Depression……. This is something I haven’t spoken much about in my blog but it is something that effects me. Not every day, not as much as some people and perhaps not in a way that is visible to others but it still does.
A few people know, but I have been on antidepressants since my previous relapse in 2013. That hit me hard physically and the shock of being ill so quickly meant I didn’t have time to mentally prepare and suffered hard mentally too. With all the things going on I never quite got myself to the point of coming off the antidepressants, and to be honest I’m not sure I’m ready to yet either.
With me I tend to go into hibernation mode. I want to stay where I feel safe. I want to laze around and avoid all the things I should be doing and kind of hide away. Despite being someone that loves being around people I find it takes a lot of effort to organise seeing people (I don’t like making commitments – I find it easy to drop into a weekly catch up knowing I don’t have to go if I don’t want to, but I’m terrible at organising anything outside of this), going to special events, and parties etc. Like even today, new years eve, when I know I’m going to a small gathering of friends I am still deciding whether I feel up to going. Its that feeling of not wanting to go and having to put on the happy party face. I don’t want to sit here and cry, but I don’t feel like being happy and giggly so don’t want to go and ruin the party for others! Its not even that I want to mope, I kind of just feel more comfortable in my own company.
So as it is indeed New Years Eve I am sitting here trying to think of what I have achieved over the last year. What battles I have won and what positive things have happened. Here is when I struggle to focus on what I have achieved, not what I could have achieved if I hadn’t been ill. I also have to ensure I’m keeping the focus on me and my achievements, not whats going on around me and with other people. It is hard though when you see around you friends getting promotions, married, kids, new careers, new houses, etc etc. I have to just keep reminding myself that I beat cancer….. AGAIN!
But there are those what ifs…. what if I didn’t have cancer? What if I hadn’t got ill when I was 17? What would my life be like now? BUT I can’t think like that!!
So what are my positives/achievements for this year?
- Making it through chemo with a smile on my face (even though it was a slightly smaller smile some days)
- Keeping active through out treatment
- Fantastic trip to Cromer with HiP ladies
- Travelling to Ireland and Vienna
- Getting spiritual! – Getting into my yoga and embracing partner work…. and hugs!!
- Telling my story for Anthony Nolan at parliament to help fight for second transplants to be funded. And by doing so winning the patient ambassador award.
- Partcipating in the world mds day flash mob (and succeeding in learning the routine on the train there!!)
- NOT going back to work too soon
- Going vegetarian – one of the best things for my guts and hopefully saved a few animals in the process
- Craft –
- Completing (well its not complete but its usable) my square blanket and teaching myself to crochet properly
- Completing two wearable crochet tops
- Running the park run on new years day – 30:58
- Passing my level 2 gym instructor and freestyle step aerobics assessments
- Starting my PT and yoga teacher qualification
- Getting back into teaching Body Pump and choreographing my own freestyle step classes
And really these are all the bigger things….. what I haven’t listed are things like having the energy/motivation to cook my own dinner (or for the family) most days, doing my own washing, spending the majority of the day off the sofa, etc etc. The little things are sometimes the hardest!!
I recommend anyone feeling a bit down spends a bit of time to sit back and look at what they have done this year. NOT what you could/should have done, but what you HAVE achieved.