Wow! What an overwhelming response.
Really, it was.
I am still a little stunned at the feedback, from near and far. A little hesitant now to go again actually!
I have been blogging in our business for several years now and have had big responses in the past to what I think about the online world, but I didn’t really think through what might happen if I started on a personal blog path.
Thank you. It means a great deal to me.
And can I say - where were you all?
I know, I know, you were always there, but sometimes, in fact most times I think a person in a depressed state can’t see the wood for the trees. A cliche I know but in my case true. We are trapped in our own little world of despair, inward thinking and unable to look up or out. We don’t see that you are right there but unable to help or really understand, but along side us never the less.
The things we do see and relate to are just the bad, that becomes our experience and we just suck in more of it.
Which is why this feeling that I needed to find the good and share it with others had become so strong over the last several months.
Our lives are bombarded with 3 kinds of news items it seems - endless cycles of bad news, cynical reporting and heartbreaking disasters both man-made and from nature. To a person in a dark place, this only makes everything seem far far worse.
On the other side, if you are a social media aficionado, we also seem to be inundated with endless rounds of trite positive messages, sunset scenes of “seize the day” and “be a better you”. Instead of these kinds of messages resonating with me, I found them annoying, shallow and significantly failing to understand what I really needed.
I was one of those people who tended to think you just needed to suck it up, as a small business owner I knew first hand life was tough and you just needed to keep going. People with depression just needed to move forward, get out of bed, get dressed and do something.
All of those things are true, but until you are in that place, you just don’t really get it. I have discovered a whole new level of empathy that I didn’t have before - for others and in particular myself.
That very first step of going to your GP to get medication, or merely to say something is wrong, is a huge one. To just even say the words out loud to a person not in your family (and in a calm voice, not a screaming one aimed at those closest to you ) is huge.
and you know what, it is a relief.
I am not even close to my GP, but I managed to tell him in a very calm manner what had been happening, how I felt and that I thought I needed something.
This had taken me about 6 months to do, and that was after about 12 months of disaster. It took another 6 months to build up the courage to see the psychologist he recommended too. (Something that I have not been great at doing however, it’s on my list…)
I am not sure why I found these things so hard to do, perhaps it was the fact that I had felt so responsible to and for others - my children, my husband, my employees that I kept going longer or that I still remembered when I was younger and stronger and thought I should be that person without help.
Maybe it was my catholic upbringing, that the whole ‘look after yourself before others’ just jarred with me and how I felt I should behave in the world.
Whatever the reason, I have come to the conclusion that it is not really about me looking after me. For me, I need to see that I am good, that the world is good and can be a better place and that I/we need reminding of that.
I spoke with my daughter today from San Francisco, she has had an amazing 48 hours so far - her highlight to me at this point however was a night tour of San Fran and she said “Mum at night it is a really beautiful city”
Sometimes simple things are the most illuminating.
The lights of any city at night, makes what might seem an insignificant community take on something extra, I love walking around our suburb with my husband and our dog to view our town in the evening. An ordinary streetscape is transformed. The peace, the quiet and the beauty of simple things.
Walking, just looking and not talking can lift a mood.
Never discount that simple fact.