I have suffered from depression for nearly the last three years.
I hope this statement doesn’t make you want to click on. You will be glad to know the story is having an ongoing happy end. But all the same, dear followers, it is time to talk.
As it happens, I am on the up and up. I have had therapy like CBT and the lightening process, I walk the dog, I run, I have a job with hours that I can manage. It’s all good.
But it hasn’t always been like this, and how I wish someone would have brought up the topic first. Over the last three years people at work and in my private life have seen me struggle, watched me take time off work, have prayed for me, helped me financially with some private therapy, been compassionate about my sick leave.
I am so very grateful for it all. So thank you. Truly.
But it seems to me, that each time I have been unwell, I have, on the whole (with a few notable exceptions) had to make the first move, tell people I am in trouble, or bring up the issue in some way. You have no idea how utterly terrifying that is. Or perhaps you do know. I have been afraid I would loose my job if I mentioned depression at work, afraid my friends would get bored of my unwellness.
Of course none of that was true, but I didn’t know that, and being unwell really didn’t make it any easier to ask. When it takes all your strength to just leave the house, those kinds of questions are agony.
So today, my plea is, make the first move.
It doesn’t have to be a massive conversation. A friend of mine invited me round for a cup of tea and to talk about weaving (its my kind of thing, and his). We didn’t talk about mental health at all, but he did come and pick me up so I didn’t have to struggle to get to his house, a few miles from mine, on my own.
Seriously, one of the worst things about having a mental illness (there, I said it) is that you become invisible. All you really need is a bit of normal, with someone who will have the kindness and patience to understand that some things in your life are harder than they are for people who are mentally well.
A cup of tea, that’s all it takes.