Part 2 on depression… snippets of life
This time last year I was in preparation for heading to Rarotonga with my mains from 463… For me it was a mixed experience, on the day that we were leaving the 19th September was also the day that my beloved child hood home was going up for auction, it had been almost three months since dad passed away and I was beginning to learn what it was like to be a full time carer for Martha.
This trip was something I had been looking forward to since the day we booked it (pre Dad passing) but as it loomed closer I started to panic and fret. I would no longer be occupied by life itself and would have to think about myself. My immediate panic was that in one swoop I was selling my childhood home and leaving the country. As much as I love the people I travelled with the depression part of me just wanted to nurse my wounds alone. How could I face a week with people when all I wanted was to lie in the dark and cry? This was the trigger for my conscious experience of depression. In that moment I wanted to take all I could form this experience whilst I knew it was happening. I was well aware that the cloud of depression was raining on me hard and I needed to learn from it.
I spent as much time alone as I could in my thoughts, processing and filtering. What did I want? What was my life path going to be now? Would this be my last holiday alone? Where would we live? Would Mum come to Christchurch? When? I would I afford this? My mind raced the whole time.
I smiled occasionally and laughed when I could, I joined everyone for meals and adventures around the island whilst the whole time my heart and brain were at war over how I felt. The rational part of me continued to scream “YOU ARE ON A BEAUTIFUL TROPICAL ISLAND, BE HAPPY” as my heart continued to break and want to hide from the world. I reminded myself, this is ok, you are ok, this is all a natural part of grief. On the 26th September it had been 3 months since Dad passed. I wanted to be with Mum. I wanted to share my pain with her, I rang and spoke to her. She didn’t know the date, time, or year, my need to share with her became irrelevant as we talked nonsensical about our days. I wanted the comforts of home and it wasn’t possible. I hurt, this wasn’t fair. I wondered if my heart would ever repair itself or would it be broken for ever?
A year on and I have to say my heart is still broken, and maybe losing the first man you love is something you never recover from, but the ways in which I cope have changed. I know my own symptoms of depression and when I am in the full swing of it. I take a learning from each experience of depression. I look after myself mentally and physically. I talk to friends. I spend time with lovers. I hold Martha’s hand and tell her I love her. I can smile genuinely and laugh sincerely, I function as a human being in society and don’t need to spend so much time alone in the dark crying. I use my supports to lift me out from the darkness. I am still learning how to deal with grief and it is not something you ever get over and know that with each step I take into the world it gets easier to manage, the hurt is not as raw as those first few months, I am not consumed entirely by death.
I am life.
‘If you resist it, it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic!’