Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spreading Awareness of Depression and Mental Illness

I'm not really sure how I discovered Addy's blog, My Journey with Depresson, but I've quickly grown to appreciate how he so very honestly shares of his experiences and struggles through mental illness.

I'm Addy; 29, a little crazy, a little kinky, and I suffer from bipolar type 1, depression and self harm. They are illnesses I suffer from and are not a reflection of my personality. I'm tired of the stigma surrounding mental health, it's time we gave it a damn good spanking. This is my journey with depression.

Yesterday, he shared a beautiful story....

"It's been a year since the earthquake destroyed me,"

It’s been nearly a year since I was sitting on a beach in Port Fairy burning myself with a flaming stick. A flame which ignited the breakdown and the destruction of everything I had been building for 28 and a 1/2 years.

When I think back on that night, the cool autumnal air breathing softly around me, I remember the tears which streaked my face as I held that stick with trembling hands. The dead mobile phone lying on the beach beside me, a name burned on the LCD panel in my mind. I wonder what would have happened if the battery had still been breathing? I wonder if the person I had wanted to call would have answered?

Would they have listened?

A year before I had been on the exact same beach. A whole 365 days since I’d roamed there, with the intent of dying there. It had been a different phone at the time, but as I sat with the knife held against my wrist it had sparked alive with an echoing ‘beep’ in the still night. A ‘beep’ which sparked alive a long forgotten piece of my soul; enough to drag myself from the beach and spend a fitful night shivering and weeping in a lumpy hostel bed.

In the 365 days which had passed I had managed to rebuild my life. I had fought myself back from hell and only a few weeks earlier had been standing on the metaphorical Butt of Lewis screaming “Ha!” into the wind…(yay for obscure literary references)…having battled myself from the brink of death into a position where I had the world at my feet. Everything was in place; depression had been beaten, self harm overcome, social anxiety had had it’s butt spanked (well, nearly, a few more slaps and it would have been in submission). I had just started working toward my dream of a diploma, a novel was a few edits away from being completed and another started, I had friends for the first time in six years. Aside from glandular fever, which was hardly my fault, I was ecstatic about how much I’d been able to achieve, how much success I had reached.
Then came the double whammy I’ve mentioned before: leukemia diagnosis and being dumped, in the same week. Two shuddering tremors which rocked my foundations - two tremors which caused the earthquake that collapsed all the work. The act of nature which sent 365 days of work crumbling to dust and drove me back to that beach, back to where I had nearly killed myself.

Please do go read the rest. You will be glad you did.

1 comment:

  1. i will definitely visit! i am very grateful that you are finding so many wonderful people out there.