I think I’m finally finding my place in the world. I had no idea where this journey would take me when I embarked upon it, but I find myself with a new unwalked path ahead of me.
I set out with no agenda other than to clear my head of the conflicting thoughts swirling around, driving me mad. I wanted to reach out from the abyss and connect myself firmly back to the world around me.
It’s very lonely being chronically ill, and the overwhelming feeling of being separated from the rest of the world is soul destroying. I watch life pass me by out of the window… People leaving for work, and walking their kids to school. Dog walkers and workmen, cars loaded with surfboards and people gossiping in the street.
It made me jealous if I’m honest.
I constantly longed for something else in my life, anything to stop the relentless monotony of fighting for my life.
Writing this has been therapy. It has helped me find my sense of self worth again, and allowed to me to feel like I am once again a valuable member of society. I’m sure the government would have something to say about how useful I’m being, but I feel useful none the less.
It’s an odd thing when you have no sense of purpose. It effects the way you see yourself, let alone how others see, and judge you. I was ashamed to say ‘I don’t want to be here’ out loud, as I know I am valued by my children, husband, family and friends. But I sometimes felt like what was the point in me fighting to live? If I was just a drain on everyone in my life, and wider society surely they would all be better off if I just let go?
Those dark moments come and go, I realise now it will be an eternal battle.
The key difference is I have learnt to reach out. I call a friend in tears. Turn up at my sisters broken again. I say it out loud, and weirdly it helps me stop thinking like that. When you feel that all you do is take from others without giving back, it’s very difficult to maintain a cheery disposition.
I hate being needy and dependent.
I feel like a drain on my husbands energy and time, that I hold back my kids….and that’s no way to live. Although it’s a tiny thing, doing his helps. It gives me a place in the world again. Others reach out to me for help, instead of it relentlessly being a one way street. Every message I receive saying ‘thanks for articulating how I feel so I don’t have to’ makes me feel like I’m finally giving back.
That I am worth something.
I feel brave for saying it out loud at last, instead of ashamed as I expected I would. I have been fighting to keep this part hidden for two decades, and I just can’t do it anymore. If you know me, feel no guilt or responsibility. I have only done what I needed to do to survive, but this is a new dawn, and I have accepted the dark part of me as just that.
A part of me.
My husband calls me his rainbow, and says the stones song ‘she’s like a rainbow’ is written about me. Now he has to add black into the array of colours he sees when he looks at me, but that’s ok. He can take it. I think it’s a relief that I’ve finally moved out of denial.
I suffer with depression.
There I said it.
My life has been phenomenally hard in so many more ways than just my health, and more than I can ever write here, but so far I have survived. I have chosen life and positivity. I won’t let hate, anger and fear define me, ever. I will always let the light shine out of me, for all to see. But I still find it tough, and it’s important to me that people understand that. I’m not always as strong as the persona I present.
So be kind, be brave, and reach out if the darkness comes calling.
If I can do it, they anyone can……