I feel uncomfortable writing about this, still, I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again but always theres the nagging feeling when I do that I shouldn’t be writing about my mental health, after all I’m not really depressed (I should point out that my doctor’s notes disagree). I do know full well that I have had bouts of Depression in the past and that actually it was my choice to stop taking the medication (I still believe that that was the right choice for me). However, I know people who have had much more severe bouts of Depression than little ol’ me. I know people who have PTSD, Anxiety, Schizophrenia…you name it…real and actual, serious things.
I have Depression. I have childhood issues that stem from what? My parents lying to me? They used physical chatisement? Well boo-hoo, poor little middle-class Luvlymish who knows full well that the circumstances of her life and Depression are incredibly priveleged. I’ve worked admin in Social Services I know what a traumatic childhood looks like and mine, though not perfect in parts doesn’t even cut it compared to the worst. And so, I don’t deserve to have sympathy or medication because nothing I’ve been through even compares…I’m clearly just making it up/being a hypochondriac/
…I am reminded of a conversation with FFG and Giggles. He said that he felt a background level of guilt all the time because he was raised upper middle-class, she said she felt a background level of guilt all the time because she was raised Catholic and they both turned to me and said “So what’s your excuse?” I laughed it off because clearly I don’t feel guilty all the time, except I do and that’s the boggy melancholia creeping in. What I should have said was “I feel a background level of guilt because I am Depressed.”
I am not ill enough, I get by, I have methods and coping strategies and a circle of friends who are amazing. Because I can usually cope the days when I can’t clearly mean nothing, I am just being lazy on those days, I am just not trying hard enough. I am nothing and of no account.
The problem is that Depression isn’t only there on those days that I can’t get out of bed, Depression is there every day. I live with it and it’s about surviving on the will-power and the kicking off the bottom every single day. Most days I’m not aware of it, most days I find that making slightly black jokes about it, that playing it down, is a coping strategy for me. I suspect that that has the result that many of my newer friends think I don’t really suffer from Depression or that it’s something over and done from my past. In some ways this feeds into my coping strategies, in other ways it just reinforces my swamp-circling thought patterns/processes.
When I have previously blogged about my Depression (my very own pet Swamp) I have been aware that my strategies are not great, they work for me (ish) but they won’t work for everyone and they might not be good for everyone to read. Other than thinking that these might be stupid ideas for people to read I hadn’t really thought that they might be read as anything other than my own coping strategies. The idea that I make light of my own Depression and that this might be seen as making light of Depression, Anxiety etc.etc. never really occured to me. It’s the Swampy thinking, how could it be seen of making light of the real serious issue when it’s just me I’m making fun of?
Talking with someone about a third party who is refusing treatment because their mental health is clearly, in their eyes, not bad enough made me pause. Am I still as mentally healthy as I was when I first decided to stop taking the pills? I mean for gods sakes it’s taken me more than a broken leg before I’ve gone to the doctor for physical reasons before now. But more importantly – is my talking about my own strategies openly denigrating to people who have chosen to keep on with the pills? Am I making light of the real problems which aren’t talked about enough in the first place?
I don’t think I am, I think I post with so many bloody caveats that people get it…I think…but…I don’t know.