2016 was a difficult year. It was the year that I finally acknowledged my mental illness and took steps to improve my own well-being. I have always suffered from dark moods, as a result of a particularly traumatic childhood, but this year there were a few triggers which made it worse for me.
Last summer, I learnt how to ride a bike for the first time.
Although I was ecstatic at finally learning, it got me thinking. I’m a mum, and would die for my kids, yet nobody thought about teaching me to ride a bike when I was young. Why? I’m a kind person. I didn’t deserve my childhood. I kept dwelling on this.
Then my husband, who I’ve been with since I was 20, got a new job because his old one was making him stressed, and took a huge pay cut without telling me. I have a stressful job myself but I have stuck at it as I have to support my family. I’m the main breadwinner and pay the mortgage and the bills. I felt taken for granted because of this. As well as this, I was under a lot of pressure at work, someone who I thought was a very good friend turned out to be anything but, and then a relative who I love dearly stopped talking to me.
All of these things led me to have a major depressive episode. I suffered a great deal. I was very lucky because I told someone at work whose wife suffered from depression, and he gave me such good advice. I practised mindfulness but as my depression was so severe I needed therapy. I went to the doctor, and then for CBT and this worked. You can read about the techniques I used and how I came out of my depressive episode here:
I still suffer from low moods but these are far less severe than in the past. I can recognise dysfunctional thoughts and am able to move past them quickly. I also exercise regularly, do charity work and continue to explore ways that I can maintain my happiness. Some other relevant blog posts are below if you wish to find out more:
I hope my story shows that if you are suffering from depression it is possible to move on. I always thought that I was confident, hardworking and together, but I obviously was not. Sometimes it takes something like this to make you sit back, acknowledge the heartache in your own life, before you can finally move forward.