My blog, and myself, have been very quiet of late. This is not because I have nothing to blog about.. there is always something interesting happening in the handmade world. This is because of the black cloud that creeps up on me and makes a mockery of my normally optimistic and bubbly personality.
I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it goes into a state of remission, with only the memory of the misery lurking on the periphery. Other times it invades my mind, my soul, removing the colour and life from every moment.
For many years I denied there was a problem. And then one day I wanted to kill myself. Not the same feeling that led to several vague attempts at overdosing previously.. this was different.... this was scary. Some deep seated kernel of survival kicked and I finally admitted I needed help.
It didn't end though.. that event was 17 years ago.. almost to the day.
Over the intervening years I have had various counselling sessions, some more successful than others. And every time they would come to an end with something like 'well you seem fine now'. And I would feel fine. For a while. But not once would I let them medicate me. I guess it was still a form of denial. Taking pills would really mark me as a loony case.
Even when my 'normal' depression was exacerbated by Post Natal Depression I refused to do anything but talk to a counsellor. I firmly believed that one should deal with the cause, not hide it.
A couple of years ago I fell in a hole... a big black hole. I was struggling to cope with everything happening in my life. I had forgotten how to say 'No', and ended up piling one thing on top of another.
I started to think about suicide again.
My mind set had changed though. I had 5 kids, one of them only a couple of years old. I also had a fledgling business. I needed to be able to function.
I went to my doctor, I burst into tears before I even sat down. I fell apart in her office. When she suggested antidepressants I said ok. I realised that I needed more than just talking. Don't get me wrong, I still sorted out therapy too. A year later my counselling ran out (free counselling is limited.) I felt ok, things weren't less stressful, but I felt better able to cope.
Then my best friend died. My son's friend committed suicide. A crafty friend was murdered. A long time family friend died of cancer. One of my former doctor's committed suicide. One of our dogs had to be put down. All in a really short space of time.
No amount of drugs or therapy is going to make that go away. I have spent the best part of 12 months walking around in a fog. At the centre was the death of my best friend.
Just as I was clearing the fog my best online friend lost her sister and another crafty friend died in tragic circumstances. My old self just tried to block the pain, pretend it wasn't happening. I plowed on.. I even had new counselling set up, was still medicated.
About three weeks ago.. maybe a month... I just wanted out. I very nearly closed my business, almost deleted all my online accounts, seriously considered just 'vanishing'. Instead I 'disconnected'. I stopped being so active, was a lot less social. I hid and licked my wounds.
I'm not back yet. I'm working on it. The last two years have been the most emotionally exhausting, gut wrenching and difficult years I can remember... and that is coming from a child abuse survivor.
I doubt I will ever be back to the me of early 2010.. and I still don't quite know what the 'new' me will be. All I can do is take each day as it comes and see where it leads me.