This week (8th-14th May) is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek in the UK and I felt it was time to share something a bit personal with you. Many of my followers whom I knew from my old blog will already know this but I suffer from depression. The truth is I have suffered some form of depression since my childhood. It’s not something that I’m proud to admit, but something which I feel needs sharing as there is a stigma around mental health, especially the mental health of young people, which needs to be addressed.
Many young people, teenagers especially, suffer from depression. The first time I was officially diagnosed as having depression was as a teenager but the truth is I suffered, a maybe milder, depression since I was a child. It’s dark to admit this but I didn’t have the best of childhoods. Some bad things happened in my life and I developed what you could call a ‘sadness’.
While I always try to be what I believe is my true nature – a happy person who always laughs and smiles and enjoys life, the reality is that growing up in circumstances where I didn’t feel I could be carefree and happy, where I couldn’t really be a child, led me to become sad. Having no real friends at that age didn’t help matters and when diagnosed with a life changing medical condition I became more distanced from kids my age and fell into my own depression.
As a teenager with the pressures that others can put on you, especially if you’re not part of the ‘popular’ group, things just spiralled and I was officially diagnosed at the age of 13 or 14 (I can’t quite remember how old I was).
Living with depression hasn’t been easy and for me the condition came and went. Inside the ‘real’ me, the bubbly, happy, smiley me, is still here and indeed wants to be the only me in this body, but there’s a darker force that sometimes takes over and pulls a dark curtain over my entire vision. It’s this back and forth pull between feeling happy and sad that I have written about in the poem below. It’s not a complete picture of how my depression affects me, but an idea of how it does, and how it can affect others.
Before I end I want to reassure everyone that I didn’t have a completely rotten childhood, I have a lot of happy memories but the sad ones are there too. Perhaps it explains my sometimes childish/daft nature today – making up for the lost years.
No matter what you may think about mental health, having depression or indeed any other mental illness doesn’t make someone ‘wrong’ or ‘damaged’. We are all people and anyone in the world can suffer from mental health problems. A lot of the famous people suffer from some sort of mental illnesses like depression and it’s time to open up our minds to this and see that everyone is the same, and even if someone is suffering from this condition they are just as human and ‘normal’ as the rest of you.
I hope this post will help someone. Please do share this post and indeed any post about mental health awareness if you feel it would help someone.
And I want to leave you with this thought. I saw a fantastic pic on twitter today saying this:
Please don’t give up on someone with mental illness. when the ‘I’ isreplaced by ‘we’ illness becomes wellness
So don’t give up on people, don’t stigmatise them and if you can do nothing else, just be understanding and treat the other person as a fellow human being. We are all the same, and mental illness is nothing to be feared or ridiculed.
If you are suffering know you are not alone, and I am happy to talk to anyone who may need it 🙂 ❤
Poem: Is This The Final Goodbye?
It began with something simple,
Small piece of heart dissolved.
No more than a word spoken,
Caused pain unresolved.
Every time I try to fix it,
Tell myself I’m better now.
Pretend it didn’t matter,
Get on with life somehow.
But lying will not help it,
The pain it will come back.
The world will turn from colour,
To simple shade of black.
Cannot lift the curtain,
There is no quick release.
All thoughts return to one thing,
My life I wish to cease.
Mistakes I’ve made appear,
Things done and not all plague,
My thoughts all turn to misery,
Anything good seems only vague.
I want this pain to end,
To be the final time.
Don’t want to feel this way again,
Do I sink or do I climb?
Just want it all to finish,
Don’t want a life, be dead.
Imagine all the ways,
My body spread in red.
But small as it is, a part of me,
Can’t let go, wants to holds on.
A truth burried deep inside of me,
Don’t wish to really be gone.
Just want the pain to vanish,
Want a new life, things done right.
So despite the pain I hold on,
I choose to stay and fight.
Hate myself each time I fail,
Feel proud when I’m doing well.
Battle is my own though,
Nobody else can tell.
So now I try to be happy,
To everyone I smile.
But scared the pain will be back,
That I’ll start to taste the bile.
Please do comment, this is a subject we shouldn’t be scared to speak about. ❤ ❤ You can also find me in these places: