Nov. 6th, 2009 08:04 pm
wirralbagpuss: (JB)
Since comming out about my depression a few weeks ago, i thought i would update anyone reaing this about how i am getting on. The answer is i am recovering from my worst depressive attack/illness since the last major one in 2005. This year has been very difficult for so many reasons. But with the help and support of friends i have just about come through it. Deciding to face my depression and seek medical help was one of the hardest but also best things i could do for myself. For too many years i have baatled this alone. Noone knew about my depression, i could not tell anyone, through fear, fear of being ashamed about it, fear of upsetting and hurting my friends in revealing my very personal and private war with the snake that i carry within me, especially to those friends who have problems of their own and i did not want to burden them with mine and hurt them by doing so. So i hide it from the world.
  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.
wirralbagpuss: (JB)

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.

"Hey Charl, hope you got on ok at Dr Watsons (!) you did a very brave thing today - don't think many people would have had the balls to do that. We are all there if you ever need anything. Chin up!!! C u monday xx"

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.


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