Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Award Winning Sunday!

Awards have been flying around the world fast and furiously this past week - and I have received my fair share of them. So without further ado I would like to thank the following for their lovely thoughts and contributions to my sidebar.

Sweet Irene, SITH, Mean Mom, Lehners in France, and finally, Crazycath who MADE me an award and said some pretty nice things too while awarding it!

Thank you all for thinking of me when you are handing these out. I get all goofy and humbled and everyone knows that. I really don't know how to take a compliment gracefully - but I'm trying. Just don't say it to my face.

I have been amazed at the comments my latest posts have been receiving! I know that depression and mental illness is something that was always kept hidden away from the world and that many horrendous institutions still exist out there.

I use to be incredibly ashamed of the fact that I needed to be locked away because I couldn't control my mind. I was ashamed of my weakness! If anyone asked me about that period of my life - I sidestepped and evaded the question. Now, 10 years later -I'm telling it like it is!

To all of you out there who have suffered from any of this - Please! Talk about it! We have learned that the talking is what helps the most.

I am more than grateful for everyone who is sharing their experiences with me. I have been emailed and one woman came to my door and thanked me for my blog and told me it has changed her life!

The pain that comes - from mental illness or at the hands of a beater - needs to be told! We need to tell the world - to expunge our pain and get it out of our bodies and mind! And we don't need to be ashamed of it! We all suffer from something.

If this blog is the place to vent - then do it! If you can't do it publicly - email me! Our stories need to be told!

And for those of you who have offered me a pat on the back and a huge hug! Thank you for all of those as well! I still struggle daily - and love and affection helps to keep me sane.

If you think that this blog would be helpful to someone who is suffering - by all means show it to them! Helping others is the reason I am telling it like it is!

Thank you all for your continued readership. Even if you don't comment - I appreciate your visits.


Carolyn said...

Congratulations on your awards. They are truly deserved.

I applaud you for telling your story through the pain. Your posts remind me of how very fortunate I am, but sadly, many people have suffered the pain of mental illness and abuse like you. I'm sure your experiences were horribly isolating which is why a blog like yours is so important. By casting a bright light on the secrets and by writing your story so truthfully, you are helping more people than you'll ever know.

I'm sending hugs and support and affection and whatever else you need to keep going...

dND said...

Depression and breakdown are sadly far too common in so-called developed world and sadly not very well understood.

As I've told you I was nowhere as deep as you, I just got handed the Prozac and sent home and told to come back when the prescription ran out or earlier if it wasn't working.

It did what was required and took reality away from me, nothing worried me and that did the trick and allowed my mind to relax enough to be able to cope again.

I took myself off the Prozac after about 9 months, as I didn't want to become dependant. There was a tough time when I felt that I couldn't cope and should I go back to the tablets and remove the worry. I decided that life wasn't easy and I would just have to get on with it. I was then supposed to be straight back out into the working world.

I couldn't concentrate for long periods and was only just learning to read again but there was no support available. Luckily I had been saving for a mega holiday to celebrate my 50th (I was planning on a month long trip through Australia) so I had some money to fall back on for a while.

I don't remember much about my Prozac days except that it wasn't me who inhabited my body but I did write the one and only piece of poetry I've ever written!

It was the side effects, that I found no one told me about. The symptom that finally sent me to the doctors was realising one day at work that the words on the page in front of me meant nothing. Individually I could read them but they didn't make sense as a sentence. I also found I couldn't remember words that I knew I knew - very like stroke symptoms (I've managed to have one of those in my past too). Slowly, probably because time is not on my side, my vocabulary is returning, as is my ability to concentrate. It took 5 years before the tic I'd developed finally stopped but any string of decisions or set backs can paralyse me with confusion.

I’ve gradually built up an arsenal of coping strategies; one of them is as you say talking about what happened.

We are not strange, we are not weird, we are just the product of a world where too much is expected of us and some of us didn’t know how to say no or get off the treadmill before it was too late.

Sorry this is really long but your account, your story, rekindles memories and touches me deeply.
Deborah x

CrazyCath said...

Aims you deserve everyone of those awards.

And I am glad now you have mentioned your actual "label" as I haven't read right back and was not sure although of course I recognised the symptoms. Also you mentioning the time line ("10 years ago" makes me feel more comfortable in reading your pain somehow - like it really isn't happening now(or last year!) although still very acutely painful. I guess it's the nurse in me.

