Welcome back for our second episode in the Spotlight on Mental Health series. Today my guest is the lovely Becc from the website Take Charge Now.
Take Charge Now (http://www.takechargenow.com.au) is a personal blog written by Rebecca Thompson that follows her journey from sickness to sensational. It documents her path as she strives to take charge of her life, design a new lifestyle for her family and allows her to ponder life's little curve balls. If there is a positive to be found, she will be out there trying to locate it.
Becc's story is as follows;
Recollections of meeting the Black Dog
The Black Dog came to visit me some years ago. Thankfully after a hard struggle and the help of my Psychiatrist, Psychologist, GP and medication, I can say I have kept him at bay. The “other side” is a wonderful place to be, but the recollections of meeting the Black Dog never seem to fade.
The thing that sticks in my memory the most is the inability to function. My mind would not work, I could not remember anything, my muscles would tighten rigidly – there was no control. My days were filled with sleep, sleep and more sleep. On a good day that would mean 16 hours, on a bad day 20.
My brain was filled with fog, a sleepy haze. The only thing going on in that head of mine was make believe.....dreams maybe? How my husband stood by whilst I screamed, ranted and raved about things that never actually happened is truly amazing (we weren’t even married then!).
I was one of the lucky ones. Suicide has reared its ugly head in my extended family and it is a horrific experience for all. In my battle, I did not succumb to those thoughts. I believe the loss of my 3 brothers and the grief that I felt and watched my entire family go through ensured that I could never go to that extreme.
I was also fortunate in the fact that my Boss recognised the changes in me at work. He called it and I acted on it. I had the support of my now husband, family and friends. These people carried me through and even though I pushed them away, scared them to death with my texts and late night phone calls, they persisted.
Oddly enough, although it was my Boss who first realised what was going on, we did not tell my work colleagues at first. There were many before me that had broken down the stigma of depression within the workplace and yet, it was still not well understood, not well enough anyway.
I lost a part of myself back then. I recall a good friend describing me as having lost the twinkle in my eyes and thinking that’s a perfect description. I lost the vivacious, chatty and bubbly lady I once was, the extravert who could light up a room on entering. At least that is how my friends describe the changes.
Although I have come through to the other side, there is always an ongoing fear of falling into its clutches again. There is a residue that sticks to you, no matter how many years have passed. It also likes to keep giving....in my case there is still the ongoing battle with my anxieties (apparently depression and anxiety go hand in hand). There is also a real yearning for the person I used to be.
So what am I left with?
Luckily for me, my life!
I have changed in so many ways. However, I also continue to live a full and happy life full of gratitude and love. I have my own beautiful family and a life to be envied.
I am living proof that you can endure and overcome depression and then go on to have a wonderful, joyous and meaningful existence.
First of all, I have to say a big thank you to Becc for sharing her story with us. One thing I love about Becc is her refusal to let her depression beat her. There is always fear that you will relapse again, and it can be hard to stop that fear from taking over your life, but Becc is determined to have a good life, and that is a testament to her survivors spirit. I have also been touched by suicide in my extended family and I know how the pain can linger for years and years afterwards. For any of you who have enjoyed this story, please go to Becc's website and give her some of your special brand of love, and of course comments are welcome below as well.
Next week my guest isn't a blogger, and she doesn't actually have any mental illness, but she has lived the other side of this story, she has lived with a whole family full of crazy people. My little sister Nat has kindly offered to come along and tell us all what it feels like watching the people around you go through depression, so be sure to come along next Wednesday for a very interesting insight.
And I am also looking for more contributors for this series, so if you are a survivor of mental illness, or you have lived through someone else's mental illness I would love to hear from you too, just click on the contact me button above and send me a message.
I'll be back again soon with more of my own brand of crazy, but feel free to entertain yourselves in the comments below until then.