To quote Jeremy, Onwards and Upwards !!! :) I can fight this and i will !!
Just a quick update. I know that my eyesight is starting to give me trouble. I have good days and bad days. Today was a baddish day. My good eye was blurring quite alot today and a misty veil took over for a while before i finally shook it off. The cataract is making itself more present these days. I simply do not know how long it will be before there is a marked decline in my eyesight and i start to go completely blind before surgery is feasible to restore the eyesight. I hope i have another good five years left before i get to that stage. But it is beginning now, slowly but all the hallmarks are there, and frankly it scares the hell out of me. Sure i will get my sight back, but going blind albiet temporairly is not my idea of fun. I rely on my good eye. Without it i would need a guide dog. It is as simple as that. Oh well i will have to face this battle and get on with it. In many ways it is like waiting for results or something, you just want it over and done with you know? But yes i'll admit i am scared.
My foot is playing merry hell. Since the fall last week and the one prior to that i know i have sprained my ankle. I also need to organise a second opinion on my toe, as that has not healed well and i am still walking down stairs at snails pace which is not good. and in my other foot i am prone to arthritis and that foot ached today as well. Wonderful. NOT !!
As far as the depression is concerned i am delighted that i have at last come out of the depression that has lasted really since Febuary. I hate being depressed. I really do. For now i have managed to break free of the snake that was coiled round my heart. It is back in it's box. The citalopram has helped a great deal. And my sessions with my counsellor is going well. We have spoken about so many things, and she is now aware of my depression and being on citalopram. She was always convinced i had depression and have had it in the past. It was a matter of waiting for me to trust her enough for me to tell her. And i have now crossed that bridge. Will my depression come back? God yes, unfortunately so. And i am dreading that. Sure i felt a bit down this morning as i was missing my Mother, but that was me grieving i suppose. As Jeremy so rightly said, you learn to live with the pain but you never get over it. He was so very very right. Even now i break down and cry over my Mother's death. It hurts. But when i am depressed, it will be comnbination of many things that will cause me to becoem very down and not wanting to be surrounded by anybody much. God knows how i have coped without citalopram previously and my last real sucide attempt was in September. Hopefully it wont get as bad as that again. But i know the depression will return. It always does. My only regret is keeping it all a secret all these years and not telling a soul. Jeremy certaintly helped me through to making the decision to reveal my depression to the world. It has been a long journey and a very painful one. But at least i have done it now. He is my Lantern and Compass guiding me home. I know he is still with me. I owe Jeremy so very very much.
To quote Jeremy, Onwards and Upwards !!! :) I can fight this and i will !!
I am also missing my Mother and Grandfather. It hurts me that i never got a chance to say goodbye to Grandfather. He was dying of heart failure for a year and yet i never knew he was dying. I can forgive many things, an awful lots of things. But i cannot forgive that. I just can't. I know it is not very Christian of me or part of my spirtual outlook on life, but some things are unforgiveable, and in my book i cannot forgive that fact that was denied a chance to say goodbye to Grandfather.
I have also had a recent medical scare over a lump i found underneath my armpit. That really did have me worried. Luckily it is nothing more than a nasty spot, nothing more sinister than that. But i was a reminder, not that i ever need one that one day cancer will strike me. My family history is not encouraging. My Mother's Mother had it, her sister had it, My Mother had it. And they all died. So genetically i am more than likely to develop this bloody awful insideous disease. And that depresses me. Dont get me wrong, i would fight it, i am not going to give up, no way, i would fight it, tooth and nail. But as i reach the age of 40, i know that the danger grows ever closer, and that sort of future does frighten me in all honesty. Kind of like pre stage performance nerves, when you know you are next to go on but hoping you dont get things wrong when you are on stage. Actually that happened to me once when i did an appeal for Band Aid back in 1984/5 and i forgot my lines in front of the mayor as well. So i improvised, and the collection tins were full as a result !! But getting back to the present i do feel very concerned over that. I guess i will have to cross that bridge when it comes.
