Depression, Me, Mental Health, Uncategorized

I want to run away

I want to run away ….no really I do!

My life right now isn’t what I want, and I want to escape from it.

I see coverage of “missing people” in the media and I feel a bizarre kind of jealousy. I know that’s not “normal”. I am also not naive enough to think that those people are out there living happy and fulfilled lives. In fact, I’m sure many of those “missing people” are likely to be living the opposite to that, if in fact they are still living at all.

I guess I want to live the fairy tale version, where I leave the life that I’m in and get to create a new one from scratch without any of the complications and baggage I feel I have now. Where I get to be a new person. Where I get to re-invent myself. I dream of living by the sea. Of doing a less stressful job, yet being able to pay the bills. I even dream about the fairy-tale ending-the happily ever after.

The reality is that many of the “complications” and “baggage” are in my head. So I guess running away wouldn’t work anyway.

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Ex, Husband, Me, Uncategorized

Loneliness

Lately I’ve been feeling very alone. When I have mentioned this to people one of the first things they ask is, “don’t you have any friends?” The answer is yes I do have friends, yet I still feel lonely.

I probably only have 4 or 5 close friends. I don’t know if this is a “normal” amount? I do know that I’d rather choose “quality” over “quantity” any day.

From those friendships, only 2 of them live close-by (within 10miles), the rest are spread across the country.

I’ve moved quite a bit in my life (due to my dad’s job, moving for university, moving for work etc), so whilst I only live 5 miles from where I was born, it’s not like I have a “core” group of friends from school or anything.

I’ve never really *needed* my friends to be on the phone every day, or pop round for coffee every week. In fact, my definition of a friend has always been that you can not see them for a month….a year even….and they’ll still be there if you need them. For example my old university room-mate is someone I would consider to be one of my closest friends. We may not see each other often, and our conversations are no-where near as regular as either of us would probably like (due to distance, family and work commitments). But whether I spoke to her 6 hours ago, 6 weeks ago or 6 months ago, once we start talking you can’t stop us. We can talk for hours.

However, in the last 6 months, things have been different. I split from my husband. He was my best friend! We’d been married 8.5 years, together for nearly 15 years. I’ve never been single in my entire adult life. (When my husband and I met I was still with my previous partner who I’d been with for 3years.)

My husband had been the person I spoke to when I was happy and sad, the person I trusted the most, the person I told my deepest, darkest secrets to, the person I had most in common with, the person I wanted to socialise with….everything! And yes, I had other friends, but perhaps until he left I didn’t *need* them so much?

Don’t get me wrong, my friends have been there for me since he left (most of them anyway), and I know they are making a much more conscious effort to keep in touch, especially as they know that I’m currently struggling with depression, so they invite me for coffee or to stay at their houses. I hear from them by phone and by text more often. And it’s not like I can’t do things alone…I go to the cinema, the theatre, choir events, eat alone. I’ve even been on holiday alone-I’m actually quite independent. And I know I have my twitter friends too….

But somehow….when the day is coming to an end and I’m in the house by myself….I’m lonely! And I don’t know how to stop it?!?

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Depression, Me, Mental Health, Twitter, Uncategorized

How Twitter Helps my Mental Health

One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog was because I wanted to talk about my mental health. I feel very passionately that reading about and sharing experiences of mental health issues helps people….it certainly helps me!

One in four people in the UK will experience a Mental Health Issue each year, but how many of us actually talk about it?

Unfortunately I think there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues which makes it a difficult thing for me to talk about “in real life”. Only my closest friends and family know I have depression, but most of my friends don’t, neither do most of my colleagues and I definitely don’t share with my passing acquaintances. Yet I don’t feel I have to hide my physical health problems, so why do I hide my mental health problems? I can’t answer that question, but I do know it’s not helpful or healthy for me. It adds to the feeling that somehow it is a “defect”, and something to be embarrassed about. I feel I should be able to “pull myself together”. And this is only compounded when people I am close to have suggested things like exercise, volunteering or eating more healthily will “make you feel better” as though those things alone will “cure me”.

However, I have found that talking about my mental health with people who truly understand does help immensely. It reminds me that depression is an illness and it reminds me I’m not alone.

So of course it’s easy to find someone to talk to given that 1 in 4 people have experienced something similar in the last year, right? Wrong! In my experience it is hard….very hard. Or should I say *was* hard? Because I stumbled across a whole community of people who are going through the same thing, but do talk about it! And anyone can join in! In fact the more the merrier! You don’t have to be an excellent writer or blogger. You don’t even have to be brave enough to give your real name. You just have to join Twitter!

Twitter has been a revelation! The people I have found on there offer the most amazing support I could wish for. It’s like having a room full of friends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week….except unlike with real friends you can also turn them off when you want them to shut up 😉

I get to share my “good days” and “bad days”. I get to talk about my depression…..but if I choose to I also get to talk about my work, or my child, or my family, or my friends. It can be as much or as little about your mental health as you want it to be! Some people use their real names, others (like me) have anonymous identities. I don’t even have to get out of bed to speak to someone.

I have had some very dark days in the last few months and in the past when I felt like that I have withdrawn from everyone and everything, but I don’t feel I have to do that anymore. I feel I can share my deepest, darkest thoughts and know there are people out there who understand, and who have been there….or may even feel like that too! When I can’t share how I feel with my family, or friends, or even my doctor I have had people there helping me, and holding me up! And I think….at least I hope…that I do that for others too! We can’t take away each other’s problems, but we can share them. And sometimes that is enough!

I’m not going to embarrass anyone by singling out the people who have helped me the most, but I hope you guys know who you are!

And to anyone reading this blog who feels alone…please don’t. Join twitter- I can’t recommend it enough 🙂

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Depression, Ex, Husband, Me, Mental Health, Mum, Twitter, Uncategorized

A little about me

When I read a blog one of the first things I do is go to the About Me section. I like to know something about the person who is writing. I’m not really sure why I do it, whether it’s because I want to know how much that person is like me or whether it’s nosiness about people’s lives. Maybe it’s so I understand the context that people are writing in. Or maybe I’m a lazy blog reader and don’t want to have to trawl through people’s blogs to find out who they are and what they write about.

Whatever the reason I thought I’d save you the bother and write a blog post to tell you a little about me.

I know what you are thinking…”You are writing under a pseudonym, so why tell us about you?” That’s probably a fair point, so I’ll start with explaining my anonymity. I recently split from my husband-my partner of 15 years. My whole life, including my social media, was intricately linked with his. We have lots of mutual friends and I started to feel uncomfortable about sharing my thoughts and feelings on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also struggle with mental health issues and found it difficult to share my experiences-even with people I care about. Yet at the same time I felt I needed to talk more than ever, to share more than ever. I had not only lost my husband but I’d lost my best friend, my confidante. I have friends but they were often busy leading their own lives, and to be brutally honest I felt lonely. What was I going to do? Then I had a brainwave. I was following an excellent mental health blogger who had decided to keep his identity a secret and it dawned on me that I could do the same on twitter. So I opened an anonymous twitter account. I knew that way I could say exactly what I wanted. I could share as much or as little information as I chose. It was a revelation ….but I’ll talk about that in another blog post. And now I’m here doing the same thing on my blog.

Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to reveal myself. But right now I’m happy to have some anonymity.

So what shall I tell you? I’ll start with a basics. I’m a 35 year old woman. I’m a mum to a 3 year old girl who I “co-parent” with my ex. I work full time. And I have depression.

I guess the rest will probably be told on future blog posts, but hopefully this little piece of insight will help you decide if you want to read more. I hope you do 🙂

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