This is a post which is long delayed by illness, but I am indebted to a fellow writer for alerting me to this following article in the Huffington post. She made the observation that Christmas was probably not a good time to post such an article, but my response is when is there a bad time to do so
All I can say is that I believe it to be well written and very pertinent to both depressives and non depressives so with all due recognition of the source from which this article was sourced I include the main article of the text below.
At the very least it shows that such illness can strike us all, and that we are not and never will be alone.
Have you got your own story to tell?. If so why not do as so many of us are now doing. Speak out and help others understand what is going on. Speak out, and put this wretched illness to shame
Still depressed with no end in sight. I suppose this is my brain saying “you went too far, you pushed me too far and now I’m shutting for the season. I’m going to shut you down make sure you can’t do anything even if you tried”. In a way it’s survival, when the thoughts have declared war on you by feeling friendless, hated, forgotten, abandoned so the brain just shuts down leaving a hazy blur, a fog. I’ve been in the fog for about a week. In a way it feels like I’ve been reunited with an evil, lost relative. Someone from my past I can vaguely recognize – and then it comes to me, oh yes, it’s depression. I remember now. When you’re well you can’t remember you ever had it, probably because it’s too frightening to contemplate it ever coming back so your mind ingeniously erases it. And now that it’s back in town I have that, ‘aha’ moment that this is what it is. This feeling of being estranged from my body and mind is depression, of course. This is why you can’t remember who you were or how you did the things you did.
This time it’s different than any of my past episodes, At this point when I had depression in the past I’d be panicking that my old self is gone – my old personality gone and this new deader one to replace it. But even in this chaos I sort of know this is temporary, I just happen to have this disease and this loss of identity is part of it; my mind is just out of the office for a minute.
I should have noticed it was coming on; the panic of not knowing where I was going, losing things, the obsession with finding just the right lamp even though I don’t need a lamp. I know the reason for those obsessions now when I go on carpet websites at 4am in the morning to find the perfect yet cheap carpet. The storm is so bad that when I look for the ideal lampshade it’s like an anchor because it’s real and nothing else is; if keep my eye on the website I won’t notice the holocaust going on in my mind. But this time I’m not punishing myself for not noticing. I just know I didn’t notice and maybe next time I will. I always knew some day it would come back. I know there’s no miracle cure so I tried to get ready for it by practicing mindfulness and maybe this is why I have an overview rather than stuck in blackness with no view.
Oh my God, does my heart go out to people with depression who have to go to work and feel what I’m feeling. To have to drag the heavy weight and then try to hide it in case people think you’re wallowing in some phantom sickness. The horror that if someone asked you to give a diagnosis you couldn’t. There is no single area where there’s pain, it’s all over. The fact that we feel we shouldn’t stay at home like you would with every other illness makes you feel even worse; the agony is doubled. No one is as cruel to those of us who have depression as ourselves. We keep ourselves going even when we’re broken. It’s like taking a dying animal and beating it to keep moving. I’m amazed that so many people keep going to work and trying to act like everything’s OK. They should be knighted or given some purple heart for their bravery because that is the most difficult thing on earth, to keep acting like a human when you aren’t anymore.
So, I’m lucky. I don’t want any visitors. What would they see but my shell? I’d have to blow out some conversation and that’s harder than climbing Everest right now. So, I’m fortunate that I can just sit this out because I don’t have a nine-to-five job. I can just lie here. I’m babysitting myself, waiting, waiting, for that gigantic thing that has blocked out the sun to move. I don’t need to talk to anyone or do anything because I can just lie here and wait.