Let’s talk depression (2)

I like to think of myself as living with depression rather than suffering from; it puts a more optimistic and positive spin on the illness.  And yes it is an illness like any other, a chronic one which some associate with being very serious or even terminal, no it means it is long term.  No magic wand, fairy godmother to kiss it better, no amount of willing, pulling your socks up, pulling yourself together, snapping out of it is gonna do it.

I must have read all the self help books that were ever published and seen countless counsellors, courtesy of the nhs and privately when I could afford it.  Psychologists and when it got really serious, as in suicidal thoughts serious, even psychiatrists galore.  Weird that there are no resources to help you but once you say you would be better off dead, miraculously a whole crisis team turns up on your doorstep daily until you have seen the error of your ways.  An appointment is made to see your local consultant psychiatrist.  They can’t do enough.  Is this to cover their arse?  Not wanting to appear before the GMC or another enquiry?  Lessons to be learnt?  Lack of communication between the multi-agencies?

The crisis was of course the recurrence after almost reaching the magical 10 year ‘cured’ mark and the business going down the drain and the hubby having a nervous breakdown, how convenient, and there was selfish me expecting support.  I was told off by ‘friends’, clearly they were his not mine, ‘Can’t you see the man is suffering?’  Excuse me who is the one with the 2.9cm grade 3 lump on the side of the total mastectomy?  Grade 3 for you out there lucky enough to have escaped breast cancer is the most serious short of metasis, which means the cancer has spread, that is stage 4, which spells the end.  Time to write your will, say goodbye to your family.  Then they don’t talk about ‘cure’ but jargon like ‘palliative care’ is bandied about.  That means they’ll make you comfortable, try to improve your quality of life, control pain but you’re going to die in the near future.  Time to get your affairs in order. 

I started off talking about depression and have digressed.  But you know as well as I nothing is clear cut.  It is all a murky messy slimy mess.  Depression, cancer, divorce are all entangled in the web of my fragmented head and heart.  The holy trinity of mind, body, soul and for me the three curses of my life the 2Ds and the big C.

I am convinced I am still here despite it all merely to irritate.  I am good at that. 

Watch this space.  For further installments of broken heart, mind, body, spirit; coming to a good blog near you.

Over and out Mama G.

About cho wan yau

Teacher by day poet/writer by night. Words have been my first love and will be my last. As a child I locked myself into the toilet devouring books which transported me to distant lands. Poetry shared penned from 2009-2010 in a titanic struggle to stay sane at Heartbreak Hotel. Please check it out on chowanyau@wordpress.com. Any comments or feedback welcome. Why not share your story with me, because we all have one, don't we?

Posted on October 1, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Wonder full post Thanks

  2. Thanks for your kind comment.

  3. The thing about your posts… while you convey so thoroughly the pain and hardship of what you endured, there is also such strength, confidence and signs of how much you’ve healed, just through your words. It really does make me think ‘This is how I hope to be, in the future; still remembering all the suffering I went through, of course, but having come through it somehow and am not broken down into pieces’.

    It is so true about living with depression btw, instead of just suffering from it. You took the words straight out of my brain there, because lately I’m coming to a sort of ‘acceptance’ over the fact that depression and sadness just really become a part of you, fused into your very soul and being, and is no longer really able to be removed or distinguished as just another ailment. It is just… you.
    I also am very disappointed in how the system works over here in Ontario, because try as I might, I can never find proper help for my mental health when I so desperately need it, and there are insane waiting lists that go on for MONTHS. I could have killed myself ten times over in that wait-time and it just grinds my gears. Your post actually made me wonder if whether or not I should just call up the crisis line again, and this time when they ask me if I’m suicidal, i should just say yes, even though I always say no. Maybe it’ll at least work to FINALLY get someone here to help me instead of leaving me alone, like always, to fend for myself and never even succeed in finding help.
    So stupid, if you ask me. Sigh. Mama G, thank goodness you adopted me. Maybe you give me more help than anyone of them could anyway. hug =(

    • Ah Jade I wouldn’t actually admit to being ‘suicidal’ if I were you. Why? Cos then things are taken out of your hands and they’ll ‘section’ you and throw you in a psychiatric hospital, drugged you to the balls and still they don’t give you no counselling.

      What I’d do is keep pestering them. Phoning them up, writing, making such a fuss, causing a scene, refusing to leave until they offer you counselling, something concrete in writing, not just fob you off to get rid of you. When you become such a pain they will do it just to get rid of you. It’s not right that we should have to go to such lengths to get help but it’s the reality. You have to play the system.

      Write copious letters of complaint. If you write they are obliged to reply, to cover their arse. If you did do something silly, hypothetical of course, not recommended under any circumstances, there is always hope, they don’t want to have to explain before the a Medical Board and be accused of negligence and then there is an enquiry and lessons to be learnt, which are always the same but they have to go through the farce. This is what happens here anyway especially when a poor abused kid is beaten to death. Then it is always failure of multi-agencies to communicate. They know what the bloody problem is why dont they sort it so another kid doesn’t die that horrific death, and is actually protected. They are called Child Protection Service after all, so do some bloody protecting of kids at risk.

