There is no other way to say it: I was terrified of hitting ‘publish’ on my post Past, Present and Future: Time for Change.
It’s one thing coming to terms with the end of your marriage yourself. It’s another thing getting used to saying the words ‘we’re getting divorced’.
That’s tough enough when it’s the last thing you ever expected.
Not to you!
But it’s another thing entirely to admit to the world that you’ve spent the last however long feeling devastatingly depressed and, at times, utterly suicidal.
So I hit ‘publish’ and I waited for the trolls and the nastiness to start. Because let’s face it, that’s one side of blogging that, while ugly, is reality.
Message after message came in.
As I hesitantly clicked each one, I read kind words.
From people I have known for years and strangers alike, all of whom did not have a clue of my internal hell.
Saddest of all, I had many messages from people who had gone through or are still going through the same.
The ones having been there encouraging me to hold on. That there is a corner to turn around.
The ones still in the midst, desperately needing someone to tell them it’s going to be okay, even though they can’t admit how they feel in the first place.
Because the truth is, this is what depression looks like.
Contrary to what you might think, depressed people aren’t necessarily the ones that look down and sad.
Often, they smile.
They put on their make up.
They pretend everything is fine.
You smile because your son wants to take a selfie with you on your phone…
You smile because your children need you…
…because as a mum, that’s what you have to do.
…because you want them to be happy and have fun, even though you run to cry in the shower so the damp heat of your tears mingle with the water running down your face.
You smile because you feel the need to tell the world you are fine even though you are anything but.
How many times have you said that when asked how you are?
Do you know what?
It’s okay to admit you aren’t fine.
It is okay to need support.
It is totally okay to find that support elsewhere if it’s not where you feel it’s ‘supposed’ to be or who you feel is ‘supposed’ to care about you.
People do care.
People do want to help.
And as I want to tell my children, people are inherently good, wherever in the world they are.
Yes, bad things happen.
No, we can’t stop them.
But we can let them go.
Sometimes we just need a little help to do so.
So there are two things I’d like you to remember in your day to day life that will change a lot of things for a lot of people more than you might probably first think:
1) If you think someone is not fine, let them know you are there when they are ready and that you care. Look beyond that smile. As Rafiki says, ‘dig deeper.’
2) If you are not really fine, tell someone. People are ready to talk. There are people that care. There are those that suspect the smile is covering so much more. Depression and suicidal thoughts are not something that you have to deal with alone.
I eventually did go to my GP when I felt I had nothing else left to lose. I became so afraid of my thoughts and it seemed the only way out of my miserable life was ending it. Having attempted suicide before, I knew it was a matter of time before I finally gave up completely.
Speak to your GP. Ask for a referral to a counsellor or therapist. There are lots of options available (Mind.org has plenty of useful contacts right here.)
I cannot stress this enough:
Help is out there and you are worthy of help. Just let someone know you need it and ask them to take the reins.