A beautiful Wednesday morning.
You are in a foreign country.
With friends, but alone.
You have seen the most breathtaking monument to love ever built.
People everywhere, but you are alone.
You join the hustle and bustle of the hordes heading to work.
A horde of the masses, yet still you are alone.
From nowhere, with no warning, you begin to cry.
First a trickle, like a slow leaking tap.
Then, as you wonder why, the dam wall bursts and a torrent of burning tears is streaming down your contorted face.
The storm continues unabated for some time and you are none the wiser.
Still alone. But now you are scared too.
Months later, you realise that is the moment the black dog had really sunk his teeth into you. He had probably been there a while, lurking in the recesses of a challenged mind, waiting to reveal himself and make his mark.
For some time I was swimming happily in the mighty Egyptian river, you know the one… denial.
I was fine, what could be wrong with me?
I didn’t need to tell anyone how I felt…
Alone and lonely.
Anxious and worried.
Vague and forgetful.
Slow and weak.
Scared and afraid.
A fraud and a fake.
Useless and worthless.
How could I talk to anyone else about these feelings?
… when I could not even be honest with myself.
Those feelings repeated. Every day.
I had to do something. I had to talk.
So I talked to the only one that mattered, the only ‘person’ I needed to… that little voice in my head. The one that kept telling me that I was alright, that there was nothing wrong with me.
The incessant and annoying little voice that boomed louder than Pavarotti. Telling me to stay stum because ‘they’ would think I was a nutcase, that I had lost my marbles.
Newsflash… I was troubled in the mind and the marbles were long gone. I had depression you stupid, ignorant voice.
It would be 4 more years, 4 more long, dark and lonely years, before I found the courage to tell my family that I was suffering from depression and anxiety.
It was my cathartic moment, one in which I am sure I exorcised some of the demons that had plagued my mind for years.
The realisation that it was OK to talk, to share my fears, my failing and my feelings, brought forth more tears.
Quiet unseen tears of relief.
I was going to be OK.
I am going to be OK.
I might even be OK here and now.
#RUOK? #stampoutstigma #itsoktotalk #mentalhealth #conversations #suicideawareness #health #wellbeing #MarchWithMe2017
If you are struggling, please talk to someone. Anyone. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 155 1800, MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 or check out beyondblue.org.au for more resources. In emergencies, please call 000