For those of you who have been following this blog for a while you’ll recall the race I had with my old boss to have a first child, and earlier this year my plight at being tasked with creating the invitation for their daughter’s first birthday invitation. Well guess what, they’re now 17 weeks into expecting their second child. They’ve not only beaten me in our initial race, they’ve well and truly lapped me. When I found out about their first pregnancy I cried uncontrollably at my desk for a large part of the afternoon, this time I reacted in quite a different way, I laughed. After nearly two and half years of battling infertility I no longer expect that one day I will be pregnant, or even that one day I will have a child. Now, for the sake of my sanity, there’s not much more I can do but laugh.
Helping this change of reaction is the chemical balance being readdressed in my brain thanks to a couple of dear friends and citalopram. The anti-depressant has by no means been a miracle cure to my melancholic state but it has certainly helped me get part of the way back to being me. I still have my down days it’s just that not every day is a down day anymore. I enjoy my job again, I’ve started painting and screen-printing again, and have rediscovered joy in doing things other people take for granted like heading out to a party and actually feeling like going. It’s funny how you don’t realise how low you actually are until you’re not that low anymore. If any of you have ever had a hot stone massage I liken it to the bit where they rest warm stones on you and after a few minutes you can no longer feel the stones…until they remove them and you feel so light, realising how heavy the stones must have been and how you’d gotten used to having them there. Well now I feel like someone has removed the stones, I feel light, and free, and me.
It took me a while to reach the point of asking for help, of picking up the phone and making the appointment to see my GP. I’m not sure why but taking antidepressants has a massive stigma attached to it. Despite all the publicity, the multiple campaigns, and the many brave people sharing their stories, depression is still a taboo subject. What’s wrong with the world?!? I know my depression wasn’t that bad but honestly, with so much easy-access help out there why do we still try to hide it under the carpet. Other than my two brave and beautiful friends, it wasn’t until I started sharing my battle that people started opening up to me about their own fight with this illness. It’s ridiculous, if someone has the flu do we feel ashamed to tell anyone? No, we don’t, we (boys especially) tell our friends, our workmates, our bosses because it’s a normal, natural illness. Depression is the same. While the brain controls all of our physical functions, the almighty of the human physique, we struggle to talk about illnesses relating to this part of our body even though it’s no different to a heart or a lung. We can’t function without it yet ignore it when it’s not functioning properly. I’ve never felt differently about a person after finding out they have needed anti-depressants yet it took me so long to admit that I actually needed them myself. I guess even those who believe they are open-minded are effected by the stigma in some way.
Enough is enough. We need to open up about mental illness and not judge people for needing a little help. I’m on anti-depressants and they fucking rock! If not for you CI and KW I wouldn’t be on them and for that I owe you, well, me. Thank you so much for giving me the push I needed, I love you to bits.