Choose Life

choose lifeI wasn’t planning to write this morning. I was going to watch Downton Abbey free of the noise of children and the rolling eyes of husband.

But, after reading Rosemarie Milsom’s searingly honest piece regarding women and depression in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, prompted by the suicide of Charlotte Dawson, I felt compelled to give some form and structure to thoughts and experiences of my own.

Milsom writes: “I was wary of being diagnosed with depression. That would have meant that I had lost control, that I had become weak and allowed my crisis to beat me. I was usually resilient, buoyant, an optimist. I had become lethargic, addicted to sugar, teary, irritable, joyless and unable to focus.”

This was, essentially, me last year until, inspired and encouraged by my Super Tops Awesome Best Friend, I finally, finally, went to my wonderful GP and asked for help. The little pill I started taking each morning, and still take, broke the maddening circuit of sadness, anger and guilt I was stuck in and enabled me to begin healing myself, being kinder to myself, and approach life in new ways.

That is not to say that I am “cured”.

That is certainly not to say that I have stopped self-defeating behaviour such as projecting bouts of self-loathing onto my poor husband, who deserves none of the vitriol I have spewed forth on too many occasions.

There have been setbacks. There have been bleak days. But they are now the exception, not the rule, and I am getting better and better at the practise of self-compassion.

In conclusion, if YOU need help, please, please, please ask someone for it. You can certainly ask me. The only regret I have about asking for help is that I didn’t do it sooner.


11 responses to “Choose Life

  1. Kate, that is just wonderful – we will have a chat one day. I am still trying to come to terms with my Dad’s death October 1 last year.

  2. Honest and brave Kate! I am still very shocked about Charlotte Dawson’s suicide. I understand her decision though, strange as that may sound. I do not want to see people taking their lives, but I honestly do understand why they do it. I don’t think it was an impulsive decision that she made. The struggle can just be too hard. I think those of us who are in a supportive and loving relationship are very blessed as we do not have that horrendous sense of loneliness and aloneness that I suspect Charlotte was feeling.

    • Thank you, Leanne. I understand her decision, too, which is why I decided to write this today. I have not, thankfully, experienced quite those depths of despair, but I do know what it is to feel helpless, hopeless, and useless.

  3. Firstly, yes, I am calling myself this now. Humility be damned! 🙂

    Also I agree that it’s hard to firstly get help. We want to think that we are capable, strong women who can handle ALL that life throws at us. But the reality is that sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we need help. Especially after life changing events, like the birth of a child, death of a loved one, marital breakdowns, etc. I, like you Kate, just wish I had gotten help earlier. It would have made the past 4 years much easier and happier.

    Glad it’s all working out for you! You deserve it! Love you! x

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