I dont know why i get these bouts of depression, this snake that coils round my heart and refuses to let go. So mnay years now on and off since i have had it, and it has grown worse since my Mother died. Hopefully the citalopram will help. But right now i am feeling physically and emotionally exhauasted. I am so tired of all of this. I really am. I am tired of the pain, i am tired of being hurt and made to look like some evil villian or whatever, when i am nothing of the sort. I am tired of putting on an act of appearing to be happy and cheerful at work, when all i want to do is just be left to myself. Better still drop eveything and run away to either Cornwall or Scotland, two places i love very much for it's countryside and sense of peace. And i am tired of the human race being so immature and not living in peace. Is that too much to ask for? If i could get rid of this depression, this snake i would be overjoyed. But right now all i can do is fight this thing and hope that the cloud will lift soon. Hopefully a weekend of rest will help. It will have to as i face another busy week in work.
At least i have Jeremy with me. he has helped me so much over the last year, particularly in the last couple of months. And Jeremy's scarf is simply wonderful to wear. I really love that. So soft and comforting to wear. I love it so much. He will always be my Beacon and Compass guiding me home. I will always remember him to the day i leave this life. And to have him so close to me and with me in my dreams is such a privelledge and honour. I just wish i could do so much more in return for him.
Well i need to go and have a bath and take a good soak, as i am feeling unwell and in some pain too. That will do me some good. It wont take my pain away but at least i can wind down a bit and just take things easy for a while. God i am so tired, so very very tired.
Now i am on the citalopram things have improved. The torrent of unwanted sucidal thoughts and images have diminished dramatically. I got the images so bad in June especially. It really did scare me, but again i could not discuss this with friends as i did not want to upset them, although i have been so very tempted to come out with them about it. And i was very close to doing so back then. But my depression got the better of me this year. So i sought medical help and i am very glad i did so. Now i am feeling alot better in myself. I am still not fully recovered, I broke down in tears this week remembering my Grandfather who died a year ago Nov 4th. And i will be forever greatful to Susa for her support during such a diificult night. I wont ever forget the kindness shown that night. And i have cried once a twice in the last month as well. But overall i am definetely recovering which i am thrilled about.
I dont know what the future holds. I know the depression will come back at some point. I have no doubt of that, but with the citalporam it should lessen the extent of the depression and depth of it. I guess you could call it a taming of the resident snake within me to a large extent. it will always be with me for the rest of my life, and i beleive it really started in my early teenage years, so i have had it most of my life. I am grateful and very lucky to have friends who have given me support, encouragement and have listened this year, and beleived in me. That is real friendship. I have forgiven those who accused me of lying about having depression. I would welcome them back as friends with no strings attached. I cannot forget of course, but i can move on. Like my close friend of 16 years and myself have done in the last month. We have forgiven each other after a row in the summer and have moved on. We value our friendship far too much to let it go. Hatred gets you nowhere and in the end only serves to destroy one's soul. Life is far too short for hatred. I would like to thank all those who have stood by me. You know who you are !! And of course without question i must also thank Jeremy, who i feel very close to now, having seen him in my dreams in the last few months regularly and spoken with him too. He has been with me since 1984 when i first saw him on tv back then. But since my Mother's death i have felt him come closer and closer to me, and now he is closer to me than i ever dared hope for. He is my Beacon and Compass, guiding me and supporting me as i find myself and reach for the light at the end of a dark tunnel. He is also my friend and mentor, the brother i never had. He is my anchor who will always be close to me until the end of my time on this plane of existence. I owe him much. His candle will always shine brightly in my heart. I have promised him that a real candle will be lit on his birthday, September 12th and at Christmas every year for the rest of my life. it is the least i can do in return for what he has done for me.
