There’s a blizzard going on outside my window. Whatever snow isn’t falling is being whipped up by the wind and swirling in currents and eddies all across the deserted roadways. Things have come to a virtual halt here in the city as we experience what is supposed to be the worst winter storm in five years. For many of us this means a day off of work (yay!) and a day that the kids get to stay home from school (Yay?) but for many of us as well there is the heightened sense of isolation and aloneness. Domestic Violence isolates for sure, we feel cut off from the outside world, perhaps from family and friends but Domestic Violence can also contribute to Depression and that is a whole other problem to deal with.
Mental illness…..abuse…..don’t you just get tired of the labels and the stigmas? I have certainly struggled with this in the past. I had a really hard time admitting I was having a hard time and was feeling overwhelmed with pretty much everything in my life. I was ashamed of what I perceived as a weakness. I was ashamed and worried what people would think of me if they knew what I was struggling with. I have been very depressed over the last few years and only now that I am well can I see the impact that it had on not only my personal life but also on my professional life.
I remember being at work and getting the call to go into one of the patient rooms where a child was in crisis. Now keep in mind that I had been doing this job for about 14 years at this point and had successfully navigated my way through many of these events – this time I totally drew a blank, it was if my brain became porridge and I was trying to wade through it to do what needed to be done. We saved that little boy that night and I hear he is doing really well, but I’m not sure how much credit I can take for it.
Being depressed is no joke. Some people have a hard time getting out of bed, your thinking can be cloudy and you feel like you don’t enjoy things that used to be enjoyable. I went to see my Family Doctor and that was the start of my recovery. If you think that you might be depressed, I highly recommend seeking medical advice. Even if you don’t like the idea of taking medication, the benefit of unburdening yourself and sharing what is going on is of immense value. Often your doctor can connect you with a counsellor who you can meet with on a regular basis. Sometimes you just need to be able to open up and get stuff off of your chest.
Wintry days like today can either make you feel cosy and safe or tense and trapped. We can’t change the weather, it is what it is – but what we can try and do is examine how we feel and why. If you struggle with Depression then just recognize that days like today might make you feel worse, but also try to remember that you are not the only one out there feeling like this. Pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate and wrap yourself in a big blanket... savour the warmth.by