Last year just before Christmas I adopted a mantra for the coming year that seemed so filled with uncertainty.
The Secret Of Happiness...
Something To Do,
Someone To Love
Something To Hope For
As you know I am a keen supporter of youth suicide and depression and funds raised from the Sunflowers seeds go to the Nettlefold Foundation to assist their work in this area.
All of us get blue sometimes and we can get stuck in a rut.
There are times though when we may need to seek medical help either temporarily or permanently for real depression and I want people to start talking openly about depression so that it is not so stigmatised.
I suffered very severe depression after one of my best friends died a few years ago. Rock bottom didn't hit until after passing all those milestones; her birthday, the first Christmas without her, the first Easter until finally, the anniversary of her death. It was then that I began to think that I would never be happy again. I was not just sad and grieving at this point but I was now severely lacking in serotonin levels and had moved into the very dangerous self harm area. I am very grateful that someone very sharp recognised the signs and rang a doctor and booked me in. If not for her action, many would be remembering me today sadly and shaking their heads saying, "she seemed so fine, we had no idea, why on earth would she commit suicide?"
I received medical help for about a year.
I have not told my family because I feel ashamed, that I was weak and somehow lacking.
I nearly threw away everything I loved and sentenced people I loved to a lifetime of sadness and guilt.
I have learnt that people with depression hide it very well.
Most will continue to rise in the mornings, go off to work and come home and make dinner.
They think they are rational but are anything but because their life views are skewed and their feeling of self worth is extremely low.
I can understand now why people are so surprised when someone commits suicide because they hide it so well. Having someone find out and thwart your schemes is the last thing you want. It's hard to believe but it's because you don't want to create a fuss, you honestly think things would be better for everyone if you went away quietly.
Having recovered and walked away from that dark place, I still look over my shoulder in wariness, ever watchful that I don't wander that way again.
I also know that it is not merely a matter of "snapping out of it" either.
Sometimes I ask myself, "Am I normal sad or am I falling into depression?"
Since that time I have experienced the most happiest times of my life and I feel so utterly at peace and enjoy fulfilment and abundance. I am grateful for so many things and I live by that mantra.
Keep life full and busy; hobbies, home making, work, gardening, cooking, yoga, volunteer work, fund raising, walking dogs....find something that fulfils you and engages you.
Someone to love; not just that rare Prince on a white steed, (I have one of those rare ones)
Families, aunties, cousins pets, dogs, chooks, pigeons, neighbours, orphans, God in whatever form you believe, there are so many who need/want your love.
Something to look forward to; Christmas, grandchildren, spring, publish a book, enter an art prize, get a degree, buy a cafe, a long bath every Sunday.
But most of all lets start talking to each other. Lets talk about depression and bring it out of the cupboard and into the light. If you suspect you have been very sad for a long time, ring and make an appointment with your doctor and ask a friend to go with you. They needn't go in to the appointment but you are more likely to make it to that appointment if someone commits to get you there. Take one step at a time.
Life is precious and I have shared something very, very special with you. I am not looking for judgements. I am just wanting people to get happy in their lives. Depression and suicide effect not just the "victim" (for want of a better word) but also those around them.
Gosh I hope I haven't depressed you! This was supposed to be a post about HAPPINESS...
(Zozie Doll by Susie McMahon)
If you would like to comment, please consider supplying the three things that you are applying to the happiness mantra.
What are you doing?
What/Who are you loving?
What are you looking forward to?