In the last few days I’ve allowed one of my friends access to my blog and although she had known about my recent issues, she was surprised at how much I didn’t reveal, with tears in her eyes she asked why?
Why indeed, put simply I was ashamed, how could I tell her that behind the smile, there was nothing but a bottomless emptiness, how could I tell her I mimicked being happy, I laughed when everybody else laughed that each day I slipped on my armour and pretended to be one of them, walking amongst them feeling nothing but the pain of what went on behind my mask.
We discussed this for a long time and inevitably she said “you could have told me, really I replied, and what would your reaction have been” shaking her head replying she didn’t know but was hurt that I didn’t give her the chance, of course that sent me into a tiny guilt trip, which I pulled out of immediately.
I tried to make the point before I hit the wall I was just going through the motions, I’ve been a depressive for a number of years but this was the worst bout to date and frankly I thought I was losing my mind, and when I lost everything and became homeless I was without an anchor and the blackness set in and with that came denial of huge proportions.
I still tried to keep the whole show going for a while, in some ways I fought harder to keep the mask in place that deal with my situation.
She has always known me to be gregarious, outgoing a warrior for others, in fact I was expert in absorbing other people’s pain and never dealing with my own fearing if I asked others for help they would see me as a lesser person someone who was also fallible, my strength was my shield, but also part of my slide into depression in all it’s glory.
My pride got in the way, I wasn’t the woman who ever gave up I fought for everything, spoke when no one else would a champion, I see now that really I was looking for affirmation, and spent the last couple of years thinking if only……
Although she knew much of what went on I never really gave the details, and it was difficult to explain I forgot who I was, when looking in the mirror I didn’t even know the person reflected there, this defeated crybaby who couldn’t cope, there was nothing all my reserves had gone I couldn’t even summon a smile nothing zip zilch nada.
As explained in previous blogs Don’t Look Back In Anger and Treading Water step by step I got myself to start functioning, and I’m still working on that, and allowing myself time to do so, when the dark clouds threaten I know to remove myself from that situation and not let it get me down, no miracle cure just a desire to be well.
One of the most important factors for me is learning to like myself again, that’s hard after so much self loathing and disappointment in me, to look in the mirror and see what others might see, instead of hopelessness, a frightened almost fifty year old woman who couldn’t look herself in the eye.
So new goals have been set, and each one so far is going well am I happy, well yes do I like myself yes not all day every day but getting there, do I have a future..affirmative, mostly I have hope.