How to understand depression

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I found this video doing the rounds on Facebook.

Last year I suffered from depression. To say it was a shock to the system is an understatement.

In a way it was probably one of the best things to happen to me… it made me stop, think and re-evaluate my life. Decide what is important, and what is not.

I have tried in previous posts to describe this time, but this video says it much better than I ever could!






Today I am 52.5 … a strange thing to say I know … but my birthday is Christmas day and as a kid my mum used to give me a special day in the summer because she felt it was unfair for me to only have one day per year to celebrate.

I haven’t really celebrated my “half” birthday in many a year, but last year I ended up having a barbeque, not for me really, but for an ex who was celebrating her birthday.

It was a bit of a struggle for me.   I tried to enjoy the day as my garden was full of some wonderful and funny women but I felt very out of sorts.  It was nothing to do with any of the people there but rather within me.

I found it very hard that day, I ended up sitting in the summerhouse trying to find some peace but I tried very hard to make myself “mingle” … but I was forcing it, forcing humour, forcing smiles … I was struggling .. I wanted to be happy, but I wasn’t.     It was so much of an effort and I just felt exhausted.     I had also spent some time picking out what I thought was a fabulous birthday present.   I was wrong and I ended up feeling very disappointed, not only because my ex didn’t like it or want it (it was a small Fossil leather bag), but that I had misjudged it so badly.  

This year I am not having a BBQ, instead I will be celebrating the 1st birthday of Fife Inbetweeners (a gay women’s group that I run) … we are having an 80’s party, with 80’s food and a pool competition.    It will be an evening spent with a small number of friends and this year I feel like partying, my humour will not need to be forced and I can enjoy the company for the great friendship it brings.   

Sometimes we cannot see things in life until we look back on them from a very different viewpoint.

This weekend I will smile and celebrate where I am in life … I like it here, everything feels great again!



Not me….


I am very much a woman of two halves… I have my joking, clown half that everyone knows and I have my deep, private side that only a few close friends get to know.

My humour is my shield, my protection, get past the humour and you meet a completely different person… someone who loves closeness, theatre, classical music, art, reading, writing and conversation.    This is the part of me that keeps my balance, my peace with the world and the part of me that can and has been torn to pieces when I have lost my peace.

Over the past 9 months or so I have found it harder and harder to find my peace, my place in the world.  I have been stressed and I have been so damned tired I just didn’t realise how much.  I knew I was “fed up” .. I knew I felt irritable.. I knew I had no patience, I just felt worn out.

My holiday in Spain, with a bunch of close friends brought it very starkly home to me.  For once I managed to relax, the tiredness and clouds in my head lifted,  and I realised just how far away from “me” I had become.   It certainly made me stop and think.

It came as a shock to me to fully understand how unhappy within myself I was and the realisation that a few things I believed had in fact been because of how I had been feeling and not reality at all.

I worried about everything, about everyone, I took it on myself to feel responsible for other people, I took the slightest thing personally, I just could not understand … because I could not understand myself.

To say it was a wake up call is an understatement.   I am a deep thinker but even my thoughts were being affected by my “mood” that I never realised I was in.

I have a lot of friends that I adore but sometimes it is hard to find the words to speak to someone when you don’t understand things yourself.  I was lucky I had been speaking to a close friend about how I felt, how the feeling as if the waves were about to crash and I was about to drown.. funny enough .. I had dreams about this too … I think she knew there was something wrong a long time before I did.   To say I owe this friend a lot is an understatement.  She bore with me, listened to me, agreed with me, told me off and called me a fool *smile* ..

I took the plunge and spoke to my doctor, who I have to say has been fantastic, she helped me realise that sometimes there is no shame in asking for help, something I am not good at, but need to learn a bit more.  She also explained about how stress becomes like an addiction, some stress is healthy but too much becomes harmful and destructive.

I’ve heard people describe times of their lives as “dark times” .. I understand that now .. this is how it feels, that the lights have been switched off, that the darkness has descended and that the dawn seems so far out of reach.

I am not yet back to me, I still have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can’t describe, the closest I can think of is it is like a very deep sadness and I can’t yet shake.  I know I have to work on this and I will, but I do know I have to find this thing called “patience” too .. and let things sort themselves out.

I know I have a wee bit of a way to go, but the tiredness seems to be lifting, the great burden of emotional turmoil is settling down and most of all I can sense that the dawn will rise again.

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