This week there were two important days that really struck my heart strings. So rather than write my usual blog post full of hilarious and witty observations on my ridiculous and fabulous life today, I thought I would take a moment and share some things with you all. Because you all do really rock my world.
As faithful readers will know, I have personally suffered from depression and tried to take my life when I was at my worst. You can read about it on my Black Box Warnings guest post as well as the follow up post on my blog. Depression is something I have conquered and worked very hard on battling over the past 4 years with medical assistance as well as help from family and friends. But most importantly, through the determination, strength and courage I found within the girl I thought was broken beyond repair. Although I do worry sometimes about my vulnerability to depression as it is not something that simply goes away forever, it is no longer a dark cloud that engulfs me daily. I’m the strange, bubbly, kooky, honest, crazy person now because of my journey and as difficult as it was, I wouldn’t actually change a thing or take any of it back. I’m proud of who I am.
Some of you will know that depression and suicide has touched my life in other ways. My little sister also suffered from depression following the death of our mother, something she is continuing to battle and finding her way through her own journey. I’m so pleased with the continued progress she makes and as hard as it has been to watch her struggle with a disease I am all to familiar with, I have been amazed to see her grow and flourish into a beautiful young woman who is gaining more and more confidence in herself.
Almost one year ago my brother’s girlfriend took her own life a few weeks shy of her 21st birthday. I have experienced so many different emotions regarding this, some I’m not too proud of. Following her death I rushed back to my psychologist as a preventative method just in case this was the moment that sent me spiralling back down again. It wasn’t, but I now know I am much better equipped to deal with any shitty things life throws at me. It was at this time my relationship was breaking down and I had no one to talk to about it, as my family were focused on my brother and I couldn’t bear to admit to my friends that I was miserable rather than ‘in love’. I threw my energy into caring for my brother, moving him in to the house I shared with my then boyfriend. I see how her suicide affects my brother every day and it hurts me to see him in constant pain.
Depression and suicide is a topic I am passionate about raising awareness about, reducing the stigma surrounding it and making sure I tell my story just in case it helps someone. This is why this week is particularly special to me.
Tuesday 10th September was World Suicide Prevention Day – raising awareness and providing resources for those struggling with depression or suicide and their families.
Thursday 12th September was R U OK? Day – a day designed to encourage people to regularly and meaningfully ask “Are you okay?” to support those who may be struggling with life.
I would encourage everyone to click on the links to those websites as there are some really useful tools. I also found this very moving and inspiring TED talk that actually brought me to tears – and I can be a tough cookie to crack! After you watch the video, here’s a really interesting Q & A with the speaker Kevin Breel from the TED Blog.
So today I am sending extra special much love to everyone. And if anyone ever wants to talk with me about my experiences or my journey I am always here with an ear, some advice or even just a hug (virtual or real life).
Much Love D x