A Letter To Everyone Hurting Me Right Now

This week has been one which has started off hard. One in which I needed people close to me to care more about me than they ever did before. But one in which they haven’t. See, I have had a relapse into severe depression after my Doctor halved one of my meds in an attempt to improve my memory and finally start the getting off it process. What does that mean? What does it mean to have a severe depressive relapse? Well let me enlighten you. It means my heart hurts so incredibly badly that I cry in sobs every day and don’t know why. It means my body feels too weak to stand up. It means my mind is overwhelmed with thoughts that make me worry. It means I need the world to stop for a bit before my mind tells my heart too. But what that means for you;

It means you do not get to judge me or push me away

It means you do not get to make this about you

It means you need to encourage me and love me every day

It means you need to be around to sit and listen if my heart feels overwhelmed

It means you need to tell me you love me and hold my hand when I am afraid

It means you need to tell me things will be okay

It means you need to show up. Even if you say or do nothing.

And it means I shouldn’t have to ask for any of this.

It means you need to support me with each step.

It means you need to stick by me through good and bad times.

It really isn’t that excruciatingly hard. I look around me and see people in the hospital having family and friends visit and I see how they are hugged and held and listened too. I see how the same people consistently show up every day. And I wonder why you won’t show up for me even one day. I see how they are still appreciated for the type of people they truly are regardless of whether they are sick and I only hear your distance and silence when it comes to me. I am alone. I have never felt more alone. You are the people who mean the most to me in the world and I’d do anything for you yet you couldn’t even treat me with kindness. You couldn’t even call me and ask me about my day or tell me you love me and things will be okay. You couldn’t even send me a nice text message. There will be many times things are about you and times things will be about us and times things will be about me. The latter is one of those times. Because my heart is both angry and hurt that I am in a forest fighting demons alone and you couldn’t even offer me a flashlight or pack me food for my journey or send me off with a hug. You wanted perfection and that I am not. But what I am is a person who has fought her way through hell and back and kept pushing to get ahead. What I am is a person who loves the hell out of the people around her and always strives to make them laugh. But right now, that person is tired and cannot do those things and needs you to be that. And sadly you aren’t. You still just expect. And that isn’t fair. 

I needed one of you to be a boyfriend.

I needed one of you to be a father.

And was that really too much to ask? Because I’ve been disappointed by men too many times and I am tired now. 

I just needed you to care

I just needed you to show up

Dealing With Depression In A Relationship

This topic is something I am faced with today. Something I have always thought about but never personally had to experience up until now. I have depression. A chronic illness. Some people consider it a death sentence or stigmatise it. We get called a lot of things. “Crazy”, “Unstable”, “Weak”, “Damaged” …. The list goes on. Would you ever think of someone with a heart disease that way? Or if someone had say, cystic fibrosis to live with making it literally hard for them to breathe at times? Would you consider such a soul unworthy of companionship? Of love? Of being seen as a person with a unique identity worthy of being known? Obviously heart disease and cystic fibrosis is so much more of an easy answer for most to say no, they are not any less. But ask someone that question when it comes to depression and other mental health problems the world faces and suddenly the answer is yes. They are not special or unique, worthy human beings. They are a tradgedy. And a tragic mind that is a write off, having nothing to offer the world. But what is the real tradgedy is the world’s misconception and stereotyping of such individuals. 

Who are we really? We are people. Normal people. We have thoughts and feelings and likes and dislikes. We love, we hate, we laugh, we cry… We have hopes and dreams and passions. Sometimes, we just lose sight of those things and our vision is clouded. Our hearts lose track of things as our minds’ chemistry goes haywire. But even in the midst of all that pain and confusion, we still love what we love and want what we always wanted. We are still ourselves and we still have one hell of a story to live out. 

The thing is, you don’t get to judge someone based on them being ill for a while. If I judged the type of person you were at the lowest point of your life do you think I would’ve liked that person? And most of all, do you think it would be fair to do so? No. You know it wouldn’t. The only time you get to judge a person with depression or another mental illness is when they don’t fight to recover anymore. When they don’t want to see their illness anymore and instead just choose to become their illness, denying its existence. Then you get to judge, by all means. Because depression is not a character flaw. But refusing to fight against an illness, that is a decision of character. 

Today I am being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for depression. When I told my boyfriend that, I felt ashamed. I knew he wouldn’t judge me but he admitted it’s a bit tough for him to process because he could never fully understand it. I am good at compartmentalising my mind and when I interact with others they only see the compartment of me being normal and laughing and saying all I should. I never allow them to reach into that compartment of darkness and pain that resides in the back of my mind. That compartment has been mine to stare in its ugly face. Just mine. Mine to fight and hide. But when you let someone into your life and into your heart and you love them, your compartments cannot stay hidden. Telling him about my depression was one of the hardest things for me to do because I expected the blow of rejection. The thing is, I hide my pain because I don’t ever want it to become somebody else’s pain. I don’t ever want my darkness to effect anyone else and moreover, I’ve seen it as my demons to fight and I would never let my fight become somebody else’s. But nonetheless, it’s something that has to be told and as uncomfortable as it may be, it’s something that the person you are with needs to understand and acknowledge to a degree if they are to support you.

