Recently I had found a lot of stuff I'd written on my old PC: this one was 2009 and about my depression. I had depression before I moved from New Zealand, it seemed to disappear when I was so happy with my ex-husband, but it came back not longer after we moved here. This one was written on 27 October 2009. I knew I was going downhill. This wasn't starting, it was getting worse.
I have sometimes wondered how many people realise when they are slipping into depression, and if they did realise it, would they be able to do anything about it? I thought if I recorded my feelings and thoughts on my own journey, maybe I can stop myself from hitting the bottom again – and if I can't, maybe my words might help someone else.
I have fought my demons for a few years now, firstly on my own, then with the help of Prozac. After I met Stan I reached a happy place I never thought I would be, was able to get off the Prozac, and attempt a 'normal' life, but it was only temporary. What is 'normal' any more? Why can't I have a smooth ride through my life, like most seem to do? My life seems destined to be constantly filled with stress of one sort or another – I think I have had more stressful things happen to me in my lifetime than most people could imagine – and certainly more than most people could cope with. Even when others have stress of one kind or another, they only seem to have one stressor at a time.
I thought my life with Stan and moving to Brisbane was finally the start of something good happening for me, and for a time it was. But destiny seems to have stepped in again, and from mum dying, Zam dying, losing my Ulysses family, Stan's business collapsing due to the weather (sunny Queensland? Yeah, right!), losing the house, moving, taking on more and more at work (why do I do that???), menopause, weight fluctuations and gain, failed attempts to quit smoking – it's all taking its toll. Even my Lovan (Prozac in NZ) doesn't seem to be helping any more.
I get so tired of hearing people say how they can pull themselves up by thinking about how much worse off someone else is. I can't compare myself to someone who lost a family member in a car accident – I haven't experienced that so I can't have empathy. So what if Jane Doe had a mastectomy because she had breast cancer? I have my own breast cancer demons to fight – lumps which thankfully turned out to be benign - and a family history, both of which make me a target, so it seems. Why should my problems be any less important than someone else's?
My joints and muscles ache every day, I'm retaining fluid and feel like a gross fat water balloon, I am so tired I can't sleep, I sit on my own in the middle of the night and cry because I don't know what else to do. I have no motivation, no passion, no libido. I drink coffee at 2am because, unlike 'normal' people, coffee helps me to sleep.
Since I lost so much weight in 2000-2001 staying size 12 has been the guiding principle of my life. I love exercise, Body Combat is still my favourite after 8 years, when I can’t or don't exercise I feel like crap. Maybe that's why I feel like that right now. I thought by using a pedometer I would encourage myself, but to go a whole day – including Combat – and still do less than 7,000 steps is pretty disheartening, and to get on the scales and still be gaining weight is depressing – quite literally. It's probably the main reason I'm in my present state of mind. My life revolves around my weight now, and to have gained so much in such a short space of time – even if it is justifiable with menopause and fluid retention. I don't care what the reason is, I just don’t want to be here, I'm not a size 14, I'm a size 12, I spent years getting there and staying there and I don't want to go backwards. Getting to 80kgs scares the hell out of me; I know how hard it is to lose it.
I am so tired. Why do I have to go through this? What can I do to stop it, to motivate myself again, to stop feeling so depressed and teary and angry? Do I have a finite number of tears or will they just keep coming? How much more do I have to go through before I either start getting better or hit the bottom. And what happens if I get there?
I found out, too many years ago, that depression takes over a person, and my original depression was the result of what happened to me 40 years ago. I know there are many other women who suffer this same feeling. For me, it was continuous. If you are ever seriously interested in what was happening to me, read my other websites: It's Okay to be Angry and the blog Aneurysms with aphorisms.
These days it's a bit different – I had the brain aneurysm surgery and the stroke with aphasia 3 years ago. Some people are called strong. I was. I still am, occasionally, but these days I don't feel strong enough to get back to where I was, and yet I am strong enough to stay alive now.
Maybe that's because I know what has happened to me over too many years. I think the stroke, with aphasia, has helped me – in the last 8 months - get back into myself. I hit the bottom of my depression – I got there - when I was in a Bethania retirement village, and no-one there cared. Nowadays I have a very few wonderful people who do care. I thank them for helping me to be strong.
I won't ever be 'normal', but I am feeling better.