      I am a teacher and I would have spotted a kid with bruises all over their body or scavenging the bin for food cos he was starving and not bought the mum’ bullshit that it is a medical condition. You’ll think they look into it, contact social services or seek independent medical advice, is there such a condition and does this kid have this condition??? Not rocket science but they just don’t care.

      Rant over. So evil to inflict pain and torture on your kid, beat him up, starve him, oh my heart breaks thinking what he endured and only 4. His own mum who bored him in his womb and gave birth to this precious life and the bloody bf but why did she allow it and was part of it???

      Rant over but it infuriates me and nobody is held accountable and it happens again and again and again and they give us the same bullshit but how does that help the kid who died and those in the future??? It’s not happening to their kid or grandkid so they don’t give a damn.

      Over and out Mama G.

  4. Dear Mama G,

    Everybody has depression. A phrase my Australian uncle said to me during his last visit. I’m not going to hide it. I’m being fair to myself, so I adapt to it and handle it pretty well now. It struck me like a lightning last month, which I’ve put some of my writing on hold. If suffering from internal struggles isn’t enough, some depression caused by my ‘smarty-skirt’ aunt. Mind you, when her daughter told her she’s suffered from depression, she took it as a joke. I was furious but that’s the whole mother-and-daughter- affair that I got to stay out of it.

    Everyday I’m facing a Big C patient. You may say that oh, a caretaker wouldn’t understand what a patient feels. Trust me, I’ve seen a daughter who tries to take care of her father in the chemo ward. She’s in a worst condition than him.

    • No I would never say that Deborah. I’m sure it is worse to see a loved one in pain. You feel so helpless and you’d rather be the patient. I would if it was my daughter.

      Not sure if everybody has depression maybe we all feel down sometimes but that is different from clinical depression which is a serious medical condition requiring treatment: anti-depressants and talking therapy.

      World Health Organisation states a quarter of the global population will experience depression at some point in their life. That is a hell of a lot of people and obviously a major health issue which needs addressing and resources. Leaders need to stop paying lip service to the importance of mental well being and allocate hard cash to the Cinderella services. Everybody fear cancer and heart attack and no doubt they are major killers but depression though silent is just as lethal. Added to the grief is an undeserved/unjustified sense of overwhelming guilt. Should I have spotted the signs? Could I have stopped the suicide?

      Many are closet depressives. Stigma and ignorance rampant, ridiculous in the 21st C. My ex threw my illness back in my face and the most ignorant thing I ever heard was his accusation that I could get better if I wanted but I was too stubborn. I knew how, the counsellors, psychologists galore told me how to, the same advice over and over again, he knows, he was there, but I had to do it my way. All these years he waited for me to change but now he is pulling the plug cos he knows I will never change!’

      Who wants to lie in bed feeling miserable and wanting to die with no hope and and unsupportive husband who resents you for being ill again and not pulling yourself together. Kind of like I was being depressed just to spite him, just to be awkward, just cos I want to stay depressed.

      he has no clue. Lucky him, he obviously has never been clinically depressed!!!

    • You work on a cancer ward? Wow that’s a tough job, respect!!! Nurse? Doctor?

      • No, I’m not. But I’m taking care of my dad who has Big C. He’d tried oral drugs and had done radiation and chemo…and now the oncologist may put him under trial drug if there’s another relapse.

        It takes LOADS of patience to deal with my dad. I have to put aside our personal conflicts (first step) and then when I took him to his radiation and chemo therapy (at the same time, yours truly is facing financial and employment crisis), he used to say that I haven’t done enough for him. Apparently, he’s still in good condition.

  5. Ah sweetheart they all say that, I could chop off my arm for my mum and she wouldn’t be satisfied, but that’s Chinese parents for you. I wouldn’t take it to heart because secretly he is grateful and happy he had brought up such a ‘good’ daughter.

    You know my mum is senile now and doesn’t recognise me. All my life I longed for her to say ‘I’m proud of you’, just the once. I am the youngest of four but the first to go to univ. When I qualified as a teacher in the UK she didn’t give me a pat on the back but commented, ‘Why didn’t you become a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant? Why did you have to become a teacher, they are always poor!’. Well she was right but still.

    The irony now my sister tells me Mum is very proud of you, she used to go around boasting how clever you are! Well, damn, I wished she had let me in on the secret. I wouldn’t have gone round with this millstone of ‘Not good enough’ round my neck, not being the boy they so wished for. Last Chance Saloon.

    I’m glad the docs seem to have sorted your dad out. Fingers crossed. Do you not have other family who could have shared the burden/care? You did your part be proud of that. You didn’t turn your back on your dad when he needed you the most.

    That is all we can ever do, try out best, do what we thought was right at the time.

    Hope your job sit sorts itself out. Life is tough everywhere, especially on the financial front.

    Stay strong Mama G. x

    ps. How come your aunt makes you depressed? Why let her?? You have more than enough on your plate, don’t allow her to dump her neuroses on you. They are her problems.

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