Being ‘okay’.

8 Feb 2015

It’s a funny thing, this recovery business. It makes me question every emotion.

I have a bad night’s sleep. Am I getting depressed again? I wake up feeling tearful. Am I getting depressed again? I start to stress out about work. Am I getting depressed again?

I shout at the kids. Am I getting depressed again?

But that question – am I getting depressed again? – makes me realise a very important truth. I am not depressed any more. I have come through it. Not totally. Not unscathed. Maybe I will never be exactly how I was before. But I am not depressed.

If I think about it too much, I can start to believe that I am. Because I’m not completely fine. I still have black dog days. Sleepless nights. Days when I’m anxious or ratty or tearful or withdrawn. But I’m not depressed.

Depressed was when I couldn’t make eye contact with anyone, let alone laugh. Depressed was when I barely ate for six weeks. Depressed was when I had to extend work deadlines because I just couldn’t put the words onto paper. Depressed was when my children lived on freezer dinners because I didn’t have the energy to cook. Depressed was when my baby girl asked, ‘Why is Mummy sad?’

I am not like that now. Now I can take pleasure from cooking a nice meal again and from eating it. I can defuse an overtired toddler tantrum with love and understanding, rather than panic and rage. I can put myself out there at work, feeling confident that I can do the task justice. I can play-fight with my children and make them laugh. I can feel happy and relaxed with my friends, sitting and chatting in the park. I can do favours for people because I love them and I want to, not because I feel it’s the only way they will like me back.

I am a work in progress, I know that. I don’t think there will ever be a straightforward answer to the question, ‘Why was I depressed?’ I know it is likely to bite me again, which is why I need to safeguard myself against that by seeing my counselling through, seeing my course of medication through. I know I will always have black days that make me fear that I’m sliding backwards again. But I am accepting myself more.

I am not perfect. But I’m okay. I’m not a brilliant journalist. But I’m making a living out of it. I’m not a brilliant housewife. But neither am I a complete slob. I’m not a brilliant wife. But I’m better than I could be. I’m not a brilliant friend. But I have a few people who I know are friends for life. I’m not a brilliant mother. But my children know they are loved.

I’m never going to be everything I want to be, or everything that I feel is expected of me. I’m always going to be a bit shy, a bit introverted, a bit morose, a bit temperamental, a bit lazy, a bit fat, a bit slovenly. But I am okay.

I am going to be okay. And in saying that, I know I am no longer depressed. Not cured. Not fixed. But not depressed.


A Moodscope member.

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Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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