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Goodbye, Old Friend,


In my 26 years there has been many a time, I have been depressed. Looking back to my teenage years it was due to not being able to cope with rejection, loss and not feeling I belonged. As I grew older, it was just like an old friend, every now and again when you least expected it, there it was rearing its ugly head and dragging me back. I think at times I had even become dependent on my depression, I expected it to be there, and if it did go away it wouldn’t be long before it returned. I guess, I am one of those people, I think too much, I worry more, and suffer from a lot of self-doubt. I basically I attract depression and melancholy. Sometimes, like an old friend, you may just bump into them, and it will be a quick catch up and the depression is again on its away. However, there are times where we can have a full blown reunion.

This will lead to a trip to the doctors, and my other very good friend, the trusty anti-depressant is prescribed. The chemicals re align in my brain, I work some stuff out and I keep my repeat prescription close to me. After the counselling and CBT doesn’t work again. This is what happened, as many you have known when Elijah was born, and had his surgery. I had never experienced depression like this. It consumed me, it literally took over every aspect of my life. I became the depression; it took everything from me. Until one day I looked at my family, and realized yeah, we had it rough but it could have been worse. Elijah taught me a lot and my outlook on life changed. I gained a confidence and self-belief that never existed before I became a mother. I was going to beat this. I was going to me. The depression was not who I was, it took a very long time to realize that actually it is not a part of who I am. I wanted to be an amazing mother to Elijah and this was not going to affect him anymore. It is one thing when something that is causing you pain, but when you are beginning to cause your family pain, I think it’s time to swallow it, and make the very uncomfortable admission you need help.

Even after I tried to take my own life when I was a teenager and ended up in hospital scaring my Nan and Uncle half to death I didn’t admit I needed help. I tried to change, and went cold turkey of my tablets and read a lot a books about Hinduism and baked. Good lord I baked. It was only after snapping at Elijah and seeing the look on his face I knew I needed help. What mother was I being when we stayed in all the time, when I was irritable or crying, and not actually wanting to be there with my son? So, off I went to the doctors, and like a trusty companion, the medication was back in my life. This time instead of relying on the tablets to do everything, I worked on myself. I wrote everything I had ever felt during the first 18 months of Elijah’s life and for the very first time, I acknowledged, accepted and processed what I was feeling. I could feel the depression shrinking away inside of me, I was getting stronger, and it was getting smaller.

Can I cope without my trusty companions?
I have been very happy for a good 6 months so it came the time, after a good love affair to say goodbye to my nearest and dearest the anti-depressant. I again became to rely on them, but I had to know if I could do this on my own. I felt like they were part of me. They felt alien in the new all natural and healthy me. If we had another baby, I didn’t want to be on them. As it would once again affect my family. When people asked me how I was, and I said good, I didn’t want to think of it as lying to them and hiding my dirty little secret. I didn’t want to feel guilty after I said, yes I am fine thank you, but actually I am on anti-depressants so I guess I am not completely fine. I wanted to be honest, I wanted to be real, and most of all I wanted to be me. I had to know that I had beaten this. I was officially over it. That was only going to happen when I stopped the tablets.  I knew after a year of being on them I couldn’t just quit them like I did before. I began to cut down, and after three weeks I am now off them. It was over right? Or was it?

Last night came the knock out the door, when I answered it was self-doubt again, feelings of failure and feeling down. I had a complete crash of confidence, could I do this without them? Had I really beaten this? I also had become disinterested in my blog. For three days I barely looked at it, I wrote nothing when normally I write every day. I am behind on projects, am I doing the right thing? Is the store working out? Is there any point to it? After shutting off my phone and taking stock of things, I didn’t do anything. I distanced myself from it all, as not to do anything rash.

When I woke up, I felt so different. I felt that the knock at the door last night was a wobble, and that house guest has been evicted and will not be lingering to out stay his welcome. I had beaten this, and there will be many more wobbles but I will overcome them. There will be no more reunions with my old friend; depression. Why? Because I am so over our friendship. Like any toxic friendship, I have terminated ours.

These words after hearing them today, seemed especially poignant, by the downright amazing Young Guns, ‘I was born, I will live, I will surely die’.
 
There's no doubt you can yourself out if you want to
Don't turn away, don't be shy, you've got questions so do I
Every day is a chance to change the story
Don't run away, take a shot, give it everything you've got
Without pain, tell me what's the point in glory?
 
 
 
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