I've decided to 'come out' not in a sexual sense, but about depression. I read a very well written piece (as her's always are) this morning, and it really spoke to me. I 'shared' it on Facebook without thinking, then when I did think, I had the thought: “Oh no, that was public, there are all sorts of people who'll see it, and put two and two together, i.e. that I have the same condition...that I'll be judged in a negative light etc. etc. Then I thought “...damn it' – why should I care.
So...here am I 'loud and proud'. Now we come to terminology...I don't like to say that I suffer from depression. That's the language of a victim, and whilst it's taken me a long time to realise it, I'm a very strong person. Maybe stick to facts, I have had a number of serious depressive episodes dating from my early 20s. When I say serious, I mean SERIOUS...but I've been fortunate:
- I have a loving, supportive partner, family and friends.
- I've had excellent medical care (well, there was that South African doctor who wanted to give me ECT, but that's another story [which believe it or not is quite a funny one]).
- Thanks to a very generous pay off, I can afford to work part-time.
Like anyone who has had a chronic, life threatening health issue, I have to be careful:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat properly
- Not get too stressed
- Not get too tired
- Not to drink too much alcohol
All good advice for everyone...but when I let things slip the consequences can be...serious. So I have another injunction:
- Not to think it'll go away
It's hard though. I can become consumed by work, a friend's emotional crisis, not sleep too well or even be knocked flying by a virus, and find myself struggling again.