Friday, June 14

Coming Out

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. 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.

HOWEVER...none of this makes me a weak's not that I'm in some way lesser. In fact, to have survived what I've survived, means that I'm strong, very strong. I'm done with being secret. It's just how it is.

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