From Lisa (2)

Dear You,

I hope I can write a few words to help you through this difficult time. I became depressed after my husband was ill for a long period of time. His getting better was almost the catalyst that gave me permission to accept what an awful time we had been through and my reaction was to become more anxious and finally depressed. I couldn’t believe it and neither could other people, “but your husband is well now, you have everything to look forward to”, they would say. All I knew was I felt like I would never feel safe or happy again and the smallest problem would result in horrible feelings of anxiety.  I tried to hide how I felt but eventually I just stopped functioning, stopped eating, going to work and hid in the bed clothes, bed was the only place I felt safe and sleep gave me relief from the awful almost physical pain I felt.   


I felt like I was underwater and I just didn’t know how to feel better – but I did get better. I took antidepressants and I rested and took time off work and after a couple of weeks that feeling of being underwater lifted a little every day. I started to enjoy things I had no interest in before and eventually I didn’t need to stay in bed all the time. Once I had been back at work for a while I took a short course of CBT to challenge some of my thought processes in order to reduce my anxiety. It took a while to get back to feeling like my old self but I measured my progress based on what I could do today compared to yesterday rather than worrying whether I was back to “normal”.


Life still isn’t always easier but I am a lot kinder to myself these days and have lower expectations when times are hard. I have recently had another shorter period of depression and anxiety and it reminded me sometimes you have to go back to basics and put yourself first for a while. Some people won’t understand, but some will and if they do let them help you where they can. Be kind to yourself, take one day at a time and know that however awful you feel it will pass. Know that you are very special but you are only human, don’t be hard on yourself. One day you will look back and this will be a memory.