To mark World Mental Health Day, today I start a new series of blogs on depression, to help raise awareness and understanding of the mental illness. This is my story…
Denial. It was the afternoon of June 26th 2009, when I first heard the words ‘you’re suffering from depression’. I was at a Central London hospital and thought that the nurse who was dealing with me, had got it wrong. Unfortunately, she hadn’t. The experience was surreal. There was me, sitting in my suit having only been at work an hour, being told I was unwell. I’d managed up until this point, to have never taken a single day’s sickness in all my adult life. I now had no choice – my body was telling me it had enough of racism and homophobia.
I always thought that depression didn’t happen to someone like me. I was a confident person and often challenged myself, but who I thought I was and now what I was, were two different people. I learned quickly that depression happens exactly to people like me, those who bury their heads in the sand when all is not well. I don’t think anyone genuinely wants to admit failure and that the bullies have won, finally getting to you, but they had. You continue to try and hold that shield up to protect yourself, not noticing that you’re actually being hit.
If it wasn’t for me having severe stomach pains and headaches and having no choice but to seek immediate medical help, I doubt I ever would have faced up to the fact that I was unhappy. I’ve often been told to follow your gut and this time, my gut actually took me to hospital even though my mind was resisting. I’m not ashamed to admit it… but once the tears fell, they didn’t stop. I was in such a state, that when I think about how I felt on this day now, it makes me shiver.
Page 1. – Living with Depression
© 2010 Kevin Maxwell Media & Performance – Published by My Mum