Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Black Dog

Feels like ages since my last blog but it's actually only been a couple of months.
A very very very long and dark couple of months.
One of great reflection and introspection though.

I am depressed.

I'm not ashamed to say it.

For the past 4 years I've been on anti depressants.

Following the birth of my wonderful son I suffered severe Post Natal Depression (PND) and started taking anti depressants.
And was actually well controlled.

My history of depression and  diagnosis of fibromyalgia (plus many other conditions) were two different parts to my story, but I've so often been angered, upset, frustrated when professionals want to focus on the depression, rather than looking at fibromyalgia as a physical condition in its own right.

This fear of judgement causes great anxiety, it's reached a point now where I suffer extreme social anxiety.  I can't even comfortably talk on the phone these days. Even the thought of it, typing about it here now is making me anxious! How crazy is that!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to battle the system and yet deal with the anxiety to just pick up the phone and chase an appointment!?

This is foreign to me, I was never the anxious one. I was the confident competent nurse who helped save lives!!
Now I'm a shadow of that person.
BUT
I'm not beaten.

I'm still climbing out of the hole now but the first step in training the black dog is to acknowledge him.

So even in the face of my battles with health, my partner's struggles with depression, my son's learning difficulties and facing homelessness.

I AM NOT BEATEN
I AM STRONG
WE ARE STRONG

We will get there.
We just have to take our time and accept help when offered and continue to fight for it when it's not, no matter how hard that is.

I know I am not alone.
We all have our individual battles to face, but do you know just how common depression is within the chronically ill!?

(https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/chronic-illness-mental-health/index.shtml)

It's HUGE!

However we need our health care professionals to see that it is a symptom of our conditions and NOT the cause.
We are depressed BECAUSE we are in pain day in day out, hour by hour, minute by minute.
We are NOT in pain because we are depressed.

My pain is better managed thanks to the wonders of CBD but believe me it's still there, and some days I am still in agony.
This recent extreme cold weather having caused a massive flare.

But you know what!?
The good thing about this clash with the black dog? 

Now I actually KNOW I AM depressed but my pain IS NOT worse because of that.

To me that's a HUGE affirmation. it proves to me that what I thought is true. When all those "professionals" choose to gloss over the condition and focus in on depression as the cause to all our woes.

I shall continue to battle and share my story.

So please if you know someone with chronic illness.

Don't tell them to snap out of it.

Don't tell them Its all in their head.

Take the time to LISTEN and be there.

Help them make that phone call maybe?
Write that letter.
Go with them.to their appointment.

On that note I'll stop babbling, once again thanks for reading.

Sending gentle hugs to all ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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