I have had a very diffucult week coping with my battle against depression. Certain events this week which i will not go into detail here as i will give the people respect which they have certaintly not shown me have only excerbated things and tip me into a very low state. Today i took the very difficult and painful step of comming out about my depression at work to my team colleagues. I was very close to breaking down in tears as i did so as it was a very difficult thing for me to do, especially as i consider myself to be a very private person in many respects. So why have i made this LJ entry public. Well for a number of reasons really. One is to show that depression is a thing that can be overcome. Being honest and open about one's mental state is a first step on the road to recovery. What has led me to my comming out today? Well three things really. I know i have been getting worse and enough was enough, so i took the first big step and sought help. I have seen my GP, he has had a long chat with me me and has put me on 20mg Citalopram. That was a bloody difficult thing for me to do. I felt dirty, i felt like i had sold my soul by telling my GP i was depressed. God that was such a diffciult thing to do. But i did it. At the same time i have been seeing a counsellor since the beginning of September basically and that is ongoing. Another difficult step, but i did it and am continuing to do it. So what prompted me to get help? Well these two videos basically. It was not an overnight decison. i have been going back to watch them on a regular basis over the past year and i have Jeremy's Manic Depression Awareness appeal on my ipod as well. Both videos had a very profound impact on me as i thought to myself particulary on the first one, My God that is me ! Very much so. And i knew then i had to confront hidden secrets and demons within me. It was the start of my own journey and i hope recovery. Indeed in September when i came close to considering suicide, i watched this over and over again. I did actually leave a comment on that video on the anniversary of my Mother's death, but it was only half the story. I was not ready at that point to declare to the world about my depression. Butr it was the start of my journey.
Jeremy's Manic Awareness video/and audio on my ipod was a process of many months, I know it was Jeremy guiding me, encouraging me, being my compass and shinging the light to the stage i have reached today which was to come out to my colleagues about my depression. They were shocked and stunned, but very supportive. Tonight on Facebook i got a message from a team colleague that left me in tears.
But then i got a text message from someone, again i will give the person dignity and respect by not naming the indiviual which included the following statement:
"You dont need pills you just need to learn how to live ...!"
Given the difficult day and week i have had that floored me completely and tonight whilst making tea i just broke down in tears and banged my fists against the wall and bath that i later had. The last time i did that was early July last year when i was depressed. That statement appalled me. It is like saying to anyone with depression and mental health issues you dont need medication. Jeremy i know woould have been appalled by such a remark. I dont think i need to explain why. Breaking down tonight, i knew exactly how he felt when he banged his own fists which he alluded to in his Manic Depression Awareness Video.
I know Jeremy has been instrumental in bringing me to where i am today. Despite such a difficult summer when i have been accused of faking my depression and now this horrendous text statement, i know he has been my Compass, My Guide, my Shining Light helping me down the path of me really getting to grips with this. I know he will continue to walk with me and support me. I know he will never ever abandon me. At least i was able to at least repay what he has done for me in the past year in particular by doing the Jeremy Brett Memorial Walk. That was for you Jeremy. And i would do it for noone else.
I have friends both at home and at work who i know will support me. The message left on Facebook tonight is proof of that. Comming out today was a huge huge step for me. I have still not told them yet about my eyesight and my cataract which will cause me to go blind as i have no sight in my left eye. That is a prospect that scares the hell out of me. I am to be honest terrified by the battle i face over that. It is too soon yet to drop THAT bombshell on them. But i know i will have to sooner rather than later, as since Easter i have noticed increased blurriness in my good eye where the cataract is. I get good and bad days. But it has really been and still is a very frightening thing for me to deal with. I had hoped for a ten year time scale. Now i think i am looking at five. It is something that can be treated as they can zap this thing, but to do so now would mean permanent blindness, which of course i dont want !!! So in order to beat this it will get worse before it gets better.
But i am a very strong person. Christ i have to be. And have been. I watched my Mother die. I have seen friends die of cancer, heart failure and in one case suicide. (That really affected me very badly) I had to be strong when i took charge of a situation on a train once when someone collapsed and apart from a first aider who gave medical help, i had to take command and issue orders to complete strangers to stop the train and get help.
So i will fight this and my blindess. I will not let this depression which is like a snake which coils itself round my heart and grips it and never lets go. I will beat this snake, this fucking awfuil illness. I would not wish it on anyone. But it has controlled me for so much of my life. Now i am goign to fight back. I will overcome this. And i know Jeremy, my Eternal Compass, my friends and family will help me overcome this. I will beat this. I will win what has been a very private war. By comming out and bringing it into the open i am now tackling this head on. As Jeremy said, Onwards and Upwards. How very true those words are. Onwards and Upwards indeed. I will get back on the bycyle. I will win this war. It wont be easy, but i know today was another milestone in winning this war. Thank you Jeremy for guiding me home. Thank you to all my friends, you know who you are !! who have been so kind and supportive sharing my journey.