Every day since my recovery, I think about how lucky I am to be where I am. Not just in my mental health but in life. I have been in the deepest and darkest of places but I have also worked extremely hard to succeed academically and in my career.
When I reflect I never, in a million years thought I would ever get through the deep dark fog or shake off that bloody black dog. I always thought that severe depression was going to be who I was and my life.
But it’s not….
I hit the lowest of lowest, the darkest of darkest, the saddest you could be. I was in a place where I wanted to die, where I couldn’t see any way out, where happiness was just a dream. I was trapped in a dark place, where depression took me from those I loved, it sent me to a very lonely and dark place.
I thought I was gone….
….thought I was gone forever……
I never thought I could come back from this….
I thought life, me, was over……
I had electro convulsive therapy (ECT), not the easiest treatment to go through. I mean who can really get use to someone putting electrodes into your brain! The aim of ECT is to put electrodes into certain parts of your brain, usually the right side, which activates serotonin to reduce depression. What is rare though is that ECT can cause retrograde amnesia. That is what happened to me.
Yes I lost my memory, at least six to one year of memory was simply wiped from my brain. Apparently I had been living but had no recall of any of that part of my life occurring. It was a deep black hole of nothing…..
Then comes large doses of medications that left me drowsy, sick and lifeless. But eventually I came too…..I came out of what felt like a coma.
I don’t want ECT did to me or the combination of drugs but I did start my way down a road to recovery. The darkness, fog and the black dog slowly left me. I started to reach a place that was new. Free from deep sadness, fear, anxiety, negativity and a will of not wanting to be me anymore, simply putting wanting to die!
Every day I am reminded of how much depression took me, how much it impacted my life, my son, family, friends and career. Every day I am reminded about my attempts to die and that I lived, my tears that are now dry and the pain that has now healed.
Most of all I am reminded about how very rare it is to have reminders because those that were in the place I was are not here anymore. I was so lucky, I survived. The reality is that so many are not as lucky as me. Some don’t have a loving partner who,loves you and determined to do anything to make you well. Most don’t have the access to private hospital care that I was fortunate to finally get. Most just fall throughout the deep gaps in the mental health system, screaming for help but never receiving it when it was most needed.
I was the lucky one…..
I was one of the few who didn’t fall down the cracks…..
I was one of the few who managed to see my way out, saw a light and with support fought my way out of there…..
I am well now….
Healthy, mentally, for the first time in my life and while I am grateful it is hard for the first time in a life time to be depression and anxiety free…..
but that is another entry…..