As I mention on the contact page, the intention is to have other people who live with depression share their stories and experiences, too. If only so you don’t have to put up with me all the time (you’re welcome :D)
Our first guest post is from Miss H, who requests to remain anonymous. She contacted me after reading the Down Days free ebook and said that she was feeling brave and so wanted to share with us all her experiences.
This was a piece that she wrote twenty-five years ago when she was an inpatient on a psychiatric ward. She says that she kept her depression quiet for many years as it was a taboo in her family. Miss H also wanted to share that her depression was very much the product of a being “dragged up” and that her parents were the main causes of her inherent depression. When she had her daughter, she couldn’t handle people touching her or seeing her which led to being an inpatient for three months. She gradually built herself up to face the outside world with the help of an excellent key worker. I can report that she has become extremely successful in both her home life and in the field that she works in since her time on the ward and that she has made herself a “manageable human being” again. She still has the drop but she tries to go with the flow as much as possible and just lets them run their course, or she hibernates until it’s over. That’s a great way to handle your down days, if you ask me!
To maintain the rules that I set in place for my own story, nothing has been changed of the story that Miss H sent to me. No edits, only honesty, and the story that she wanted to tell. Anyway, without much further ado, here is Miss H’s experience:
One More Step
I can’t and don’t want to understand my thoughts, feelings and especially people anymore. They all stare as though I’m crazy, like I’m fucked up, but they don’t understand, no one does.
People waste their time trying to “diagnose me”. Jesus I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t explain how I’m feeling or my thoughts, so how the hell are they going to know?
I have sick thoughts, I want to emotionally kill the people who try to help me. I hate them. I hate them for trying to sympathise, I hate them for pushing me aside like an outcast, I hate them for their comfort and most of all I hate them for not knowing, understanding and feeling my pain.
For fuck sake, I’ve had so much locked up and banged in my head, thoughts flash from one subject to another, so much screaming to get out.
Nothing releases my pain, nothing or no one can help me, and I am alone. It’s not like I don’t want to get better, for god’s sake I try, I try so hard but every road that I go down leads me to another brick wall.
It’s like last Wednesday, I was trying my best to put on my “happy” face, but as soon as I left the house I felt every eye was on me, the whole world was pointing and saying “look, there goes that mental case”.
I know they stare at my scars, but I hide them no more. Maybe I want people to ask how they got there, then I could just scream “So what I cut myself, have you ever felt pain so bad that the only way distinguish it is to bleed”. But no one would want to understand, it would just give them another chance to laugh and gloat.
I have become so isolated that when I actually do take the time to stop and stare at the world, everyone is in black and white and I’m the only one in colour, bright and attracting attention. I am so detached from normal life and normal people I am unable to conform to how society wants me to be.
I expect that if I had an open wound, and I was bleeding, everyone would expect me to scream and cry. But because no one can see my wound of pain, I’m crazy.
I’m sick of people who don’t understand, I’m sick of hearing “What have you got to be depressed about, you have a house a car, a family that loves you.”
At the end of the day it’s not enough. I need control, I need filling with an emotion/inner strength that’s so strong and s pure that I cannot feel anymore hurt or anymore torture, but instead all I have is hatred, mistrust and hurt.
I am an embarrassing failure. I hurt so much that I want to die. Death would be my only answer. I could no longer think and feel and I would be numb to society and its surroundings.
I walked last night. I walked so far, I didn’t even know where I was going, and I know was that I needed to escape from my mind.
I finally found my destination, a hill right next to the motorway, I could hear the humming from the cars, and see the bright headlights, my heart racing, excitement and freedom. It felt like going to the fairground lights, speed, sounds. I sat on the wet ground, by this time the rain had soaked my hair, my whole body shivered but I didn’t care.
I took a razor blade from my pocket, rolled up my trouser leg and eagerly started dragging it across my skin, I didn’t feel pain, just pleasure and satisfaction when the blood drenched my white socks.
Then anger began to surge through my body, my brain was in overdrive, furiously fast visions of my childhood, my mother, step father, brothers and sisters, the jealousy, neglect, pain.
Was I wrong to feel that way, a loud voice shouting, “no you’re right to feel this way, it’s not your fault!” my mind now confused with thoughts and visions. For a moment reality struck, I could take my children (my extreme love) with me; the bastards who beat up my son recently couldn’t hurt him/us again!
“Extreme” this is me in the eyes of others
So be it, they only see their view
Which of course is their belief?
