It is a recurring theme amongst those who have a mental illness, like depression, that they reach a point where they don’t feel like they deserve the help they so desperately need from their support system. I have been there in the past, more frequently than I would like to admit.
With the birth of my son, I believe I have found either a hidden strength or a newly acquired one. I have the power…
…to ask for help.
When my little starfish was about sixteen months old, things began to get worse than they had been. Up to that point, I had just about been coping. I’ve talked about this before if you want to know more.
Things came to a head one night when my Honey was working late, I had to get all of my thoughts and fears
I need to talk to you, and you need to consider what I have to say very seriously. I need to ask you for help. I need to ask while I’m still aware enough to acknowledge the problem and still sufficiently rational to accept the help I’m asking for. I am struggling.
I don’t know if this is just undiagnosed PPD (Post-Partum Depression) or if I’m relapsing into my old ways, but this is depression.
Most of the time, I can hide the worst of my struggles. Around you, it’s easy when I’m not alone the feelings are attenuated by distractions and the mild sense of relief. When I’m alone, or just with the boy, the emotions that overwhelm me seem so impossible that I can’t bear it.
I’ve spent more than an hour tonight, crying into a pillow because I’m convinced I’m going to die. At other times, I’m convinced that you are going to leave us permanently, or even that [theboy] will die. But most of the time, I am convinced that my time here with you is so very short.
I don’t want to go.
I’m not talking about taking my own life, I’m not suicidal, but death is stalking my mind, and I cannot escape it.
I love you and [theboy] so incredibly deeply, and of course, I derive joy and happiness from being with you. Cuddling my boy and snuggles with you are lovely, they push back the darkness that seems to follow me and close in from all sides. But no matter how loved I feel or how safe you make me, the encroaching dark gathers around me like a funeral shroud from which I just cannot break free.
It is exhausting, just trying to drag myself through each day. I am so tired that I can barely manage to hold a conversation with an adult.
I don’t miss the sex we aren’t having because we are both so deprived of sleep. But I do miss the closeness and intimacy.
Please help me
I need your help to stop me from going under for the last time. For the sake of us and [theboy] I need you to help me turn the tide and bring me back from the edge. You both deserve a life with someone who is not a burnt-out, emotionless husk, and I need to live life not perpetually awaiting the skeletal hand of death on my shoulder.
I want so many years with you both. There is so much that we still need to do and be to each other, and I want to be available, both emotionally and physically, so do all of those things.
I can’t go on like this. Depression is draining everything I have.
My husband knows me well. He knows me well enough to understand that I struggle with spoken words when my mind and heart feel overwhelmed. It is one of many reasons why my bags and books of notes are littered with “letters to my Honey.”
In some ways, the act of writing this letter, and my Honey reading it, was the first step I need to make changes and get help. It opened a dialogue that I was unable to initiate in general conversation. I don’t for a moment believe that it is so simple for anyone else. Depression is deeply individual in how it affects people and how well they are able to recover.
I have a history of mental illness.
This is not like being an alcoholic or a drug addict, it is more about acknowledging my mental and physical limits and boundaries. I would possibly equate it more with a recurring illness like some types of cancer or tropical diseases.
I know that my body and mind harbour this illness, for now, it is in remission. But I will constantly check myself for signs so that I can “catch it early” if it ever comes back.
If you feel that you need help in dealing with depression, or any other mental illness that could be raising their ugly heads, there is a list of organisations to contact for different places around the world.
There is no weakness in asking for help
Asking for help is a strength.
Everyone needs and deserves help , all you need do , is ask,