I decided I wanted to highlight a huge taboo that is in this world. People aren’t really allowed to openly admit they are depressed without feeling pressure to explain either why their depressed, or that their coping etc.
I have had depression since my teens. Mainly due to various events happening but also potentially because my brain chemicals aren’t quite balanced. It’s not the first thing I tell people and in fact it is probably the last thing in the world you would expect me to come out with.
I wear a mask and my husband calls it my war mask, as I get ready for the day I paint my make up on, my war mask, my coping strategy.
It may sound ridiculous but I feel that I can hide away my true deep darkness. I can put make up on and hide the darkness under my eyes that show I don’t sleep well, I can put mascara on to make my eyes appear bigger and brighter and I can cover up my skin that is messed up from years of acne and my acne scars and to cover away the past comments about my skin.
I guess it just makes me more confident, it makes me feel like I am not me… it’s quite hard to explain.
In the past I have used food as my mask, I would calorie count and make sure it never went above a certain point, I slowly but surely changed and after SB was born I completely flipped and can’t get enough of food… I think it’s where he was premature and my milk didn’t come through straight away so my brain was saying it’s because I wasn’t eating properly and now I’ve never been able to control it again as I am scared in case I use my food as my mask again to cope with depression.
Life with depression is very much an act… to function you have to act, you have to put a massive smile on your face. Having converasations is tiring, getting out of bed feels like a marathon and then you have to act through the day that you are fine… it’s exhausting! So putting on my war mask makes me feel like I am someone else. I am still exhausted but it’s like I am an actresss in a play the only difference is that it is real life.
Depression shouldn’t be a taboo subject and I really wish more people would open up about their experiences. In my deepest depths of depression, people knew I was struggling but they didn’t know how much I was struggling, if I wasn’t so scared about reactions then I may not have got into such a dark place where I couldn’t find a way out.
We need to break this taboo and I think we slowly are, when BG was born there was next to no support for pre and post natal depression whereas now there is a whole team just to support you. Thanks to blogs people are now starting to open up about their experiences and in fact a lot of people I know will now open up to post natal depression and so now I hope to start to see this migrate to talking about depression and about how it doesn’t choose who it hits and sometimes it is the people you least expect to really be struggling.
If your struggling then please either ring or contact the Samaritans or go to see your doctor.