I had my first appointment with the midwives here at our local public hospital yesterday ( even though i work for a pricate health insurance company, i cant afford private health insurance - go figure! ) and, as other mums may know, you get asked about a bazillion questions during your "booking in " interview. Questions about your current pregnancy, your previous pregnancies, about your medical history and the medical histories of your immediate families. And some of those questions encompass mental health, both past and present. What struck me yesterday is how comfortable i seem to have become with my mental health issues, how at ease i was talking about them.
In the past, even when talking to medical professionals, i was always a bit embarrassed to have to admit to being a bit of a headcase. Not that i was a headcase, but sometimes with all the stigma that is attached to mental illness thats how you feel - like a bit of a nutter. But not anymore. I think in the years between having been first diagnosed, then treated, and now havingt not had any type of intervention for almost 4 years, i think i've matured into seeing my depression and social anxiety disorder for what it was - just another illness like any other, and completely out of my control. I'm not exactly to the point of shouting out to all and sundry " I used to have depression! " but i'm at the point now where if i'm asked i feel no need to shy away from the truth.
Why? Because its MY truth - a part of my past that really has shaped who i am. I cant run away from it, even if i wanted to, so i'm at a point now, as a woman and as a mother, where i'm able to admit to my past darkness without feeling ashamed of it ( even if others may feel i should be, i try to use my mental health issues to make me feel bad ). Its a part of who i was, and who i am, and who i'm going to be in the future. And its the yardstick against which i measure my current happiness - as i've said previously, I believe that we need to experience the dark rainy days to fully appreciate a little bit of sunshine....
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