Depressions a B!tch and I refuse to be its friend….

When I was 17 I was diagnosed as a “Manic Depressive“. I self harmed and was put on at “at risk of suicide” register with my local Mental Health Team.

My upbringing was OK. I wouldn’t say it was great. My mother wasn’t very nurturing. I don’t remember being told “I love you” by either of my parents. I don’t remember being told that I was pretty either, and for a little girl growing up, that’s kinda a big deal!

My dad spent a lot of our childhood away working. Sometimes me and one of my sisters (J) would take it in turns to go with him. She was “Daddy’s Girl”. Our youngest sister was “Mummy’s Girl” and me….well I felt like a spare part, the odd one out, the black sheep.

I was closer to my Auntie than I was my mum. I used to wish that my Auntie WAS my mum. I remember saying to my Auntie one day “Please tell me that you’re my real mummy”. I just wanted to be loved and I felt that with my Auntie.

I was bullied a lot. I was bullied at school by children in my class. Children who were meant to be my friends. I was bullied every school year from the age of 9 until 14 years old. I was told I was ugly. I was called stupid. I believed them.

One day my youngest sister, C, had a photo shoot. She was going to be a model mum said. We all went along to the shoot and watched whilst our youngest sister had pretty photo’s taken. “Can we have our done mummy, can we be models too?”. This is what me and my sister J asked. The response we received from Mother was “The photographer says you’re not pretty enough to be models”. I was all of 10/11 at the time, and J would have been 8/9. To do this day, Mother doesn’t remember saying this…but it is something that has stuck in my mind.

When I was 13, part of my world collapsed. One day after school we went home with my mums friend. We had been going home with her every day that week and wondering why. Mum and Dad had looked smart every morning, but never told us where they were going. Then we were told. My Dad had been sent to Prison. I’m not going to go in to why, as that’s all in the past now. He served his time and learnt his lesson.

What hurt more than him going away, was the fact that our parents felt the need to lie to us. If they had just been honest with us!

Things went downhill from here. Word got round school. People whispering, calling us names behind our backs. We took years of stick from people. J went off the rails a bit. I wasn’t so bad, but I bottle things up and then I blow.

I screwed up my schooling because of this, and the nasty rumours my first boyfriend spread around the school about me. I quit school for 6 months and returned only to do my GCSE’s. I passed, but not great marks.

At 17, I was put on anti-depressants…and then I was diagnosed with Manic Depression and being at risk of suicide. I didn’t want to live. What was the point. I had just started driving and often though…If I get up enough speed I can go straight in to a post and it’ll all be over forever. But I could never bring myself to do it.

Things started to change at 18. I met P. I got different counselling and came off the medication. Things were looking up. At 20, I discovered I was pregnant and our son was born on my 21st Birthday. I didn’t bond well with him at the beginning. I had a good labour, but suffered a bad tear and had to go to theatre for an hour. I had trouble breastfeeding and spend most of my time crying in hospital because I was sore and my baby was crying. 4 months after giving birth I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. I was put back on to my medication and sent for yet more counselling.

Then I discovered I was pregnant again. I was told it was safe to carry on with my medication throughout my pregnancy, but I wasn’t to breastfeed my baby. I continued with the counselling, and even tried Psychotherapy…until one day I mentioned to the therapist that “I wish I’d never had children”. I didn’t mean it in a nasty way or that I was going to harm them way. I simply meant that I wish I had waited. Perhaps not have had them so young. My therapist told me that what I had said was “disturbing”. I came out feeling even worse, and never returned.

I continued with my medication right up until our daughter was 18 months old. Then I decided enough was enough. I don’t want to do this anymore. Depression sucks. It gets hold of you and it sucks you in. You try and stay afloat, you try to hold your head above water, but it pulls you down like the tyrant it is. Its so overwhelming and you’re weak from fighting for so long, and then it engulfs you. I don’t like feeling like that and I don’t want to go there again. I have my down days, but who doesn’t?

I have had a few times when I could have taken that route again. Could have sunk in to the dark pit, but I have refused to let it capture me.

In 2009, I had 2 miscarriages within the space of 5 months. Then 6 months after my second miscarriage we discovered we were preganant again. A scan revealed that the pregnancy could be ectopic, so we prepared to lose another baby. Thankfully all was ok and the pregnancy went well…until we reached 27 weeks. After 5 weeks of being in and out of hospital, at 32 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with Placenta Praevia and Placenta Accreta and admitted until delivery. At 33 weeks, I went in to labour. I was prepped for delivery, then everything stopped so they decided to hold off and wait and see how long they can keep baby growing for. We went another 4 weeks and she was delivered safely at 37 weeks.

