My Own Christmas Miracle

Christmas can be a really hard time of year. While some people are celebrating and spending time with family, others are struggling with finances, loneliness, or lack of things to look forward to.

My friends know that for the better part of a year, I’ve been battling depression. It’s really hard to explain to people who have never felt it, but mine comes in waves of quiet, empty nothingness which totally clean me out, leaving me stranded and gasping for air.

It became so bad that I would sneak off to the toilets at work and cry several times a day; Not because I was sad, but just because that was what my body was doing. Leaking. A lot. It was totally irrational, and weird, and a bit scary.

I knew that when I started thinking things like “there’s really no reason for me to exist,” “my life is exceedingly pointless,” and “I wonder how I can just make the world stop”, I needed to see a doctor.

It’s been a mixed bag since then. I suppose I was expecting drugs to be a cure-all, and they are not. That’s okay, life is a journey, right? But I am getting better, little bit by little bit.

Sometimes you reach a milestone, where you stop for a minute and take stock. Today when I was driving home from work, I saw a little old man walking with a little old woman – a scene that would usually have me thinking about the futility of love and aging – but I felt peaceful. I felt like in that moment all was right with the world. I felt entirely like myself again. It’s my own little Christmas miracle.

But it also got me thinking about those around me who I haven’t told about my journey. I’m ready, and I think it might help others who are struggling.

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, dark thoughts or maybe a deep and abiding emptiness; Know that you’re not alone. Know that it can, and does, get better. You need to be very brave, and talk to a doctor or a trusted friend. Please get some help.

The holidays can be a battlefield for those of us who fight against the darkness, so arm yourself.

You are not alone.

24 Hour Telephone Counselling via Lifeline: 0800 543 354
For more information on depression, see depression.org.nz

 

Everything must change
There’s a mirror showing me the ugly truth
These bones they ache with holy fire
But I’ve got nothing to give, just a life to live

If your world is without color
I will carry you, if you carry me

Every little thing’s gonna be alright

 

My Own Christmas Miracle

11 thoughts on “My Own Christmas Miracle

  • December 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm
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    Glad to hear you are feeling better, it’s a hard battle.

  • December 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm
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    Great to hear — it’s a rough business this life and you are doing the right thing by being brave enough to lay everything down and let the light back in.
    It is the season for Immanuel -God with us through Jesus. Look to Him and choose life–the world can’t offer much and it can’t love us back. The Anchor will hold through the storm.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119:25&version=MSG

  • December 11, 2013 at 7:57 am
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    Darling girl. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, depression is irrational and sometimes impossible to navigate. I take Prozac and it keeps me feeling like me. Some of us are vulnerable to the nuances of the world and disruptions to the chemicals in our body. That’s OK. It’s like diabetes, we just need to have some medical help and lifestyle changes to ensure we are balanced, healthy and happy. And yes, Xmas is not easy for many. I work for a start-up, money is tight; my Dad died six months ago, my family and I have our first Christmas without him. Thank you for reminding me, that bumps in the road don’t define us, but make us appreciate what we do have. And if we can breathe another day, we’re doing OK. All love to you my friend, and perhaps we should have a cup of tea before the year ends xxxxxxx

    • December 11, 2013 at 8:27 am
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      It’s a date, B-Nash. Arohanui.

      • December 11, 2013 at 8:59 am
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        Superb! Ill move mountains to see you!!

  • December 11, 2013 at 11:28 am
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    Well done you beautiful person. Speaking out about these things makes a huge difference. It’s important to know we aren’t alone in having brains that do silly things to us.

    xxxx

  • December 12, 2013 at 11:21 am
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    Another wonderful post from you my dear Cate. Please remember your own words because I am always here for you. Whilst I cannot always empathise, YOU ARE NOT ALONE xxxx

  • December 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm
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    there is a little old man and a little old woman that walk up my street (quite a hill) – her with a walker and him, holding her hand, on the walker. yeah it totally makes my week too. i seriously want to stop and take a photo (and give them flowers) because thats what i want when i’m old. thats my future. you dont live in howick do you….? perhaps they’re the same old couple…

    and hugs for your bravery and rawness. i bet heaps of people have been helped reading this. because they know they’re not alone. and that someone gets it. it hurts my heart to think that you were/are feeling that low – i hope you’ve got good people standing with you and that you’re getting all the help you need.

    ps i love that song anchor too courtney!

    ps geeky “meant to be caring” questions… have you had your iron / b12 levels checked, i know if i’m low then it so saps not only energy physically but emotionally, sometimes for me adjusting that has adjusted my ability to cope with life and emotions

    • December 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm
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      Thank you, lovely lady. Yes, I have amazing friends who support me through thick and thin! No, I don’t live near Howick, so I doubt it’s the same couple. And yes, I had full bloods done and everything was as it should be. I just don’t make as much serotonin as I should, and when I get stressed, it’s the first thing that kicks out. xx

  • January 31, 2014 at 9:00 am
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    Cate, I saw your post on Twitter and clicked on the link to this blog and I had to comment Firstly a big cyber hug from a total stranger to you. Life is full of both ups and downs. There is no miraculous cure for depression, and it is very real. However recognising you are depressed and acting on that, wheter it be with happy pills or otherwise is a big step. When I went through a very bad patch, I think what made it worse is that I looked around myself and everything I had is what was supposed to make me happy. This made me feel worse about myself and escalated the depression. Then I realised it was time to stop and evaluate what was happening in my life. I guess life at times can be like an overflowing basket of fruit. You know something is off, so you take a piece of fruit out one by one until you find the bad one. Then you rebuild. Well that is what I did, and I can fortunately say that I am at a very happy place now and may have days where I am down or teary, but it isn’t that all enveloping blackness. But there is no hard and fast rule to depression, everyone suffers differently.
    This may seem a silly remedy and you obviously lead a busy lifestyle so it may not work. But get a dog and walk, and walk and walk. Even on bitterly cold days I find just getting out in fresh air and seeing nature at it’s best – even if it is only people’s gardens (or lack of sometimes!!), and having a dog helps as they stop and pee all the time and it is amazing how people will stop to talk to you because of your dog. It is the very, very little things in life that make us complete. The beauty of a flower, the blueness of our sky, or how green our suburban grass is. Just drink it in and appreciate it. Do not be afraid to ask for help and say hey I am sad.

    I am going to stop or you will get a novel!! Normally I wouldn’t comment, but this time I just had to. Once again, cyber hugs from a complete stranger. You are a wonderful person Cate, I love your tweets and you are appreciated.

    ps I am not some loony cyber stalker, just a crazy lady from down the line who loves life 🙂

    • January 31, 2014 at 9:10 am
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      Thank you, Irene! I’d never assume you were a loony cyber stalker, and I appreciate you taking the time to write me a novel! x

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