I haven’t been feeling myself. I’m not enjoying life. I’m crying for no reason. I can just be sitting on the sofa, looking at the TV and I’ll realise I have tears running down my face.
I’ve had periods of depression before, usually triggered by something, normally an event. There has been no trigger this time. I’m not even sure if I AM depressed.
So I decided to see the GP. I had a little speech ready in my head and kept running through it while I sat in the waiting room. The GP called me in and I smiled and said hello as usual. I like my GP. He tends to listen quite well and often asks me what I think in relation to my T1 Diabetes and MS. So I sat down, took a deep breath and launched into my speech.
Nothing came out. I stalled and stumbled, only being able to croak out the odd word here and there. I managed to get the sentence “I’m worried I’m getting depressed” out and the GP took over. He asked me questions that just needed me to answer with a nod or a shake of the head. He said he felt that I needed some support and has referred me to the clinical psychologist at the local hospital. This is different to the normal counselling that gets offered as these people specialise in mental health for those living with long term medical conditions.
So now I am waiting for an appointment. In the meantime I’m doing what I can to shift my focus and to think about how I feel. Distraction therapy helps, hence the need to write and to blog. I’m finding aromatherapy candles burning help me too. Sometimes I just watch the flame and ‘zone out’. Thinking about how I’m feeling isn’t easy. What I have realised is that I’ve put up walls around my feelings. I start to feel a bit out of sorts and the walls go up quicker than you can say “Trump” and “Mexico”. The problem with walls is that you can’t get through them very easily. So although you know you need to ‘reach out’ for help, you just keep hitting a solid object like happened with the GP. I need somebody to climb over the wall to try and reach me. To let me know it’s OK to live within the walls while I wait for someone to teach me how to break those walls back down again. There is a great twitter thread doing the rounds at the moment by Thal (@thalestral) talking about the need for people to reach in as well as for those who need help to reach out.
The last thing I wanted to say is that it takes a lot for some people to make that first admission that something is wrong. I know I tweet about my journey and I write this blog and part of that is so that others don’t feel that they are on their own, but it’s also a form of therapy for me. If someone reaches out to you, please take it seriously as it has taken that person a lot of courage to say something. Don’t belittle them by saying “sorry you’re a bit down”. Speaking from experience, that is an awful thing to hear.
But despite my little tale of woe, I am still Jules. I am still laughing, I am still here for anyone that wants help or wants to talk, I am still trying to go out and meet new people (see @MidlandsMeets).
Lots of love and hugs to all those who have scaled those walls to connect with me. You know who you are xxx