Welcome back for another #youarenotalone post. Today, we have Kate Shelby from Amazing Beautiful Individual. She’s here to talk about depression and how it can be an all-consuming black fog. Remember, if you have a story to share, you can share it with us. Sign up here.
I refer to depression as The Black Fog In The Light Of Day.
I want you I need you to know you’re not alone. You see I’ve been running from this black fog my whole life that is depression. When it catches me I do what most of us do. I go to the doctor. I get medication. I spend the next few months numb, and although the fog has cleared and I can see through the grey haze, I’m numb. I don’t laugh anymore and I’m not me when I’m medicated. But it saves my life.
Then comes the day I feel like I can run again. I run as far away as I can and the grey clouds are left in the distance. They sit there for months. Sometimes years, feeding themselves and the blackness swirls in them. They catch the wind and they catch up to me again. Sometimes just clipping my heels. Sometimes engulfing me in a pitch black nightmare that lasts for months.
I try not to focus on the past or the black fog catches up. I try to look after my body or the black fog catches up. I try to face my problems head on or the black fog catches up. I’m happy. I laugh and I live but underneath I’m always running and its exhausting. I have feelings like I want to just stop running but I have three children and a family that needs me. I cant imagine life without them and it makes me want to run most days.
Living with depression means when you come to an obstacle in life you’re not just looking in front of you. Your looking behind you as well because you know if you cant get through this obstacle without getting hurt the black fog is going to get closer to you and those feelings of failure and despair are going to have you in their clutch unless you fight them off.
In 2006 I had a son who became very sick. A tumour in his head which required chemotherapy. My world turned so dark that all I could see was my son. Everything around me turned black. Its not the first time depression had caught up to me but it was the worst I’ve ever felt. I made deals with myself that if my son died that I would go with him. I had decided this is all I had in life and I stood to lose it.
I was wrong. In hindsight. My son survived and I don’t know what I would have done otherwise but I am thankful. I am thankful because I have a wonderful family and two daughters now in my life. I’m thankful because I have a mother, a stepdad, a sister and close friends who love me. I cannot imagine leaving this world and when the black cloud caught me again after that I made sure I looked beyond what was in front of me. Beyond what I stood to lose and into how much I have.
My son’s father didn’t look beyond the black fog. He could only see what he lost in life. I tried to coax him out slowly. I tried dragging him out. I tried calling others and begging them to bring him back to me. He didn’t make it and I received the call 4 years after I left him. I wish I could read this to him now because he had a mother and father who loved him. A partner that adored him and a son who really needs a dad in his life.
Every single human is worth it. Your mistakes and your past do not define you and I know you’re tired of running. I know you just want to rest. But wake up to the people that love you and enjoy those moments and don’t believe in the darkness. Laughter feeds laughter. Excitement feeds excitement. Love feeds love.
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