The day is little sadder after receiving the tragic news of Robin Williams death. Don't let this fade away because there are friends, family and strangers out there who still suffer from depression. Spread your smiles and send them a text, email or even ask "R U OK?" One day they'll be happy and the next feeling alone, so never stop asking this one simple question.
I am too familiar with this black shadow. A friend described me a perfect analogy, "Depression is like the hole in the middle of the sweet donut. When you're in it, you will always be surrounded by the sweetness of life, just need some help to be pulled out of the hole."
I am open about this because I am no longer in denial and I want those who are to realise it's OK, you are NOT alone.
Since being a parent, my train of thought has shifted using cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and anti-depressants; when I get those black hole days, I can't afford to lose valuable time with my daughter in my life, she (and my husband) is the pink icing of my donut.
However in my adolescent years it was a different story and I remember how much I hated myself; with low self-esteem, never felt I "fitted" in any group (I was a tomboy and wasn't interested in boys until later, the boundaries between my cultural up-brining and aussie friends clashed. Sounds like a normal 'teen' life but it was worse for me when social anxiety was added to the mix even though I love to socialise. As an adult today, a lot of those adolescent dilemmas no longer exists but the excess worrying has stayed on, anxiety is the problem.
As a mum of Miss Cheeky, I am full aware of all the signs if she ever falls into this pit, I will try to supply her with all the supports she needs when it is needed. Now, it's ok to have shyness or nervous energy (I have both!) but it should never stop anyone from doing what they want to accomplish. It's the understanding and support from the parent that is crucial. If you are a parent and do worry about your child, you can seek information from your local early childhood centre, family support centres like Catholic Care.
I wrote this poem when I was in my teens and kept it all these years to remind myself how you can be still inspired despite feeling depressed.
The flip side of depression is you can be expressive visually, writing, baking or musically. Unlike anxiety, which you become 'stuck' until you have calmed down, depression can move with you. When you fall into the pits call a friend, put on a funny movie or call helpline.
So just remember this... "Depression is a flaw in chemistry not character". So R U OK?