So maybe this is the final post in the My Story section of this blog. You’d sure hope so from the title. But the thing about this story is that it’s a journey – a journey I thought I had completed … but the road just keeps on going.
I told you guys, post by post, how a series of events dragged me down to a place of misery and anxiety. Then how, after the birth of my second daughter, I suffered from post-natal depression for two years. Then there was the slow recovery process and the blissful destination of complete happiness and contentment after my third daughter was born.
Except that wasn’t the destination. It was just a long stop-over on a journey that isn’t over yet.
That’s not what you want to hear. That’s not what I want to hear. I want to tell all you mums with post-natal depression that soon you’ll be CURED and everything will be wonderful forever and ever. Maybe you will be, maybe it will be – everyone’s experience is different. But this is My Story.
For me, most of the time, I feel great. I feel grateful and blessed and happy because I know what the darkness looks like and I am no longer surrounded by it. But occasionally something will get to me and it won’t make me a bit moody or a little mad, as it would have done before all this, it will bring me crashing down – back to those dark places where I never want to walk again.
If I let it.
And that is the difference. When you suffer from depression, there is no control. There is no looking on the bright side and quashing your negative thoughts. Your mind is not your own and it will take you anywhere.
When I had my first ‘relapse‘ I didn’t know what was going on and I let it take me over. Let it drag me right back down into the darkness. I was blindsided. I thought I was done with all that – I thought I was free. Now I am better prepared and I have some tricks in my arsenal to fight back.
I hate it that I still have to fight, but then I remind myself that I’m the lucky one. I came out the other side. It’s a privilege to fight – for myself, for my family, for all those that have lost their lives in the blackness of depression. I am a survivor, and survivors always carry scars.
My depression is a part of my history, and now it looks like it is a part of me, too. I will never learn to like it, but I will have to learn to live with it. I still hope for the day when it will be gone for good, but I’m not going to wait around for that to happen.
Depression used to own me, but now it’s only a tiny part of who I am. I won’t be afraid of it. I won’t be ashamed of it. I know my enemy and I am learning how to fight him, how to keep him small. I believe in myself like I have never done before.
I am a survivor, but I am not here just to survive. I am here to love and live a purposeful and abundant life – and so are you. Wherever you are now, even and especially if it is a bad place, remember that life is a journey, and that we never stop learning and growing.
On my blog, I’m going to share the tricks I’ve learned to hold back the darkness. They help me and I believe they can help others, too. These are not things that will help you if you’re suffering from real, clinical depression. I hate to say it, but I believe – having been there – that there is no way to fight that – you just have to ride out the storm. But these tricks can help you if the worst is behind you, or if you don’t suffer from mental health issues and you’re just looking for a way to fight the negativity that surrounds you.
Check out my disclaimer. I am not a doctor, a psychologist or a life coach. But I am the voice of experience. I can’t tell you how to live in a bubble of happiness, but I can tell you how I have learned to live and love life fully – fighting the darkness and all.
Images from Pixabay.