenagers, so the level of his involvement is now in his hands. In coming to this decision, it became apparent that I'm not sure who I am anymore. I've been a parent my whole adult life and it's not hard to lose a bit of your own identity along the way. Some of my favourite bloggers are successful and brilliant because they absolutely own who they are, whether it's the sweary forthrightness of Whinge Whinge Wine, or the fabulous figure of Sparkles and Stretchmarks, they know who they are and they don't care what others think about that.

Maybe one day I can be that confident in my own strengths and abilities (when I find them again!), but in the meantime, I've got some ideas for posts, some photos for Instagram and I hope I can provide content that some people enjoy. That's the goal for now, while I get back on my feet, then, who knows? Thanks for sticking with me, it really means a lot. There are so many people going through far worse than me and I do know that. Island Living 365 is a massive inspiration to so many people, as she slays (she doesn't battle, she slays) bowel cancer and if you don't follow her, I recommend you do, she is a great advocate for grabbing life by the short and curlies and I've been so inspired by her positive outlook in the face of huge challenges. Finally, I just wanted to add, if you are close to me, maybe you know me in real life, or we talk a lot online and I haven't told you any of this, please don't be angry or sad. This has been something I have had to work out on my own and, if I haven't asked you for anything, it's most likely because you are doing everything you can anyway and I really appreciate that. 


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5 comments

  1. Nice to have you back posting again, although sorry to read about why you stopped.
    I look forward to seeing how you blog evolves xxx

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  2. Dont ever stop writing get it all out how you feel its therapeutic as hell for others as well as yourself ive had depression on and off since i was 8 keeping a record is good to look back on when you feel better and you will!! to see how far you have come xx love and hugs good to have you back

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  3. I caused this. I'm so sorry, mum.

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  4. Sending hugs. It sounds like you have been having a rough time.
    I live in ignorant bliss with my blog. lol I won't put my blog link in a critique thread. I dread to think what others would say. I blog for me, not for others to judge. It's so rubbish that all of your feedback was negative. I love your blog and have missed your writing. I'm glad you are back! xxx

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