When you have backache, a headache, toothache or you injure yourself and are in pain, you become very focussed on yourself. This is natural, your body wants you to work out how to deal with the pain and get better. I have found that it’s the same with depression, without the obvious and pinpointable pain. In my experience, and in a similar way to when I suffer a bad headache or feel very sick, if I feel miserable I want to isolate myself, do very little and retreat inside myself in an effort to find a way to heal. It’s quite a selfish way to be. I remember when I was struggling a lot with depression about three or four years ago, becoming very antisocial and wanting nothing more than to stay at home.
I am very lucky now that my earlier illness has dropped in intensity to only an occasional seasonal depression, but there’s still so many of the same issues to deal with, even with those infrequent episodes. I am lucky that my children, in the main, don’t see me looking miserable. They, together with my husband, are the three people guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. they are all three so selflessly loving towards me all the time, willing to drop anything if I feel like a cuddle.
In the interest of journalistic integrity, no sooner had I written the last sentence than I had to prove it to be accurate. I went directly to find my family. My sons immediately put down the wii remotes and gave me a cuddle on request, and my husband turned from the washing up bowl and dried his hands straight away in order to fulfil my wish for a hug!
However, my husband has often, over the years, had to take up the slack when misery renders me less than able for fulfilling my daily tasks, and I am so thankful to have such a lovely, uncomplaining man for my lifelong companion. He has never sighed if the dinner is unmade on his return from work, is never too busy or too tired to sit and cuddle me when I’m feeling low and never makes me feel anything less than wholly loved.
I do sometimes wonder how I’d cope if I were on my own. I very much enjoy and appreciate being in such a loving family group, and I wonder what I’d do to pick up my mood if I didn’t have them. I don’t often ponder the ‘road untravelled’, preferring to wonder about the future as being something over which I have a modicum of control.
I’m looking forward to a year with a couple of holidays, a bit of weight loss, a lot of dyeing and knitting and a new baby in the family! I’m looking forward to actually getting on with some pattern designing, getting back to having my market stall again, experimenting with different colours and yarns and maybe visiting a wool festival. I’m aiming for a well balanced year – one where I’m busy enough to make me feel useful and as if I’m achieving something, without being so busy that I have no time for fun.
In summary, I’m optimistic today!