As soon as I was well enough, I wanted to find out AS MUCH as I possibly could about the topic of depression. I read about it on many well known websites in Australia and it just seemed like an out of body experience. I could not believe that this was the illness that had conquered me and stopped my life in its tracks. I found that the depression that I have did not connect with this depression that websites were talking about. I didn’t hate myself, in fact I’d always been taught to value myself highly by my Mother (HI MUM!!) and just could not relate. I found myself getting increasingly agitated by people I had let into my home to see me, when they dished out advice such as go for a walk, look at the sunshine, take a moment to enjoy the sounds of the birds. I was WAAAYYYY beyond these kind of techniques working in a short-term sense. But, you have everything in life to be grateful for others would say to me, as if challenging my depression would bring it to an end. Something was clear, I wanted an end to this depression, I was desperate.
I had heard that rock star Jimmy Barnes had wrestled with depression, so I went to see him speak in Adelaide where I am from. He is a lovely guy I have met a few times now and I have all the time in the world for him. Hearing his story of depression was very different from mine, his stemmed from childhood whereas mine built up with a series of stressful events in my adulthood. He chose to deal with his depression with alcohol and a rock n roll lifestyle, I imploded over time and the warnings only showed in hindsight. I never had mild depression, I have severe depression and it took a lot of ‘hanging on’ whilst waiting for treatments to begin to work. Over a year and a half it took to get my medications right, some relief at last. It is from doing my own research and hearing speakers like Jimmy that I’ve come to realise that depression is not the same for everybody, whilst there are similarities, we are all unique and the way we experience depression is unique too. That’s why every story is interesting and we can learn something new from people. I have participated in a few forums and had different experiences depending on the site. I wish that they would allow us to share our names and photograph, similar to Facebook. We are real people, we are more than a number and we have real stories and struggles and triumphs to share. It also limits the support you can offer to other people, for example I can’t share about my blog on a forum yet these are exactly the people who need inspiration. It feels like a form of policing to me, just another hurdle to overcome. Just sayin’. Tam xx