An explanation by one who has it.
I owe much to the people in my world. If I could show them how much I love them I would. It’s not just family or friends either. There have been many people in my world and life that have not only shaped me into the person I have become, but have supported me and I love them all for it. Even the ones I don’t remember.
There are two people that I owe my life to though. One is my Doctor and the other is the marvelous person she referred me to – my psych. Then there is one more person that has kept me going since, he’s my rock, my partner, and the love of my life.
To all of these people I give thanks. There are not enough buckets in the world to hold the thanks that I would give you if it could be measured at all.
There is pain, so there must be life. It’s heart deep and sometimes delves to the pit of your soul. Sometimes the pain gets the better of a person – no matter what the support around them, the medication that they are on, or the love they are given.
Depression – I was once informed – is like being at the bottom of a deep dark well.
I have to say I disagree to some extent with this analogy – for me its more like being deaf, dumb, blind and in complete emotional pain coupled with exhaustion. At the end of it, at the very bottom of it all, you are just a husk. An empty hollow husk.
If you really want to use the ‘well’ analogy though, throw a lid on the top of your well once you’re down there – and imagine, if you can, that the lid has been thrown on by someone else – someone unexpected, and it happens when unlooked for – a bit like when an accident occurs – it’s just not something we plan on happening.
Now this lid is one that allows no sound, touch, sight, air, or anything in – then make this lid ‘magic’ but not in a good way. For you see that’s the issue I have with the ‘well’ analogy; a well has a top – sure you might be at the bottom of the well, but a well has a top and everyone knows it. When you have depression, there is no ‘top’ to your well. A lid to a well in depression is something that you have been told about by those that you trust and love (so it gives you some hope) but you have never really experienced it for yourself. A lid on a well for depression is a bit of a myth; more than reality is just around the corner.
So, when someone asks me if I am ‘well’ I say, “yes, why yes I am, and you?” Well to me is breathing in and out. It’s getting up in the morning when really, all you want to do is stay in bed. I would be happy if I could sleep forever. But no-one (except my psych – who I love and adore) wants to know this. Really.
Let me see if I can explain this a little better for you.
Just take a minute. Stop and think about one that you love. It can be anyone, but it must be someone that loves you back. It could be your Mum or Dad, your partner, husband or wife; your children (grown up of course), or your dearest friend.
Now, what is the one thing that you know that you do not want to hear from them? Something. Anything, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is that they say or have said, or perhaps you worry that they will say or do? What is that one thing that they tell you that you just don’t want to hear? What ever it is, do you know why you don’t want to hear it? I’ll tell you – you don’t want to hear it, not because you don’t love them, but because you don’t know how to deal with it. You don’t know how to respond, and you don’t know what to say. Regardless of it being something that you wish you could stop, you feel completely and utterly useless in that situation.
I’m not being mean here by explaining this to you in this fashion, I don’t want to evoke feelings of hurt or pain – that is not my intent – that is NEVER my intent. This is the only way I know that I can explain myself.
I used to get bullied at school. I was an only child, I say was as, later in life I discovered to my great delight and joy that I had two siblings – by step, but none the less, they are my brother and sister and I adore them.
However, I digress.
As I say, I was an only child, and we moved around a lot. I went to so many primary schools both in New Zealand and Australia – it wasn’t funny. A child soon learns that to leave your friends behind is a painful process. To do it again and again is something that you just don’t want to experience. You soon become inured to the whole process. It’s not just school friends you leave behind, but after school friends, be they the man that speaks nicely to you in the Dairy Bar or Delicatessen, the woman who lets you pat the horse, the lady that teaches you how to ride, the man that chats to you on the ferry, the kids next door at that house; the ones in the caravan park. The children that live in a motel (how exciting!), all these people in a young child’s life impact on a child in many ways. Kindness is something that will always touch a child deeply; usually because it is unlooked for. I know that I went through most of my young life learning to look inwards. I learnt, as I said, not to make friends – you don’t make any, you don’t leave any behind. However, you still become sad as you realise that there were many there that you would have liked to let into your world. Many people that you admired.
