“My worth doesn’t come from dollars, it comes from the people around me.” – Unknown
After my divorce and the official diagnosis of having severe depression I became poor, not in dollar value but from an absence of people around me. My family abandoned me because they didn’t believe a abusive, cheating and controlling husband warranted separation and divorce, and later their reaction to my first suicide attempt was them not visiting when doctors told them I might not live, and then when my mother could be bothered ringing me telling me to stop being miserable and to snap out of it! If I was just miserable would I have tried to die, if I could snap out of it wouldn’t I do it? But this was coming from someone, my mother, he didn’t believe in mental illness.
Friends I thought I had didn’t want to be involved, have to take sides between my ex-husband and me, so they went into hiding, and became silent. The remaining friends ran away very fast when it was obvious that I was depressed, and was difficult to be around. I couldn’t make friends because I was riddled with anxiety making me unable to socialise, sometimes it was so bad I couldn’t leave the house, when I managed to be around people I couldn’t be friends because I was too scared for people to actually know me, and those that were friendly soon disappeared once the Black Dog came on the scene.
So I was poor, nobody around me!
This is not an ideal situation for anyone with depression to be in.
I don’t know what was worse having few friends around me, abandoned by a family who didnt want to understand and therefore not be there, living with depression while trying to maintain a normal life or a fireman falling for me, making all the promises in the world only to find out that they were nothing but lies eroding my heart, breaking what was left of me, and taking away any hope I had for the future. I thought I had someone who gave me worth but all I had was fake money.
Being worth very little because I had few people around me added to the loneliness, the fears, the depression that was taking me away, threatened by a Black Dog. I was in a very dark tunnel, not knowing which way to go, struggling for oxygen, overcome by depression. Every time someone attempted to know me my problems, my depression, unconsciously drove them away, leaving me with less and less worth.
My only worth for many years was my little boy, it should have been all I needed to be rich but I struggled, the guilt of not being a good mum who he needed overwhelmed me, at times he was my only comfort, he would tell me I was going to be ok, the rest of the time it took all my energy to keep that mask up so he wouldn’t see my pain and depression. I was a Mum trying to live behind a mask, while depression savaged my life and left me in worthless and poor.
Just over two years ago I went on an online dating site, what motivated me I am unsure, where I found the courage and the little confidence I had, I don’t know. It took one night of endless online chat and one date to find my soul mate (True love amongst the fog…... Suddenly I was giddy in love, worth something to someone, and had a life with a little more purpose. My depression subsided, the tide was out and the Black Dog went missing for a little while. I still kept my mask up afraid if he really knew who I was he would run a mile but he continued to stay, we couldn’t be separated, he and my little boy became more than my life, I was rich with worth, I had two people who wanted to surround me. Finally after what seemed a lifetime I thought I had escaped the maze, thought the fog had lifted, and the Black Dog had gotten lost. But that’s not how severe depression works, it doesn’t matter if you suddenly find worth, it doesn’t matter if you find true love it still lurks in the shadows and shows its ugly face when you least expect it, threatening to destroy the new life you have finally had the strength to build.
My soul mate and I faced depression at its worse for 12 months, it didn’t just made me very sick, it nearly took my life! Two lots of ECT treatment (Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) the impact upon me……) left me with retrograde amnesia affecting most of the last 12 months, but also parts of the last 3 years. I was in hospital for months at a time leaving my little boy without his Mum in one of his biggest transitions from primary to secondary school. Medications leaved me exhausted, my brain foggy, and caused me to put on weight. The impact to our lives was severe, affecting us emotionally, socially, and financially – depression could have destroyed us, leaving me without worth again but true love is true love, and soul mates are forever…..my soul mate despite how rough the road became stood by me, fought for me, was my strength, gave me hope, he and my little boy continued to give me something to live for…….I was and continue to be rich!
Parts of my storey are very confronting and some may find upsetting, if you find yourself upset and depressed I encourage you to ring Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224636.