Thursday, March 29, 2012

My adversary

There are signs everywhere you look - road signs, shop signs, café signs - they convey  information and can only be thought of as a sign if we attach meaning to them.  They tell us which way to go, where to have a coffee and, sometimes, that we may be unwell.  Yes, there may be signs if we are unwell…

Signs can be medical and objective, being noticed by others and detected by GPs, but perhaps missed by us.  If you think about it, a sign isn’t a sign when we cannot read it or don’t understand it.  Sometimes we are blind to what is closest to us.  I missed my signs - I thought they were the sign of a busy life – and didn’t stop to read them, missing their meaning.

There may signs – known as symptoms – that hint at the existence of something undesirable, like illness for example. Symptoms can be physical or mental and are subjective evidence of a person's condition.  Again, I ignored mine, too busy - or unwell?  - To know better. I did see them, peeking round the corner, but hid away from them, thinking that I was doing so well, thinking that they were all part of my “normal”, choosing to ignore them.

Over four short weeks, they were there, showing themselves, niggling at me, taunting me.  A few more tears here and there; a temper short and frayed which found me shouting at the girls; the lack of concentration and motivation; a sadness which hovered over me no matter what; feelings of inadequacy and an inability to cope; an exhaustion so deep and dark that I thought I would never get out of it; and the overwhelming sensation that, no matter what, life was hopeless. 

For goodness sake!  How could I be so blind?  There was a history; there were triggers evident; this had not come out of nowhere: I had post-natal depression after Eilidh was born and her diagnosis with SMA was a huge blow and a life changing event.  Why didn’t I see it coming?  I could have stopped the downward spiral…  I could have stopped it from getting worse.

Amazingly I actually thought I was coping with my life rather well: a working mum of 2, living an unfamiliar life with a disabled child and managing somehow to make it wonderful. How naive of me!   I realise now that it was more of an “I’m OK. I’m doing a really good job of pretending that I’m ok, so please don’t interrupt my performance.”

And then one morning last week, I woke up and realised that it wasn't a bad dream, that the symptoms were real and that my life - real, raw and laid open in front of me - was hurting. I couldn't bare it any longer; it was too much and I broke down.  My tears fell and my heart ripped open once more.  I thought that I had beaten you - my adversary, my depression - when in fact you stand beside me, a symbiosis: you are here.

to be continued here


Renata said...

When things creep up on you they are impossible to notice. It's like a stranger commenting on how tall your child has grown when you think they look no different. Give yourself credit, you did notice. But now what? What does happen next?

theaandnatesmam said...

Know how you feel. It creeps up on you.
Huge huge hugs. Speak to everyone you can. Get as much help as you can.
I bet writing this was helpful too

Devon said...

Oh, honey...I am so sorry. I know exactly how you are feeling right now...I am feeling the same. You can hide from the emotions or shut the door on them but they are ALWAYS THERE. They don't go feel like you can't escape from them and never will. Sending huge hugs. :(

LittleMamma said...

Sending you huge huge hugs. X x x

BavarianSojourn said...

Big hug lovely... As a fellow PND sufferer, the only good thing about it for me was realising that there was something actually really up, it wasn't "just me" and I could do something about it. I hope you feel better soon... X