I think I just beat depression

Every day I have woken up, depression has been there, hiding in the background, like a dementor draining all happy thoughts away. The other day I woke up, just like any other and got out the bed, had a shower, which was interrupted by a half asleep Miss J needing a wee. I dried off and settled down to do my make up with my children sat in my bed, cuddling and the TV on with cartoons. I stared at myself in the mirror and something had changed, had shifted and I didn’t recognise my own reflection. We pass through life often not noticing the small changes until it adds up and becomes a big change. As I stared at my reflection I realised the woman staring back at me was happy, I was happy, I had changed and depression had left me.

I had been so busy with life and our routines that I hadn’t even noticed that my depression had finally gone. I wasn’t just having the few odd good days anymore I was having most days which were good. I was able to wake up in the morning, deal with everyday stresses without crumbling under pressure. I am taking care of my children, going out with them, enjoying them and enjoying life. Life is no longer this foggy, dark, monotonous and painful existence, but actually a fun, happy and worthwhile existence.

My hard work had finally paid off and I had ridden the storm out. The positive thinking, mindfulness, reading and therapy had finally given me that light bulb moment. I was in charge of my own life and own happiness and I needed to make the changes to let happiness in. I had accepted myself and my flaws, let go of guilt and finally got my life back and it feels amazing.

I know that I will still have challenging days and that my depression could even come back, but I now have proof in my own life that things can change and turn around. You can reach rock bottom and climb back up to the top. You can make plans again, you can smile, you can still be you again. I had become me again, but better, I was more aware, kind, understanding and appreciative. I can see things from both sides and have great empathy for everyone going through their own personal battles.

What has depression taught me in these last two years? It has shown me that I am far stronger than I ever realised and deep down I am a kind person with a big heart. It has shown me that I am a fantastic mother, because even when I was at my worse I felt immense guilt about my children. Even in midst of it all I still fed, washed and cuddled my children even when I couldn’t take care of myself. I still protected them and shielded them the best I could. When I was struggling most I was still trying to be selfless to protect them.

This is just my battle and you shouldn’t draw comparisons if you are going through something similar. Everyone’s battle with mental illness is unique and has many variables. I was lucky as I always had a supportive husband next to me, I was able to pay to go privately to get the therapy I needed and I finally found an antidepressant that works for me. I am forever grateful to my husband who has stood by me, supported and loved me when I couldn’t love myself. His patience is admirable and his heart is pure and without him I couldn’t be the woman and mother I am today. I still have problems just like anyone else but I am in a place where I can work on them and become better, but for now depression can fuck right off.

 

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Learning to communicate emotions

I thought I would write a post on something I am trying to learn to do with my therapist to hopefully give me a better understanding and also help others. Something I think many of us struggle with daily is how to communicate emotions and trying to change the way we think and do things, especially when we are creatures of habit it can be quiet difficult to learn to do something in a different way. For me to learn I find the best way to do it is to write it down in my own words, so this is what I am going to try to do.

We are taught from a young age to hide our emotions and often our emotions are invalidated. Do you remember at times as a child when you would cry and were told by your parents or even a teacher you were over reacting to your emotion. I know I have even told my daughter at times this and have even said she’s acting like a baby or being silly, which could affect her negatively. This behaviour is not helpful to a child or adult as it is basically invalidating them and teaching them hide their emotions. We all know if you suppress emotions eventually they build up and then they blow out of proportion to the actually trigger. I have a tendency to shout and cry at the same time when my emotions boil over and it can happen pretty often. I think the stiff upper lip of us English people is still so prevalent today where emotions and feelings are still often dismissed, but as we become more aware me know that this isn’t helpful for our wellbeing and things are beginning to change and people are becoming more mindful.

What I am trying to learn to do is communicate my emotions better and notice them more. I am a highly emotional person thanks to my borderline personality disorder and I want to recognise and communicate my emotions better. I find it easy to write about how I feel and I think that’s why I’ve found blogging so therapeutic, but for me to talk face to face I struggle to explain and that is something I need to work on.

Out of habit I also seem to suppress emotions and not show how I really feel which impacts me mentally. I have felt hurt and betrayed and never spoken up over fear of being told my feelings are not validated. I need to learn to own my own feelings and emotions and find a healthy way to communicate them.

This concept all comes down to mindfulness, which is all about being conscious of the present moment, are thoughts and feelings and others around us. It improves mental wellbeing so we can enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. A quick exercise I have learnt is to concentrate on your breathing, this is such an easy concept and something you can do almost anywhere. To do this all you need to do is focus on your breathing, breathe in for five seconds and then breath out for seven seconds. It immediately makes you focus on just your breathing, something we do all the time without a conscious thought, it relaxes and re-centres you and you can do it throughout the day to bring moments of calm.

We can learn to understand our emotions and use them in a more positive way to become more conscious and happier people. Emotions are not bad and not something we should feel we need hide and not something with should try to make our children hide. Once you learn how to communicate your emotions in a healthier way I believe life will be more rewarding, relaxing and you will feel better and more in control of your life. You are the manager of your life and you are in charge.

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