After publishing the email from my sister last week I got another email from a friend, thanking me for doing the cycle, and for helping her have the courage to share her story of her fight. Like Sinéad, she has explicitly given permission to share. Thank you, Mary.
One Little Thought
Fear. Grips you. Tears like wolves teeth. Knives in your belly. Concrete blocks on your chest. It never goes away. Night is worst. Hands move around the clock and no sleep comes.
Days pass. And at every moment you wonder will you be discovered. Discovered for who you are. A huge failure. A person living a half life. Whose breath never fills up their lungs. A Life of perpetual apology. Stuck. Frustrated. Wondering what might have been if your brain and your whole being didn’t operate on the negative.
Then one day a diagnosis comes. From the mouth of a young woman the same age as me. Uttered with certainty. I fall. Knowing that this new brand is now me. I can never out run it. It can never be unsaid.
The person on my passport is unknown to me. There is a break. A massive crack and I have fallen fully in. And now I have to find myself again. Put myself back with the picture in the passport. Will I ever be the same?
This diagnosis tells me of my future. Medication. The burden of lost dreams. What is left of my hope shatters. I know I am lost for sure.
Somewhere, far, far, far away from me I grab onto a thought. One little thought. “This is not me, this is not who I am”. I have to get back, get back to me. I want me. I want my life back. I’m not a description in blue biro on two pieces of paper. I am a person.
I will decide for me who I am. A label does not describe or even scratch the surface of the totality of me. It is for others to use; to shortcut, to find medication, to put me on a plan. That’s OK.
So I begin. Slowly at first. I wash my face. Walk ten steps. Brush my hair. Read two lines. Read three lines. And begin to believe in the possibility of me once more.
One day I marry the man of my dreams. One day I give birth to the most beautiful boy. One day I become CEO of my own company. One day, today, I chart the journey. All these days I never expected to see.
The description in blue biro foretold a different story. Yet somehow from deep within I changed the plot. The fight has been brutally hard. Far easier to stay ill than to get better; but I keep pushing on, hearing the echo of that one little thought. This one little thought saved my life.
Depression will never be a friend. It will always be an enemy I respect. It has taught me to love the little things. The smell of fresh towels. The feel of clean teeth. The touch of a loved one. The joy of a kiss.
My enemy is part of me. It has forced me to dig deep and to ask the hardest of questions. It has helped me find my voice. It has inspired me and helped me grow.
mary @ marycarty.com
8th May 2014