Such a taboo subject
…… but affecting so many.
I don’t think many people in my world haven’t been affected by depression – either themselves, their family or friends. It is not just people who have over stressed jobs, can’t pay the bills, have ‘worries’ who are affected. This can happen without your control, it can happen when life takes a turn out of the ‘normal’.
A life changing act can make more than changes to your ‘life’; it can change your every being and soul – that is more than just a ‘worry’ or a ‘solvable solution’.
I’m not afraid to say that I have sought counselling on two levels since William’s diagnosis. Because what this diagnosis did, was change my heart, body and soul: my life would never be the same, I would never be the same – no matter how much I talked about it and tried to find solutions.
The first time I sought therapy was when I was told I was a carrier – the overwhelming bearing of being The One responsible for causing my boy to have this life limiting, horrendous condition was just too much. I hit rock bottom in September 2016 – if I could go any lower, I did. I spoke to a counsellor at GOSH who had more of an understanding about the condition and of how I possibly felt! I have to say most of these sessions let me reel my anger – towards the diagnosis, people close and not so close to me; their behaviour; their lack of care (when I thought they should care). But mostly ‘How dare they get on with their lives, when I simply cannot’ .
Honestly this is still something I find extremely hard to bear – how can people have such easy lives yet …?
On that note, if you’re feeling tired, had an argument with the other half, kids playing up, lack of sleep ….. please don’t say your are depressed – you aren’t. If you feel this day in day out and try to put a smile on it – then maybe you are. Think before you speak.
The second time I sought counselling I had hit another low, when I thought really I should be coping by now. I think that was the problem. What or who was I measuring myself on? I have no-one to compare to. Who else needs to ‘cope’ with something like this? I was sick of feeling low, I wanted solutions. I wanted that elastic band to ping me out of my dark times. I had had enough dark moments to last me many lifetimes: and I knew there would always be more ahead. I needed to get control back.
The final straw was when, after many nights of no physical sleep, I knew I needed help. The GPs solution was medication – and although I’m not against this as I know people need it – I did not want it for myself.
So, I was sent for counselling. This would be 6 x 1 hour sessions. I was told to keep a ‘worry diary’ and write down every time I was anxious. The thought of your child dying young; falling and breaking a bone leaving him never to walk again; giving your child high doses of steroids to keep him on his feet; going to yet another hospital appointment – are simply not ‘worries’. Not being able to pay a bill is a ‘worry’ and that was the example I was given in relation to all the information I had given the councillor about myself …..
So after two sessions I didn’t return – I tried to find my own elastic band.
I’ve certainly not found it yet and I’m not sure I ever totally will. But, I’ve found many types of elastic bands that I’m helping me drive along this very long journey of mental strength.