I think I’ve always potentially been on the edge of depression creeping into my core, from a young age. Over the years, I’ve managed to somehow only be half way there. Teetering on the edge of it taking over. Like the intruder lurking in the darkness waiting to strike!
Summer of 2013, I had fallen pregnant with my first child. In a nutshell, it was a difficult pregnancy. Aside from the incredible feeling, of my beautiful daughter moving inside me, it was far from the glowing experience you read in magazines. I could feel myself starting to struggle then, feeling very different to my normal self and physically sick for what felt like an eternity. I pushed on as a brand new mother, suffering the usual, sleep deprivation and general adjustment from my life before. During this time I was getting mentally weaker and more exhausted. But it wasn’t just, I haven’t slept exhaustion. My whole body was dragging its way through. I could feel it starting to creep into every corner of me.
By the following year, my relationship was breaking down and I was literally feeling like I was going to explode. Struggling to reach out and explain how I was feeling, mostly for fear that my capability as a mother would be thrown into question, I began self-harming. I relied on this extreme coping mechanism, as I struggled to deal with this thing, constantly building up inside me. I hated myself. And every time I gave into it, I hated myself more. My body hurt all over and my head was just a fog. The physical pain of my wounds wasn’t even close to my mental suffering.
Eventually I took myself to the doctor. I was desperate for help. I had no choice but to get out of bed every day. I was needed. But it took everything I had. I actually owe my life and strength to my daughter. Without her, I’m almost certain I would have just given up completely.
Since last year, when I moved out of the family home (which was devastating) I have been very insular. I came off social media and have literally spent 2016 so far, trying to piece myself back together, whilst throwing all of myself into being the best mother I can be. I have good support from family and close friends, for which I feel grateful. It has undoubtedly helped me through the eye of the storm. I am beginning to see actual Nic emerging again. But it never really goes away. I feel very different and detached.
People have been commenting lately how well I look. It’s fascinating, because sometimes, I feel anything but. Behind my smiley face is often unimaginable pain that I am chipping away at day by day. People see me as generally fun, down to earth and full of banter. And you know what, that is actually me. I'm so glad people see that, it’s who I really am. I also now know that I am incredibly strong. That strong warrior Nic, is constantly having to fight, to stop the enemy (depression) from taking me away. Dragging me off, just like the bad spirits in the film Ghost, when they drag the bad guy to hell.
The point in this, I guess, is that no one, unless I have opened up to them, would know that behind what they think they see as Nic, is a broken soul on a constant mission for the battle to be over! I am just an ordinary woman with so much to give and to live for. I hate it when I see quotes that go on about choosing happiness. I do choose bloody happiness! I didn’t get to pick and choose whether depression affects me. I don’t want it. I hate it and it will not win. Depression does not define me. It isn’t me, it’s just an intense shadow that follows me around.