In moving out of depression I was asked to reflect on a time in my life that I can draw strength from.
Apart from this period of my life the worst time was being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Some people will say it is a strange episode to draw strength from but it taught me many things:
The importance of friends, family and faith;
That there is light even in darkness (‘it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’);
That you learn greater empathy for those who are suffering when you have suffered;
That all things pass.
All of these life lessons are ones I draw on to get me through this period of my life. ‘This too will pass’ and good times will come. I just have to have faith and accept with gratitude the love and care of friends and family.
Friends, family and faith have been the main three things that have kept me from fully going under to depression and anxiety. It was the reminder of these three ‘f’s that led me to the doctor and not the cliff.
Friendship has come in many guises. Lovely messages on Facebook from colleagues and friends.
Flowers sent with cards and good wishes.
Phone calls and visits.
Hugs, a listening ear and kind and encouraging words. The gift of time.
Friendship is under-rated by society. It is all about the individual search for happiness. I have found happiness amongst friends is the best antidote to the black dog, and I push myself to get up and dressed and see people to escape him. Happiness is found in looking outward rather than inward.
To all my friends who have helped in this dark period of my life I thank God for you. Xx
Thursday will be the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Christ to heaven. Struggling as I am with depression and anxiety at the moment I have been reflecting on what the ascension is saying to me.
To ascend means to rise up. I have been in the depths of despair and I long to fully rise up out of them.
This week I have decisions to make. To plan to return to work, to resign or ask for constructive dismissal as a result of my health. The idea of returning to work sends me in to a negative spiral every time I approach it. That suggests to me returning is not an option. Resigning. This is clear and clean but leaves me potentially without a reference. Constructive dismissal my union representative says will enable me to have a specified leaving date and an agreed reference. She said I might be entitled to some compensation money but morally I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that.
So what is the best thing to do?
I need to decide before Friday. I need to be able to ascend out of the depths and start looking forward and feeling able to heal.