998755_10151512865748106_966206854_nI am writing a rather sad eulogy at the moment.   Actually” rather sad” is not the right expression, it is more tragic than sad.

A life has been cut short by depression… and as I listened to the family tell me the story of the deceased life, I recognised the pain and anguish that they are feeling from thinking that they did not do enough… did not care enough and have somehow “failed” the deceased.

This is not true … they really did all they could .. but right now they can’t see it .. and that is understandable.

I hope in time that they do .. and I hope that in some small way what I am writing to present at the funeral will give them some comfort from the crippling feeling of helplessness and guilt that they are feeling right now.

It is not possible for any of us, no matter how good we are at understanding people, to always read between the lines.  Sometimes we are too busy, or simply cannot be bothered to really listen.   We are sometimes unable to pick up on the small signs … that are so obvious when we look back … because we get fed up, get angry .. or sometimes just do not care enough to see the signs.

For most of the time the person going through a black time cannot find the right words to explain … not for the lack of wanting to .. but sometimes because we do not always understand or see the signs in ourselves.

In some ways I am glad I suffered from Depression, it gave me an insight into myself (and sadly, into other people!) that I would never have had … it also gave me the chance to stop, turn around, and start over again … not that I really ever thought about having to “reinvent” myself in a completely new career … but the stress of fighting and fighting and fighting some more just to say afloat took it’s toll on me … and in the end I had to admit defeat.

There were times when I look back that I was reaching out for help before I was officially diagnosed and I remember saying the words “just listen, I just want you to listen” …  many times … sadly, I know now that the person I was trying to get to listen to me simply couldn’t.. not deliberately .. but just because of who she was and who I am.

For a long time before that I had desperately sought peace, I wanted to be alone at times, I wanted to sit in the quiet and not chat .. I wanted just to stop having to think and just be …. and I did not recognise the signs in myself .. “not me, I’m far to strong to suffer from depression” … how wrong I was … thankfully, some wonderful friends gave me the time, support and peace for me to heal myself … it took a good 18 months for me to feel better in myself .. and a further 6 of medication before I felt strong enough and confident enough to “go it alone” without the help of any wee tablets.

Funny enough .. life started getting brighter for me when the decision to close my old business was finally made.  It was sad, it was a huge blow to my pride … but it was a huge weight off my shoulders… and life began to turn around.

I was lucky, my depression was not as severe as some, I had no thoughts of suicide or self harm … I simply could not find happiness or joy in anything.. I just wanted to disappear for a while … and the numb feeling was like being a dead woman walking.

I am more confident now that the episode of Depression I had will not return, although for a long time I did fear it .. my life is very different and although I get “feckin angry” at stuff that I perceive to be incompetence (let’s not mention Santander!) … it is very different now .. instead of sitting worrying and stressing over things, I simply say it as it is or sort them out .. no excuses or bullshit accepted… and I find that for me (as a natural worrier!) that this seems to work much better … it may not make me popular .. but it certainly stops me from stressing.

I know I am lucky, I did eventually find my peace and to me that is more important than a huge amount of money or a “flash” lifestyle .. I live simply, I spend time on my own and I enjoy it … I like being with me again.   My heart goes out to the deceased and the family I am working with at the moment … I understand much more about the deceased than I will ever say to them … but I will give the family a final goodbye that they will hopefully find to be the start of their healing … and I will let them say goodbye with dignity and honour to someone they loved, who sadly lost the battle to their demons.