So we keep being told that everyone needs to speak about depression more. That it shouldn’t be ‘taboo’ – well here goes…
A couple of months before Dad passed away I was diagnosed with depression. Walking out of the doctors with my script for antidepressants and sleeping tablets I was nervous but felt a sense of calm that I had finally addressed what had been bubbling away for a while. Take that wine, I now have sleeping pills!
So along I went and was feeling more in control when BAM Dad got sick. Hearing the words ‘it could be hours, it could be days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t make the night’ was heartbreaking. Telling my brother and my sister their Dad was dying was beyond that.
Dad proved them wrong and passed away on the 5th night in palliative care. To describe what those 5 nights were like is quite hard. On one hand, watching Dad go through the process of dying was intense to say the least. The sounds, his physical changes, the feeling of his skin, watching his chest move when we couldn’t hear his breath, moments when he could talk and acknowledge and moments when we didn’t think he was there. He would even speak at times in an almost dementia state. He would talk about cooking steak and fences and random things. At one point he mentioned putting the ladders on the roof of the car to my brother – obviously an old memory from their painting days together. My sister said she heard you ‘flip back through the deck’ when you’re leaving this world. Maybe that’s what he was doing. I hope he found comfort in those old memories. I found comfort in hearing them.
But on the other hand – those days and nights with my family were nothing short of amazing. My family alleviates pressure with humour. It may have been a little off putting for someone walking past our palliative room to hear people in hysterics but god those laughs helped. It cemented to me how much I dearly love my family.
So after Dad passed away it was a whirlwind of organising things and talking. I received an outpouring of support and love and got through it all (besides the one night I accidently spilt a bottle of wine down my throat). Then came after the funeral. People aren’t wrong when they say that’s the hardest part. The messages and calls dry up, people of course go back to their normal lives. But my life wasn’t normal.
I started to struggle really bad with sleeping again. I could have put it down to the fact they had taken my wind down ‘1000 ways to die’ off late night tv but it was more likely the depression. The sleeping tablets stopped working. So I upped them. Then washed them down with wine.
Then I did the most rational thing of all. I decided to change my antidepressant dosage myself. First I upped it because I felt desperate for relief from the demons in my head. Then I lowered it when I felt spaced out. Then I upped it. Then I lowered it. I kid you not this went on for around 2 weeks until some part of my mind exploded & I realised if I didn’t stop this surely what would come next would be some kind of scenario that involved me saying ‘pretty bird’ to a rock. In the street. Naked.
So what next? I decided I needed a new focus. I’ve always wanted to do the six foot track and what better way to do it then to raise money for PSP. Anyone that has had depression knows that one of the hardest parts is to stop irrational thoughts. You know those ones when you think no one cares and what’s the point of anything? So of course I started a page up (this page) to record my journey so to speak. I started to get my ‘up’ again. Started to feel good, like I had a purpose. Take that depression! But then the thoughts came back. I didn’t get anywhere near as many likes to my page as I thought I would. I started to get discouraged. My favourite part was seeing that my original post reached almost 900 people. Cheers to the 25 of you that liked my page!
So what’s this long rant about? (if you’ve made it this far). I’m going to take a step back from this page and facebook for just a little while. I’ll still come on here occasionally but for now I need to get my shit together and right now this page isn’t helping with the whole checking and re-checking it. The over analysing and the over thinking. I need to re-group and re-focus. The walk will still most definitely be going ahead and on the 1st July we will launch our fundraising page with the amazing CurePSP.
So for now I’m going to finish off my Kahlua, continue to hum chemical imbalance by the porkers as I get ready for bed because it ironically makes me smile, and look forward to a fresh outlook tomorrow. The night is always darkest before the dawn.
The walk for PSP page I am talking about above can be found here…