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12.8.14

That Dark Place and When It Ends

I'm not usually into that thing that happens when someone dies or there is a tragedy or something controversial happens in the news. When it automatically becomes blog content. I'm not a fan of that.
But today, today feels different.

Looking at all of my social media channels it is obvious that Robin Williams was such a massive part of every ones lives.
So many of us grew up with him in such wonderful films.
Jumanji, Alladin, Mrs Doubtfire, Hook, Jack, The Birdcage, and one of my personal favourites One Hour Photo.
In tv interviews he always seemed this big bundle of energy. A happy man. Happy all the time.
But todays news proves that it wasn't the case and so often people suffering with depression are able to hide it so well.

I've suffered with depression since I was 15. It comes and goes but I suppose I always have it, but it's like a dormant volcano.
I am currently at the 'erupting' phase. And for so long denied it, and didn't want to accept that it was depression again. It made me feel weak that I had almost allowed it to come back and wasn't strong enough to keep it away.
I convinced myself that I was just tired, or it was just my anxiety but when it got to the point where I thought I couldn't cope anymore I had to accept that it was back, and was bad.

In my real life no one really knows I have depression, anxiety, and all that stuff. I suppose I hide it well, but it's not about hiding it really. I don't make a conscious decision to hide it. It's there. It's very much there. But how is a depressive supposed to act?
Are we not allowed to make jokes? To smile? To have fun? To have happy moments?
Are we not allowed to have a good life? To have nice things?

Oh, there is so much I want to write. There is so much that is misunderstood about depression.

I remember back in 2005. I worked in a bakery and life got a bit tough. I didn't live at home with my mum anymore, I had just got married and lived in a town where I knew no one.
My husband worked and had friends at work, but I felt lonely. I couldn't drive so I felt quite trapped and the only places I could go by myself were to work, and home.
I called in sick for a few days blaming a tummy bug. It wasn't a tummy bug. I was so depressed that I couldn't leave the house. I didn't want to see anyone or be around anyone.
The thought of facing people made me feel sick. Made me feel awful.
I went back to work and confessed to someone who I really admired there that actually I wasn't ok now and that I didn't have a tummy bug and told them the truth.
Of course it got around, and the big boss man didn't mind, he understood.
But I heard that two members of staff said "what has she got to be depressed about?".
I ask myself the same question.

I have a wonderful family, I have my own car, we have a mortgage, I don't have to work, I am healthy, we own a boat, I have lovely things and I am lucky.
But depression doesn't care.
Depression overrides all of that. Depression makes you forget all of those things.
I can write them all down, I can accept that yes those things are so wonderful, but the depression still remains.

I have spent days at home not wanting to leave the house. Although it's not always about not wanting to go out, I want to, but I can't. My head, my body, won't let me.
I've cancelled on friends and tried to get out of parties and meet ups because of depression. But sometimes, people don't understand how hard it is.

Depression isn't a choice. I don't choose to be depressed.
I don't choose to have a life that sometimes feels so dark and pointless.
I don't choose to have the darkest of thoughts sometimes. Thoughts I can't even talk about.
Why would anyone choose to feel like that?

A lot of comments I've seen on social media is that despite having money and fame Robin Williams couldn't find happiness. Despite making people laugh and making people happy he couldn't do it for himself.
I don't know why, but I kind of feel a little offended at those comments. Maybe offended isn't the right word? I don't know.
It's not about not finding it, or not being able to make yourself happy.
I am surrounded by happiness, for the reasons I stated above. But as I said, depression overrides that.
You can't just switch it off. You can't just switch on happiness.
It's not something you can find or create.

I don't believe Robin Williams killed himself. I believe depression killed him. To me, there is a difference.

To be at that point, where death was the only option. Ending it, getting rid of that dark place, was the only thing left to do....well it breaks my heart.
I feel so sorry for him, for the fact that he, and others, are taken over by that horrible evil illness that it takes control so much to end everything.
Depression won. And it continues to win.

Do I think he is in a better place now? Of course he isn't. A better place would be here, without the depression. A life ending because of depression doesn't mean he is in a better place.
We don't know what happens when our life ends. We don't know if it really is the end, or if we continue to live how we are now but somewhere else. We don't know he is truly free. And now, depression will always be known as the winner. The thing that killed him.

Does it mean Robin Williams was weak? That he took the easy way out? Absolutely not. Not in any way at all.
Was he selfish "taking his own life"? Not thinking about his family? Absolutely not.
Getting to that dark place can make you believe that actually, not being around is for the best. That people will be better off without you. Or that no one cares about you. That you don't bring anything to any ones life.

With a knot in my stomach, and tears running down my face I urge you not to judge someone on the decisions they make, not to assume someone is happy just because they don't "act depressed", and not to assume that depression only selects certain people.
Depression doesn't care if you have money or not, if you have fame or not, if you have a beautiful family, if you work, if you don't work.

One of the best things, and truest things, I have read today was from Amy on Instagram and her words are the best way I can end this post I think.

'Depression doesn't care who it chooses"