It is eye opening sometimes and sadly too familiar to me other times. I find it hard to reconcile the two worlds as one of the nurses but also as a sufferer (of depression and beaters), who probably should have had far more input, but resisted it because my doc wanted to refer me to my own team!! Can you imagine that? It was a horrible dark place to be and without my family and friends (a lot of whom of course are nurses like me) I would not have come out the other side.

Anyway, this is about YOU not me. I am so (what's the word?) reassured? that you seem to be finding this healing rather than damaging. I do so care about how this affects you. Truly I do. Take it easy. And thank you for more bravery than I think I could ever muster.

Potty Mummy said...

Way to go Aims, well done. You are an inspiration. And just tell me - were the stretchy pants anything to do with a meal in celebration of the awards? (And I'm assuming we are talking 'pants' in the US rather than the UK sense of the word...)

Dave said...

You sound like a very inspirational person. All the best as you get the word out that it is not a shameful thing to have mental illness.

Sweet Irene said...

Great going, Aims. You have my admiration in all things. You know I was a doubter at the beginning, but I've come around and heartily approve of how you handle all of this. I think you're doing swell!

I Beatrice said...

Many congratulations - the well-deserved awards come thick and fast!

And yes, it's always healthy and helpful to talk about these things. We find that one of the most difficult aspects of having a child with autism is the misunderstanding of the condition - or the frank igorance! - on the parts of other people. So many know nothing about it at all - or nothing but what they saw in the film "Rain Man". Which doesn't provide a very helpful comparison!

We were given a little card to carry, which says "This child has autism....." and seeks to provide understanding of the situation to those who raise eyebrows when he behaves badly in public etc...

I have never actually handed it out: I tend just to tell people straight - and then wait to see their reactions. Some at least have the grace to look abashed - but not all!

Living the Dream said...

As always, incredible writing

Lola said...

I am full of admiration for your bravery and humility in the face of challenges that I can only imagine. Keep up the good work!

lisa marie said...

About a month ago I sat down determined to write about how depression had played a part in my life and after one full day of writing I'm still not done. I may have to make it a little mini-series but I still need to clean it up, it's just rough draft right now.

lisa marie said...

Oops, oh yes, Joy left the comment for you. :) She was hilarious and so are you. :) No more snakes for a while, I promise. :)

Mima said...

Congrats on the awards - if any deserves awards it is you, as your writing is just brilliant about a horribly difficult subject. I think it brings it home once more how awful it is to go through, how thankful I am to be where I am now, and just how much ignorance there is out there because it is kept hidden. Well done for having the courage to speak out, and once again congrats on the awards.

The Lehners in France said...

Aims I salute you. We all have hidden skeletons which we try never to show and therefore never deal with. I too (Yes me the oh so happy smiley mental froggy blogger) was prescibed anti depressants and tranquilisers. I never took them, I was in a similar situation to the Sweetest of all Irenes. My problems though stem back way longer. I think many people, like me, (and this is brutally honest) try to laugh things off, hense my humour (a lot of comedians have "issues"). I left a comment with Irene the other day saying "you can't be a brick forever, sometimes you need to crumble into a heap." That was from experience. I think you will find I've left a virtual trail through MOB and Irene. This is my dear why I feel you deserve a huge pat on the back. I am inspired to invent yet another award "The Open & Honest Award." What d'ya think. Love Debs

Stinking Billy said...

aims, Where from here? I hope that 10 years ago you found lasting happiness, but that it doesn't mean that you no longer had anything to blog about. I mean, nothing much ever happened on The Waltons, either, ("g'night aims, g'night John-boy") but *they* managed to keep going.

Anyway, well done, so far. x

Maggie May said...

I think you are so brave to write like this & I do admire you for it.
I suffered badly from post natal depression after my second child & another bout of depression following a hysterectomy.
One out of every four people suffers from mental illness at some point in their life. That's a lot of people!

Jeni said...

Excellent post on a very difficult and also, quite widespread topic. Depression, quite like autism, is very misunderstood by so many, thus keeping it in the closet all too often. Knowledge is a huge key, as is acceptance -to not be regarded as weird, looney tunes and the like. I've dealt with depression for much of my life as do all three of my children. Like you, I believe being open, talking about it, does help in all respects so keep talking.

Debra in France said...

Thank you for your post, and for your comments to me when I have been down, which after reading your blog and everything you have been through I feel I have no right to be down. Aims, you are an inspiration, and truly amazing person. I am lucky to know you, although we have never met!!! love always Debra xx

BT said...

Ye gods, Aims, what hell you went through. I was in a psychiatric ward for 5 weeks some years ago and am still on anti depressants but feel a bit like a fraud having read your story. Wonderful writing, so brave of you to write it.