But above all, I want people who are in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression to understand how to be there for the people they love. It really isn’t rocket science or as though you need to carry them through. Having depression is something only you are responsible for fighting. But having support is vital and you deserve that support. You deserve having someone learn as much about your illness as they can and to understand the biology. You deserve having someone tell you they love you regardless and to visit you and show you they care about you. You deserve having someone love you a little louder when you forget how to love yourself. You deserve having someone hold your hand and still see you as you; your unique identity which is why they fell in love with you in the first place right? You deserve it. If you have someone who cares about you then that is how they should support you. People get sick and then they get better again and life goes on. So don’t judge them. If you do then leave because I can promise you we judge ourselves enough already. Maybe throughout their life they will have dips and end up admitted again but so what? They are still fighting to live life and you owe it to them to stand by them anyway. This isn’t a perfect world and there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

Stigma is a load we will forever carry and being misunderstood and judged is something we will forever face. So the decision is pretty simple. Support us or don’t, but don’t ever make us feel like we are less and a liability to your future. That isn’t fair. I am still myself. I am still a unique human being with thoughts and feelings that go far beyond my depression. Whether you choose to see that is your choice alone. 

What Is It You Need So Badly?

I am in therapy. Yes. And no, I am not ashamed to say it. I also take 5 pills in the morning and 2 in the evening to keep my mind from ripping my heart so far apart that I could never put it back together again and am left shattered and confined to a bed for months. I am not ashamed to say that either. Because therapy is a gift to yourself. So I was told, until I realised it’s the truth. And taking medication is vital to your survival because just like everyone else with a chronic illness, I have one too. But some days, I break so hard that all I can do is cry and my heart is too sensitive for the world’s blows. I get tired faster than most and my threshold for stress is lower. That, I am not ashamed of either because it isn’t weakness, it’s symptoms of an illness I have to live with and fight through every single day of my life. The last while has been hard and my heart aches badly for reasons my mind cannot fully grasp. I cannot get up and go to work because I am tired. So very tired. So this week I am working from home. And then I go to therapy and my therapist tries to talk me through ways to lessen the pain and I get frustrated because really, walking in the sun, spending time with my dogs or flirting with some guy on tinder doesn’t ease the pain and difficulty. I know she’s trying and I’m probably making life difficult for her by rejecting all her advice. And then I try to explain to her how real this ache is right now. An ache that spreads right through my heart, soul, flesh and bones and she asks, “Veronike, what is it you need from me? What is it you need that will help you?” And I say, “I don’t know and I think I need to figure that out.” Because really, only you know what will help your aching heart but you’re too afraid to say it and acknowledge it or think about it. So today, through this post I’m asking you, what is it you need so badly to help you survive?

Hasty Dawn Words, another awesome and inspiring blogger wrote these words yesterday;

“It’s hard to ask for what you need. Mostly because you’re not really sure what you need.  If you suffer from depression there isn’t really anything you WANT other than to not feel like everything is hopeless.

Yesterday you guys listened and let me know I wasn’t alone. I mean of course I know I’m not but when your depressed just a raised hand in a crowd can stop the spiral you are falling into.

Byron Hamel said to me once, “I’m here if you need me but I need to know exactly and specifically what you need”.

Now I really have to think about that. Depression will rob you of an answer so you have to really search.

-Right now I need attention

-Right now I need to talk to someone

-Right now I need to sit quietly with someone

-Right now I want to sit under a night sky with someone and contemplate life

-Right now I need to not be alone

-Right now I need to hear “I love you”

We are afraid to say what we want. And it hurts us. People say “She just wants attention” as if it’s a horrible thing so we don’t dare ask for it. But really there is nothing wrong with ASKING for it. People act out in drastic ways for attention because we’ve made asking for it a needy and nasty thing to do.

Well I asked for what I needed specifically yesterday and it may have seemed ridiculous to some. As if sending a heart wouldn’t really have value but it does. My brain wanted to tell me nobody would respond. That I’m not worth it. But I stepped out in an effort to prove that voice wrong.

Don’t let your brain bully you.

Thank you for helping my heart speak louder than my brain yesterday ❤️❤️ ”

Such words are powerful. They ignite the will in us to seek help. And now I am asking myself, what is it that I need right now?

I need rest because my mind is weary and my body tired.

I need to feel loved because I feel alone and that makes life so much harder.

I need support. Someone to tell me they’re standing right by my side no matter what happens.

I need someone I can pour out my heart to and cry whatever tears I cannot cry anywhere else.

I need someone to understand and to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings.

I need to just be held. To be hugged.

I need strength of mind and perseverence and so, I need someone to remind me that I am strong and capable and to believe in me.

I need to be selfish now because I am so very tired of pouring energy I don’t have into people.

I need to redefine my goals and set them in a way that will make me willing to try. Because my perceptions get distorted and my mind negates the worth of everything over time and I let it. I believe it and accept it.

I need these things. Mostly, I need to feel cared for and loved and supported and have an ear who will listen. When we cannot carry ourselves we should turn to others to carry us and in return carry them when they need help. That’s what we were meant to do and be for each other and that’s why we weren’t created to be alone.

What if you don’t have anyone to turn too? You find someone. Sometimes people are more willing to listen and help than you think. Even if you email a complete stranger, like me, to pour out your heart. But you go find someone because whatever it is you need so much I guarantee you you need from other people too. And that’s okay. It does not make you clingy or weak or dependent.

It makes you human.