Day By Day.

Just where does one start?

Its always difficult facing a new project, and starting my own blog is no exception.

The reasons behind all this is simple. For over ten years I have ‘privately’ battled with the illness of depression. I say privately, because until recently, I had never had contact with any one else who suffered the same illness. This was mainly down to the fact I chose not to share ‘my own weakness’.

By a simple momentary chance just a mere five months ago I was given the name of someone by a relative of mine,( who is one of the very few people who is aware of my depression) and she gave me the contact details of a friend and colleague of hers. I never thought for one single moment Caroline would become such a close friend and confidante.

I ask myself why this is so. Because I believe it was meant to be. But rather than this illness present itself with negative thoughts of what is meant to be…….it presented me with positive thoughts.

For many years I have been unfortunate to suffer a lot of health problems on a physical level, this in turn made my life extremely difficult to deal with. Many deaths in my family, money worries and health problems over a period of time does take it’s toll. And whilst I thought I was strong and was dealing with all my problems, the rot was setting in, but by the time I realised this I had sunken to such a low depth of despair that it has taken every ounce of energy in my body and mind to claw my way back up. And now with the help of a wonderfully supportive GP, and understanding friends I want to stay on top. But thats the problem with this illness….you have little control over it, it controls you with mood swings, good and bad days, feelings of insecurity, lack of self esteem and confidence…..and the list goes on.

As I said earlier, I kept my depression secret, and like many others who suffer this awful illness I suffered in silence. The only other people who were fully aware of my illness was my GP, a couple of work colleague/friends and two very close friends.

I chose to keep it quiet mainly because I felt ashamed of myself for not being strong mentally. For not being able to cope with the mass build up of pressures of daily life. And most importantly I felt there was no one who I could talk to or with who would understand how I felt.

Living in the shadow of depression and anxiety and other associated mental health problems is a day by day battle to live, and for that reason I have decided to call my blog ‘Day by Day’.

My life is not total doom and gloom, and over the past year I have begun to understand that with the help of friends who know about and understand this illness as sufferers themselves that I can lead a normal, productive and fulfilling life.

I have a tough time ahead of me. Other health issues haunt me, as well as the fact that next year I will be losing my job after 2o yrs of loyal and dedicated service to the same company. To change ones job after that length of time in itself is difficult for any strong minded individual, but for any one who suffers from depression it is even more difficult. So I know big changes lie ahead of me as do big challenges. My thought at the moment is to face those challenges as best as I possibly can……now however I have the aid of a very dear friend who already has made me challenged my own negative thinking, and who inspires me greatly in seeking out my hidden talents.  And in addition to this I have also met a small group of friends with whom we share our support and understanding for one another and help each other through the good and the bad days.

I very much hope with this blog it will give followers an insight in to what one individuals life is like living in the shadow of a mental illness.

5 thoughts on “Day By Day.

  1. Not sure if this was meant to be public, but it was on my fb wall. Caroline is a dear friend of mine, she is a wonderful person, gifted, kind, courageous. I admire her enormously. Reading this I admire you too. Change is often forced upon us, I have learnt to lean into like the wind and allow it to fill your sails …. you can fly in this new direction…. you can. Good luck!

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    • sootykins says:

      I totally agree with you Colleen, Caroline is a wonderful person, it is through her that I have chosen to come out of hiding from this illness. Although I will have to do it at my pace and in my own time….but this way is as good as any to start that process.

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  2. Caroline says:

    Wow! That’s a great start to any Blog! Well done you and thank you for sharing. If we are open and honest about our experiences with depression and anxiety we can change people’s thinking about mental illness and eradicate the stigma. You are perfectly normal, and soon it will be those lucky enough to escape the spectre of mental illness who are abnormal! Good luck with your Blog…..you are a very brave lady.

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    • sootykins says:

      Like you said before Caroline, That the beginning is a very good place to start. Hiding behind a mask is not the answer to resolving the problems and stigma behind depression.

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  3. Carole says:

    It is wonderful that you can openly speak about this illness here and I admire you for that. I agree about how someone “hides behind a mask” and I believe that there is most definitely a “stigma” about depression. I was in a very bad place over a year ago and I walked into my doctors surgery and asked for help…the most I got was a cup of tea from the receptionist who was very kind and sat with me until a doctor became available who told me to go home and someone from the crisis team would get in touch with me that afternoon…I went home and sat with my mobile in my had all that Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday and by the time Monday ended, I still had no phone call….I was suicidal and had no help at all and the only help I did get was from my local MIND centre. It was through going there to an art group each week that I started to overcome the horror of depression, my scars have faded on my arm from self harming and I found wonderful friends like yourself from Facebook and I feel that together we can be there for each other.
    Thank you for being so brave and for being such a dear friend, you will never know how you have inspired me over the last few months and I will always be here for you….

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