Sometimes all we need is a gentle nudge and, depending where we are standing, we will feel the earth slip beneath our feet and go catapulting off a cliff at 90mph.
My life has been going really well over the last couple of months. I have been marathon training and fundraising (at least trying to) and not stopping for a moment to catch a breath but I've enjoyed it all. I was truly in a happy place until a nudge saw me fall.
Admitting you have depression isn't terrible easy for anyone with it and it can take anything tiny to something significant to trigger it. For me the only way I can describe it is like jumping into an ice cold lake. It takes your breath away, you can’t move. It makes you panic, your mind races. You feel like you’re drowning. You tread water until you are so exhausted you just want to give up.
I saw a video of a free diver, diving into the deepest indoor swimming pool on social media today. As I saw him descend into the blackness, I felt a cold blackness compress me. When I felt the nudge, I started treading water, panicking, everything becoming dark and but at the same time my head buzzing with thoughts. Having been there before it's a place I don't want to visit again in a hurry and feeling that first slip on the the slippery slope over the edge is enough to send me into full panic mode.
Mental illnesses are still stigmatised and many people are filled with prejudice and fear simply out of lack of education/understanding. They are actually more common than most people think.
Running is my anti-depressant, my natural high. I think because it’s made me so much happier, I love it so much. I am so thankful to have found it and I am hoping it will pick me up from this 'low' once again.
I guess I wanted to write this to share with you all that underneath the I'm OK, sometimes we aren't really OK, I'm not OK. We are all battling our demons, just look beyond the surface and try not to judge. Give some compassion and give someone a big hug, look after each other. I know after treading water all day I could do with one.