So it's official.. I am actually mental - it's OK, the Doctor told me as she handed over the pills and details of my new therapist. Well, she didn't actually use the word mental, after all, it's just not politically correct these days is it? She just said severe depression with signs of a prior breakdown - so that's alright then.
It's a funny thing this depression.. I thought I was coping quite well.. after all doesn't everybody deal with marriage break-up(s), house move(s), caring for ill relatives and bereavement in a short space of time? Er.. well no apparently, and if they do they tend to do it with help. So here I am, a few weeks on, contemplating the last few years and the future.
I am not going to be boring by cataloging how I reached this stage.. for those who know me well enough, the last few years are already a well worn path, and for those who don't well, see the list above! The strangest thing this time round is how it has manifested itself, and in explaining this I also hope to offer an apology of sorts to those I have deserted.
The last few months have seen me withdraw further and further from life.. I have gradually become incapable of keeping up any form of relationship with my friends as the pretense required was simply too great. If people got close they might discover that I was shattered into a million pieces and incapable of knowing how to be around normal, functioning human beings. Ironically, during this time, various friends have suffered various crises and called on me for everything from a sympathetic ear to a bed for the night, putting further pressure on my already tenuous hold on sanity, not their fault, they didn't know; I am too practiced at deception to let it show.
It all came to a head when I knew that I did not want to be alive anymore.. I could not see any viable reason for taking up valuable breathing room on this planet. Thankfully something kicked in and stopped me - I still don't know what - and I suddenly knew that I needed some help and quickly. So I asked a friend and she took me to the Doctor's where I cried and snotted and made no sense at all, happily this was seen through and an appropriate diagnosis was given!
It going to take time to get better, this has taken 20 years to happen so I can't expect short term miracles. I am still fragile, but now I have an unfamiliar feeling bubbling inside me - it's called hope. I now know that I am going to get better and my life will not always be like it has been, and that is something that excites me greatly.
I like to imagine the possibilities that lie ahead of me - the days that are to be enjoyed, the friends that have stood by me and looked after me will now be able to have the best of me and not the shell that I have been. My children will have the Mother they deserve and not the Mother they have endured. There's a chap in my life who has only seen the worst of me to date, and I can't wait for him to see the best of me, he deserves it!
Above all, I want to say that I am glad this has happened.. I regret the pain and worry I have caused to others, but for me I have a chance to become the woman I can be, and not the woman that depression has made me. Look out World.. I am coming to get you...