So, I learnt not to allow people into my world as it were. I also learnt to read. A lot. I discovered that nearly every school I went to had a library. Now that was a discovery of some magnitude. I discovered many ‘friends’ in those books. They did so many exciting things, they were brave or scared, tired or strong, big or small; and I went on every single ride with them.
Sadly, none of my new ‘friends’ could stand by me when the school bully decided to pay a call. There was one school that I went to where it was a daily occurrence. In the end I learnt to deal with it by looking out for her earlier on in the day, just so I could get it over and done with. I felt, at the time, that it was better to get it over and done with, rather than living in fear each day wondering when it was going to occur. I realise now that she never cottoned on to me hunting her down. Most probably because it was always a shock to me when I found her, as I knew what was going to happen. I’ve been told that I have a very readable face. I am fairly certain that the shock was plain on my face every time. That and the fact that I could always feel the blood draining from my face. I was really white to begin with, I must have looked like I’d seen a ghost when my face goes ‘white’. The whole incident in high school was completely hideous. When the school career officer told me to leave school, get married and have babies as I wasn’t going anywhere, it gave me a free pass to leave. I left halfway through year eleven.
Bullies come in many forms.
Karma is my best friend.
About a year later, I was walking through the supermarket at my local shopping center to pick up something up. I must have looked tough or something, but I know I looked completely different – for example my hair was down and I had light makeup on. I looked nothing like I did in my high school uniform; hair down and makeup were not something you were allowed in my day. So, my ensemble for the day consisted of some light makeup, ankle boots, tight jeans (I loved my Faberge stretchy jeans!) and a t shirt. Because it was raining and we were on my boyfriends motorbike, I was also wearing his black leather jacket and had my helmet under my arm.
Right there in the middle of the supermarket, by the freezer section stood my high school tormentor. My heart must have dropped to my boots for all of five (very long) seconds. Then it was like a switch had been flicked. I strode up to her and said, “Hi, how are you doing?”
She turned, looked up at me (that shocked me so much. I had blossomed in so many ways after leaving school. But she was so much taller than me in high school, I know I had my heels on, but I was actually looking down at her!) and realised who I was, stuttered an hello! then bolted! Literally bolted out of the supermarket. I was left standing there stunned. It took all of about three minutes before I STRUTTED out of that store with the biggest smile on my face. Seriously? I could have taken the world on right there and then. I felt amazing! The best part of that was, I had no intentions of doing anything – I really had just wanted to get the bacon off the shelf she was standing in front of. I had no idea what she saw that day, but I must have looked like the biker-chick from Hells Angels or something.
So yeah, me and Karma? We’re tight! LOL.
Oh, in an aside? That boyfriend? We are still together to this day. We may have been on again, off again for the first five years of our relationship back in those days, but we haven’t parted since.
Most of what I read was along the lines of Agatha Christie. It wasn’t until my mid-to late teens that I discovered Tolkien and fantasy. Early twenties for science fiction to become another genre to love. I never liked reading non-fiction. Not ever. My reading was pure unadulterated escapism.
It wasn’t until much later in my life when my psych mentioned to me – “you do realise don’t you, that none of what you read is real?”
I answered immediately by iterating that of course I knew\. But something inside me ‘clicked’ and I thought about it – as she knew I would. I really did have to ‘let go’ of my ‘friends’ and it wasn’t until she said what she said, that I realised that I actually needed to tell my brain that they weren’t real. Funny side affect of this has been that I can now watch movies that before I was too scared to watch. I just tell myself it’s not real. Amazing huh – I knew it all along, but I had needed to tell that part of my brain that had latched on firmly to all that I read, that none of it was real.
The brain, let me tell you, is a very amazing beast.