I have struggled with depression for more than two thirds of my life. Think about that. Most of my life has been spent fighting my demons and convincing myself to stay, to keep fighting.
‘You don’t look suicidal’. I remember these words coming from a school counsellor after I’d told her I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember my 14-year-old self feeling embarrassed and confused. What was I supposed to look like? Fragile with a bottle of pills in one hand and a suicide note in the other?
I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 25. Once my son was born, my postnatal and everyday depression fused and I almost lost it. It was always my dream to be a happy stay at home mum, and yet I felt worse and worse every day. I lost weight and developed severe insomnia.
It took all of my energy to care for my baby even if I couldn’t function that well beyond my parenting duties. Yet my son saved my life. He is the reason I get up every day. I’d rather he see me battle my demons than think even a fraction of my pain was caused by him.
A year and a half ago I decided to quit taking my antidepressants. I could feel myself slipping back to where I was before. There were days I’d almost convince myself that my son and my family would be better off without me.
So I went back into therapy and, after talking about it, agreed to go back on my medication. A part of me feels like I have failed. But I know it’s not true. I am doing what is best for me, and my family. Yet the best part is I haven’t felt this good in a very long time.
I want to keep working on myself so I can eventually be off my medication. But until then, I have to do what I have to do. With my therapy, walking the dog, the baking, and my amazing friends and family, I know I’m going to be okay.