You can fight against it and even think you’re succeeding in moments of clarity, when you think you’ve raised above and can finally breathe; but don’t worry, the evil fingers of f…
It’s a difficult thing, you know. Admitting everything is not peachy or hunky-dory (or whatever other euphemism you want to stick in there).
Coming to terms that something is wrong in your head – a chemical imbalance of some sort that no manner of positive thinking can regulate. Dealing with the constant aches and pains in a body that no longer feels like your own. Trying not to let it consume you. Trying to explain it to a medical professional in the hope that they can tell you what is going on.
It’s taken a very long time; many visits, many complaints. I finally have an answer. Or rather, a list of reasons that explain why my body seems to be betraying me and my mind playing tricks on me.
Accepting these reasons is “a whole nother matter”. Basically coming to the realization that there is something not right. In fact, something very wrong.
Who wants to admit that about themselves?
Well, the first step is known as the hardest. Admitting.
“Hello. My name is Heather and I have depression.
I also have anxiety, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, chronic pain and fibromyalgia. I will not say I suffer from these, because now that I am aware, I will learn to cope.
Although at times, this is a tall order.”
So there we have it. Step one. Admitting something is off.
It’s a process. I wish it was a means to an end, but there is no end. There is learning and coping and knowledge.
That’s a power combination.
There are times when I want to crawl into a hole and never come out.
I’ve realized now, that is my depression raising it’s ugly head. I have so much to be happy with in my life; an SO that loves me unconditionally, an adult son who still wants to share his life with his mother and a toddler who’s whole world is her father and I.
Yet I have moments when all I want is to disappear. These moments are tough. Tough on me and tough on those who love me. It’s taken me a while to finally accept that I have a mental illness. But it does NOT define me. I am NOT my illness. I will rise above.
It’s hard some days, but I have a support system in place. It’s not infallible, but we try.
For that, I am grateful.
I may not have a terminal disease, but finally, after many doctor visits I have been diagnosed with a complicated illness that will never go away, may only get worse and has no cure.
No, I’m not ‘just lazy’ or pretending or faking it for attention. Yes I have days when I’m less than fun to be around, in fact I can be down right irritable and even bitchy. Those are the days that you should just back away slowly and throw chocolate. I’ll come around eventually and might be reasonably tolerable. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s because I’m dealing with chronic pain most every day of my life. I also carry worries about my future and what it holds for myself and my family due to having such an illness.
I have days where I just don’t want to get out of bed I’m in such discomfort, everything hurts. Yet if I stay in bed it will only hurt worse, so I push myself, out of pure guilt.
I really miss the ‘old me’ and try my best to be her again. As often as I can. I smile through the pain and blink away the tears. It’s very exhausting and can sometimes be very lonely.
Please don’t tell me to just ‘snap out of it’, or get more exercise, or smile and pretend I’m happy and it’ll make me be happy. Or my favourite, that I’m just depressed.
First of all – depression isn’t something to scoff at or use as an excuse. Second, depression is part of it but it’s not the whole. I do, in fact have depression and anxiety too. As if fibromyalgia wasn’t enough, let’s go for the trifecta.
There will be days when I’m just not myself – should probably hang an ‘Out of Order’ sign around my neck even. There will be days when I’m sad, seem like I’m in another world or just very, very blah, listless and out-of-sorts.
There will also be days when I’m just one giant ball of emotions and could cry over spilled milk, literally. Or just cry. No reason. No provocation. Just tears and blubbering without any apparent explanation or rationale. Just be patient, be supportive and just stay silent. This too shall pass.
Some days I have to dig really deep for the happy and other days I’m such a ray of sunshine I could blind you. I never know which it will be until I open my eyes.
I just ask that you not judge me, unless this is a textual illustration of your life, you have no idea what I’m going through. Just love me. Know it’s not you, it’s me. Know that I love you and will do my best when I can and if I can. I know it’s hard for you, it’s hard for me too, but knowing you’re there, not judging me, is a great help. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for that.
My name is Heather and I’ve decided that I would document my journey through life as a middle-aged woman dealing with depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia.
The ups and downs, the joys and sorrows and the successes and failures.
I’ve just recently accepted that I am dealing with mental health issues, every day of my life and if by sharing my thoughts and experiences I can help someone feel not so alone or help remove the stigma, then I’ve succeeded.
Join me as I rant and cheer and everything in between.
Thanks for listening. 🙂