Having Depression Does Not Mean…
Having Depression Does Not Mean I’m Suicidal
I have depression, I am not suicidal. The two do not always go hand in hand, though the media would have everyone believe otherwise. I stress, everyone’s depression is different. Mine is completely devoid of suicidal tendencies. And for that, I confess, I am greatful. Does this make my struggles less valid? Of course not. Nobody’s pain is less valid because “others have it worse”. We are all different. We are all important.
Having Depression Does Not Mean I Self Harm
Nor have I ever. Again, doesn’t go hand in hand. On the contrary I have a low threshold for physical pain and have a massive aversion to anything likely to cause it
Having Depression Does Not Mean I Am Sad
The School of Life made a brilliant little video about this (check out their other videos too. I think they’re brilliant). It theorises that rather than sad, we are angry and for me it hit the nail on the head. There has only been one time, quite recently, that I actively felt what can be described as ‘sad’ towards the events that triggered the deterioration in my mental health and towards the state of my mental health in general. The sad felt new and unusual and I realised how uncommon it was for me. As a person with depression I feel a great many horrible, yucky things but actual sadness is a rarity
Having Depression Does Not Mean I Am Weak
And that applies to you too. How can we be weak when simple tasks that most take for granted require a monumental amount of effort?? It takes us twice, thrice and even ten times the effort to achieve things most people don’t even think about. Weak. Pfft! Do you know what we are though? We are fighters. Everyday we push and we fight ourselves. And we are Human. All of our emotions, thoughts and reactions are human. Our sensitivities, our vulnerabilities, our neurosis make us human. And just because we reacted to certain things a certain way where others did not doesn’t make them stronger or in any way better than us. All of us are wired differently. That’s all it is. Different. Everybody has their limitations. Not better. Not stronger. Not weaker. Just human and different from one another
Having Depression Does Not Mean I’m Never Happy
I still experience short-term happiness. And what’s more I treasure those times and those things and people that are capable of making me feel happy far more than I would have if I did not have depression.
Having Depression Does Not Mean I’m a Bad Mother
I’m mother to two children. My life literally revolves around them. They are cared for and beloved. They want for no creature comforts. They are fed well and reasonably healthily. I do activities designed to develop them into well rounded adults with them. I educate them. I entertain them. I take them out to see interesting things and keep their social lives more organised and active than my own. We play. We cuddle. We laugh. They are well supported. True, sometimes mummy is a little bit ratty. Sometimes mummy needs some space. Sometimes mummy is tired and needs to rest. Sometimes it’s only daddy who takes them on the planned day out and sometimes it’s daddy who cooks dinner. Sometimes dinner is a take away *gasp!* Anything I’ve described above sound much different from your average mother? Not really
Its true too that my children have occasionally seen me cry. But, as a friend pointed out to me one day when I expressed my guilt for this, unsettling though it might be at the time ultimatley is that really a bad thing? To show them that 1) that its ok to show your emotions rather than suppress them and 2) their parents are human too? Is it not healthier to teach our children that emotions, the positive AND the negative, are a normal part of the human condition and are not something to be treated as something ‘bad’ or taboo?
Having Depression Does Not Mean I Don’t Have a Sense of Humour
Dry, dark, juvenile, weird, silly, crap….call it what you want but I do have one! I laugh and I giggle. I love comedy. I find it helps
Having Depression Does Not Mean I Am Ungrateful
This common, overly simplistic, usually well intentioned yet really quite primitive idea that depression is somehow a display of ingratitude really boils my blood. Depression is far more complex than merely ‘counting your blessings’. Yes there are many things in my life that I am lucky to have and am grateful for. The mental scars left over from an emotional trauma is not one of those things and the things I am lucky to have do not delegitimise that