Talking about Depression

Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess offers some insightful questions (two) about mental health aspects and one or two pictures for her challenge.  

Okay Beckie’s Questions:

Prompt #1 Questions:

  1. There are so many varieties of depression out there, such as Bipolar Depression, and (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder.  What type of depression do you suffer from, or have?
  2. What do you do to fight your depression? (Meaning, therapy, medications, meditation, ECT).
  3. Does anything help you, and if so… What?

I had my first encounter with debilitating depression during my first marriage.
I had no idea what was wrong, I was just tearful all the time, not happy with myself or my life, yet I had a good job, friends, a lovely home and no money issues to contend with.
The doctor said it could have been a reaction to my MIL being diagnosed with terminal cancer a month after we were married, and the first year was spent to and from the hospital every day so that she always had a visitor.
She died in November 1978, and my husband and I separated in October 1980.

In 1987 it was a different story.
I was lucky in having a good boss for support and a good GP, who diagnosed Acute Reactive Depression. I was on a variety of medication and a mess, unable to dress myself or think clearly and having no self esteem or confidence.
It was a difficult time, but I took the opportunity to rebuild my life, and I did.

My GP had told me to find something about myself I liked, and as it has always been my safety valve, I turned to music.
My Yamaha Clavinova 7 electric keyboard of the time had headphones, and I would play into the early hours, knowing nobody could hear me, not that they wanted to listen or cared anyway. The old songs from my childhood, hymns, ballads, musicals, all at my fingertips, played in a variety of ways depicting my mood and not critical of the tears I shed.
I found other things I liked to do, and when I was able to drive again, I went back to the parental home every weekend to recharge my batteries and garner support for the biggest change ever, and that was to leave the relationship which was killing my soul.

I became good at self analysis, and in so doing, can recognise the signs and triggers.
I am lucky in that I am not alone and have the love of a man who met me at my cynical worst and didn’t run. He is my world.
We had a little ceremony flushing all my meds down the loo after I’d weaned myself off them. There were so many, we stained the porcelain and never got it out, so used a loo bloo toilet freshener to hide the fact as it was a rented property.

Depression never goes away and can rear its head when you least expect it. I don’t ignore it, and we each know when something is on the other’s mind, but equally know that once we have got things sorted in our head, we will talk about it and deal with it together.
When I was working, the dog would pick up on my stress and come and sit on the arm of my chair, half on my lap for fuss. As I stroked her, I felt the tensions slip away. Just ten minutes, then she’d jump off and go to lie on her own bed.
A friend gave me a plaque that is hanging up in my kitchen:
“I don’t need therapy, I’ve got a dog.”
I still have an electric piano, and write more poetry than ever. My blog is an outlet too, and a lot of my thoughts and concerns find their way here.

Beckie has also given us a choice of pictures for comment.
I’d go for the one on the left, a symbol of hope and newness when all around is shadowy, uncertain or confused.
Is this the Tree of Eternal Life in the Hereafter? If so, nothing is as dark as it originally seems, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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19 Responses to Talking about Depression

  1. Sadje says:

    What. I admire about you the most is your grit and the ability to see things for what they are! A brave and strong lady!

  2. Hello, Dear… I want to thank you profusely for sharing such a stressful time in your life. As I read this, I learned so much more about your adversity and strength that really was your key to feeling better. All the coping skills you developed, the comfort of your dog, and the love of a man who was patient through the really difficult times.
    Are you completely off medication entirely?
    I am so grateful that you shared your thoughts of the picture prompt as well. “A symbol of hope and newness” Lovely analogy.
    God Bless YOU!

  3. Reblogged this on Beckie's Mental Mess and commented:
    REBLOG: “Pensitivity101” responds to Week #6 Prompt #1 and Picture #1. One word… Courageous! A must-read!

  4. Astrid says:

    I’m so sorry you had to endure this, but so glad you came out the other way stronger. I would love to try my hand at playing the keyboard again. I got one from my grandma when I was 13, but gave it to my brother-in-law several years ago.

    • Hi Astrid. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      It was a difficult time for me, but I had the support of an excellent boss and GP so could get the help I needed. My parents were over 70 miles away so I was pretty much on my own but in a relationship which was a contributory factor to my problems. I left in 1989.
      I’ve been playing since I was about three (so 60 years plus), can’t read music though know my basic notes, and play by ear. I have a Yamaha digital piano now and can use headphones if I wish, but Hubby loves to hear me play. My music has certainly seen me through a few rough patches.
      Have a good weekend.

  5. Pingback: Sunday Writing Prompt – Overcoming Adversity | pensitivity101

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