My “extreme” love is beyond doubt
Yes I’m odd, I’m different in their view
I wasn’t born to extreme love
Yes, it’s unnatural they say
I don’t understand or want to give extreme love
It is so wrong and painful
Love images show calm, serenity and peace
Extreme love is painful, hateful, soul destroying
My extreme love is eating away at my soul
I have no control, cannot cope, no way out
Yes again, extreme, so easily spoken by others but not felt
I never wanted life this way
My pain is deep, misunderstood, not controlled
My love is constantly hitting a brick wall
That night in my mind so clear, that feeling of wanting to protect my child – baby in my mind
He was helpless
The image so clear, sickly, gut tearing, I feel the pain in every part of my body
Not being able to stop the pain I feel
I was not strong enough – I tried with all my strength
I’ve never told anyone, but I saw what was going to happen before it happened
I as standing above looking down, watching the bastards kick and punch my extreme love
I did not protect him
I fought with the law to bring justice again on the side lines
Verdict – Nothing – again unable to protect
I’m told here I go again to the extreme, body in pain, I don’t understand
My extreme love and pain will only stop when the people I love leave with me, at last free of pain
I cherish that thought
I don’t expect anyone to see this. I wouldn’t want them to, it would only satisfy their views – BUT THIS IS ME!
What was I doing? How could I do this to myself? The speed, the flashes, adrenaline going beserk.
I can’t cope. The rage took over and I started down the grassy bank toward the road edge.
I was determined this was it, I was finally going to escape this dismal world. When I got to the edge, climbed over the barrier, then time stood still. I couldn’t do it. I thought of my children. Fucking hell why couldn’t I do this? What was wrong with me?
All I had to do was take that one step, it would all be over, and I wouldn’t suffer any more. Something stopped me, that something that always stopped me, and I fell back on the grassy bank, the sobs possessed my body and for the first time ever I screamed out, “somebody help me, for god’s sake someone please help me!”
I cried hysterically, my bones ached with pain, I could feel the blood icy cold flowing through my body, head pounding, pulling my hair out in clumps, every clump an attempt at release, another orifice for escape of my thoughts. Everything stems from a bad childhood, or so I’ve been told by the “shrinks”. What’s the big deal, my step father was an alcoholic who beat my mother, my mother always took his side, had her favourite children, her denial of truth and facts, her repression, and the only time they spoke was to do chores or to say I was a mistake.
Threats of being in a care home if I didn’t agree to his games, mother didn’t want to listen. Teachers wouldn’t listen to them, I WAS A LIAR!
My life was different from my friends and neighbours, I picture their stares and downward looks, embarrassment as they slithered away from me.
People have problems, people suffer.
I considered myself fortunate to have had a big learning curve at such a young age and to grow to be independent, survive without my family, gave and taught my children love, respect and strived to give them education. I am an extremist with love for my children according to others.
It doesn’t matter, it’s not important, or is it? I’m forever asking myself these bloody stupid questions! Shit! These are questions that tear me apart, disable me, from being a normal human being/the real me.
Anyway what’s normal? Someone who gets up, has a 9-5 job, comes home eats their tea and watches TV with their loved ones. Well, if that’s normal, I don’t want it!
I want to be flying up there with the birds. I want to have no recognition of space or time, and I want to live in a world where there are no boundaries as to where I can go or do. I want to be free from the torture and burden of life, I want a place where I can be accepted as me, and where there are no categories to have to fit into, that is a normal world and I don’t want it!
I don’t feel I connect with people.
When I try to confide in someone at first they are sympathetic, but shortly it becomes shunned, they avoid me, cannot relate to my thoughts or do they? I understand why they keep quiet!
People accuse me of wanting attention. I want to scream “you are so f—- wrong, are you so ignorant and blind, if you took the time and listened to my pain , I want to be left alone, miles away from anyone, and I want to avoid sympathy!”
I can’t help the panic attacks, I can’t help being paranoid.
Do people really think that I want everyone to see how insane I am? Well I don’t, I’d be much happier knowing that I could just cover it up, people wouldn’t see the mess I’m in!
Sometimes I clean constantly to the point of exhaustion; I’ve prepared for the after events, the cleaning, washing, freezer overloaded, insurance policies, my Will, funeral requests and notes to the children.
When my thoughts slow down a little, maybe I can find something to take ONE MORE STEP.
Sometimes I have so much going on in my head I feel immense pressure like my skull is going to explode.
I wish I could stick a needle in my head and take away the bad bits and inject them with a bit of peace and happiness! IF ONLY!
A huge thank you to Miss H for sharing that with us. Everyone give a virtual round of applause please. I don’t know about you guys, but I can relate to an awful lot of that. It took real bravery and I’m proud of her. I hope ti was cathartic for her to share.
If you want to share your own story or poem, experience or tidbit with us, drop by the CONTACT page to see how.
Thanks for reading, everyone.