I felt so worthless

 

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I can hardly begin to explain or describe just how low and worthless I felt when I was going through a bout of depression back in the early 1990s.  The feeling of despair was overwhelming.

Every day was the same – it was bleak, dreary, dark and life to me seemed hardly worth living.

I ran through the motions of looking after my 3 young children.  I would feed them, wash and change them and took the eldest to nursery school.  But I didn’t feel any joy at all in doing it.   I just went through the motions in a robotic way.

Don’t get me wrong I loved them all very much, but I wasn’t enjoying my life at that time.

I stopped meeting with my friends and stayed at home most of the time.  Even when I picked up my daughter from school I tended to hang back from the rest of the mums, I just felt as though I didn’t have anything useful or interesting to say to them.  Now this was not me, I was always the life and soul of the party, but suddenly I wanted to shy away from everyone and everything.

And then when I did speak I used to forget half of what I wanted to say, usually in the middle of a sentence, which was very embarrassing.

It was a very sad and dark time.

I liken it to being at the bottom of a cold dark well and looking up and seeing a pin point of light at the top. I can honestly say that it was the lowest point of my life.

All I wanted to do was run away, stand on top of a cliff and scream, shout and cry at the top of my voice. If only I had the energy to do it then I probably would have done!!  shutterstock_64538236

I didn’t realise at first what was wrong with me, I didn’t know that it was post natal depression.  I thought that you got that just after the baby was born, the twins by this time were coming up for 12 months old, so I never even considered it to be that.

I just knew that things weren’t right and that I needed some help. But I felt too ashamed to be feeling this way. After all aren’t you supposed to feel over the moon when you have a baby (or 2 in my case)?

Funnily enough, I did go to the GPs on a regular basis, in fact weekly I would say, as it always seemed that one of the children had something wrong with them.  The doctor would quite often ask how I was, but it seemed that when I was there I was actually feeling ok or having a good day and so I would always say that I was fine, only to feel ill and low again a few hours later.

Then one day I was with a friend at her house

We got chatting and  we got onto to the subject about how I was feeling.   Unbeknown to me she had suffered from post natal depression a few years earlier, so although she didn’t know exactly how I was feeling (let’s face it no one ever does really do they) she had an idea of what I was going through.

She immediately ordered me to go home and write down my feelings straight away and describe how bad I felt and how low I was.  In fact she encouraged me to get down on paper my inner most feelings at that moment in time.

She then told me to pick up the phone and book myself a GP appointment.  She looked after the children whilst I did this, so that I wouldn’t get distracted and so that I could have some valuable time on my own.

I got an appointment for the next day, I have a feeling that I had a note on my records and that the Health Visitor and GP were aware of what I was going through, as I had no trouble at all getting an appointment with my doctor.   I doubt that with the booking systems the way they are these days that anyone can get in so quickly!!  But back then it was easier.

As expected I felt ok that day.  But this time when the doctor asked me how I was I literally threw the letter at him.    He read it and said

“Well Isobel, it seems like you are depressed – it is nothing to be ashamed of as it is an illness and don’t worry because we can help you to get better.”

At that point I burst into tears, in a way I was so relieved.  I wasn’t going mad, there was something wrong with me and they could make me better.

It took a while to recover and I did have a number of blips.  It was a hard journey with lots of ups and downs but with the help of my family and friends I did get through it.

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There have been times since when I have had troubles and have felt like the whole world is on my shoulders, but I have never felt like that again.

And if I even have the slightest hint that I am going down that same path, then I immediately do something to stop it from happening.

I put on some music that inspires me, I have a dance around, I go out for a walk, or go swimming, I go out and do some gardening, or go for a bike ride, or phone a friend, or go to sleep……. anything that will lift my spirits and distract me from the way I am feeling!

I can never go back there again!

I will always be indebted to Debbie, my friend, she listened to me, she heard me out and knew just what to do about it.

She knew just what to do at that specific time in my life.

She was a friend indeed and I will never forget it for as long as I live.

Listening to someone, letting them get things off their chest and into the open is often the first step to their recovery. 

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