Posted January 27th 2016
If I went for a sleep during the day abroad,
I would be taking a siesta,
If I went for a sleep during the day here, I am depressed.
For me, sleep is my therapy. When I am asleep, it is the only part of the day where I can get a release and rest from this pain.
I am missing my son, I am missing my old life and I am missing the “old” me. I am simply grieving the loss of my son and that is the price I pay for loving my son so much. BUT if someone were to diagnose me with depression, personally I wouldn’t care because I dont think that there is anything wrong with that.
With grieving, I can associate with some of the symptoms of depression such as sadness, darkness, mood changes and fatigue. I don’t want to feel any of those things BUT I can’t help it as I have no control over my feelings. One minute I can be sitting at my desk working and the next minute I can be in floods of tears, I can wake up in the morning and not want to get out of the bed, I can sleep for hours on end and I can be around my closest friends but still feel isolated and different. I am not ashamed to say that I have had times were missing Jack and trying to live with this 24/7 grief has got too much for me and I have felt that I can no longer carry on living. I have had times were the pain has got so unbearable that I thought of every possible way out of this life.
On the other hand, people can see me out socialising with my friends, they can see me laugh and smile, they can see me speak at charity events or they can see me carry out a day’s teaching and think that I am fine. To a stranger, they would never know that i have lost my son and grief is part of my daily life. That is the thing with grief and I assume depression, it doesn’t just switch on and off like a light bulb, you have no control over when it will hit you and in what way, shape or from it will hit you.
What does a grieving or a depressed person look like? The answer….. We look exactly like everyone else!!! Some people have this idea that someone who is depressed or grieving is constantly sad, they cry all the time and they don’t leave the house. People think that people with depression take medication and are the first to judge condemn or ridicule them for that but do we do that who take painkillers for broken ligaments or sore heads? If someone could give me medication to help ease my broken heart or help to ease my grief then I would take it in a heartbeat and who is anyone else to judge?
With 3 years of experiencing grief, I can now see the stigma attached with being depressed and why people don’t want to admit that they are depressed. People telling you to “move on”, “give yourself a shake”, “you don’t look like there is anything wrong with you”, “get on with it”, “see the positives”, “do things to help yourself”, “exercise, eat better”.
People asking “what is actually wrong with you”, “what have you got be depressed about”, “what is so wrong about your life”.
Thankfully I can say that I’ve not heard all of those things since losing Jack and starting this horrible journey called grief but I have heard some. Some people have told me that I would have a reason to be depressed as my son has died but I believe that people don’t need a reason or a cause to be depressed. Just like grief, I believe that depression is just one of those horrible things that some people are forced to live with. They didn’t bring it on themselves or choose to suffer from depression.
Just from experiencing the symptoms of grief, I truly believe that NOBODY would chose to be depressed or experience the stigma that goes with it and that is why we as a society need to be more open minded about it. Just like me need to with grief, we need to talk to our friend and families about depression; we need to stop stereotyping, judging and be more accepting and supportive.
Lets raise awareness and help support those suffering from depression.
Arlene, Jack’s Mummy