During my 5 week admission, I had my low times, but I refused to let it get to me. I spent my time thinking about my husband and my children at home, and the baby growing inside of me. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardise any of them or make them unhappy in any way. So I told myself that I was NOT going to let the depression win. I was NOT going to go down the route of more medication and counselling. I have been there, done that and it didn’t really help me.

So, here I am…. 11 months on. I have my bad days. I get frustrated, I get angry, I get sad, I cry…BUT I have not let Depression win. I have not been on medication for over 3 years now.

Depression is one friend that I do NOT want!!!

*picture used from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=sadness#ai:MP900444486|mt:2|

 

 

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. @SAHDandproud
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 12:59:18

    Thanks for sharing that. You encapsulated just how I feel on some days, having had depression since I was 15 or so. I hope things continue so positively for you. šŸ™‚

  2. Actually Mummy
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 20:38:58

    I worry a lot about depression. I have it, and I deal with it ok. My MiL was hospitalised with manic depression. My daughter is high-maintenance and stressy although she is a wonderful girl. I worry that she will inevitably be a sufferer, and I have no idea how to stop it. It is an evil disease, and I know I will blame our parenting if she sucummbs to it. I am glad you have it under control šŸ™‚

  3. Boo and Me
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 22:16:46

    Wow. You have SO much strength to have taken control of your depression like that. Huge, huge, huge amounts of respect to you x

  4. Anonymous
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 17:20:18

    :'( just catching up on your blog and omg i'm sat here crying. i'm having a bad day. infact bad few weeks. at first i wasn't able to take the antids. now i cant bear to take them. i know i should because i dont have strength like you but right now, for me, its winning :'( hope i can be strong like you one day xxxxxxxx

  5. Rachel Gully
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 17:23:52

    Thank you all for your comments. It has taken a long time to get here. I have been battling this for 14 years now…but I feel I am winning, albeit slowly.

    Depression is a horrid disease and its so easy to slip down and let it take hold of you.

    I still have my bad days where I think its coming back, but then I think about everything I have gone through and I don't want to go there again.

    I'm just hoping I don't pass it on to my children!!

    Big hugs to all of you and thank you for taking the time to read and comment xxx

  6. Anonymous
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 17:39:19

    i have only been on & off medication for 4.5yrs your definately winning from me. I'm back at point where i cant sleepand feel dd1 picking up on it. she's no unhappy but she'd happily talk bout death etc :/ feel like bad mum even saying that. chin up anyway šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ love your blog & seeing you on fb xxxxxxxx

  7. Rachel Gully
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 17:46:46

    You're not a bad mum….it's the depression that is making you think that. When I was first diagnosed with PND when our son was just 4mths old, I was convinced that they would take him away from me. After all, how could I look after him? I didn't want to hold him, what sort of mother doesn't want to hold her baby. It really does take everything from you and it is such a long hard battle!

    With regards to the death chat…I think its quite common with children. My 2 talk about it all the time! I wrote this about it http://confessionofsahm.blogspot.com/2011/08/death-my-kids-obsession.html

    xxx

  8. Anonymous
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 18:10:15

    Thank goodness! šŸ˜¦ I think because thinking about death starts the panic attacks I hate it. I seem like a pretty happy go lucky girl. Hardly anyone knows I battle everyday infact you and hubby do ha. On fb I think people would be surprised about it all. It's like when I tell people about how much weight I want to lose they all try to “pursaide” (sp) me I dont. grrrrr. I try tell people bit by bit because I know people shouldnt be sitgmatised for it and I know that it don't make you less of a person etc but 99% of the time I feel like im hiding from the world.

    Hey don't feel so bad. my evil ex MADE me go to drs when i was 12 weeks post partum. I thought dd1 was a boy and couldnt believe she wasnt when she was born. (we never had gender scan – was just a thought) It got to a point where i was going about for a week saying i didnt think she was mine when I was 12wk pp :/ I was fine after birth then i couldnt bfeed (since found out I prob never will bfeed because of my rubbish nipples) , had to give her dummy, she had bad colic…. lol Nothing like dd2 haha but I dont get how I'm so low now

    xxxxxxxxxxx

  9. Rachel Gully
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 18:38:47

    Depression is still a very “taboo” subject & people feel they should hide it, when infact you need to talk about how you feel. My own mother used to take the Mick out of me being on “la-la pills” as she called them. Real supportive huh!

    You will get there, it takes time! make sure you talk to someone about how you feel xxx

  10. Muppetelle
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 20:04:33

    Rachel sweetie, that's an AMAZING post, so brave, not self pitying, but honest and will help so many people who may also have felt/feel like you but presume no one else does. Your therapist should have been shot for saying that to you by the way xx BIG HUGS xx Elle (the muppet šŸ˜‰ )

  11. Rachel Gully
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 20:14:39

    Thank you for your lovely comment Elle. Hopefully people can relate. Depression isolates you and its sometimes nice to know that there are others out there feeling/felt the same way xx

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