I wish I could report in and say I’m in a better place now, but I can’t. Things haven’t gotten better for me, they’ve gotten worse. As of Monday I’m going to be off work on a stress leave. I never thought it would get this bad; that I would do this, but it has.
Four weeks ago I slipped and fell in the bathroom and tore some ligaments in my right leg. If anyone else has done this, you will know it’s very painful. It’s turned out to be much more painful even then the broken leg. In health care they measure a person’s pain level on a scale from one to ten. Mine has been between three and often up to eight continually. The only time I’ve really been pain-free is when I’m asleep. If I spend any length of time on my feet, it goes up to eight. I’m going for physio 3 times a week and it’s helping a bit – but it’s going to take a long time to heal.
I’ve opened up in the past about not opening mail. I’ve opened up about suffering from depression and now I’m going to confess something else that affects my life. I’m a hoarder, only a recently acknowledged hoarder. I’ve always found it difficult to get rid of things but in the past little while it’s escalated into something that’s becoming dangerous. The reason I slipped and fell was clothes on my bathroom floor. I have 2 bedrooms I can’t even really get into as they are so filled with ‘stuff’. The bedroom I sleep in is getting worse daily. I don’t have anyone over to my house any longer as I’m too ashamed as to how it looks.
The horrible part is I can’t seem to stop and make things better. I had taken a few days’ vacation time a couple of weeks ago to try and make a dent but I’d fallen just before that and I couldn’t do it at all. And since I have been in pain and not able to move about because of the leg it’s only escalated the mess and the hoarding situation. I watch Hoarding, Buried Alive sometimes and I really feel for and sympathize with the hoarders. I GET their anguish as I feel it myself. I don’t know if I can let go of my ‘stuff’, I like to think I can but I don’t know.
I don’t have people over to the house any more as I’m so ashamed of what I’ve let happen.
So in this stress leave I’m taking the time to ‘fix’me. I want to get on meds that work for depression. There is an organization here in the city that helps with hoarders that I’ve been trying to get hold of and most important of all is I want to find a therapist who deals with people who suffer from depression.
I just want to stress again that this is an illness. For those who have never suffered from it but may have friends or family that do, it’s not as simple as telling them to ‘pull up there bootstraps’ and ‘get over it’. It’s a crippling condition in that self-loathing and hating who we are takes over our whole lives. We tell ourselves and we believe that we are terrible mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers. We tell ourselves that no one can possibly really love us as they don’t know us inside. Depression is an enemy we can’t see, a foe that is difficult to battle as the enemy, the foe is our very selves.
So if I can offer advice to family and friends to loved ones with depression, don’t give up on them. You will probably get very frustrated with them, but as frustrated as you are with them, know they are even more so. I know you may get impatient at times, but try not to let them know as that makes things work. Chances are whatever they may tell you about their depression, it may only be the tip of the iceberg.
Just be kind, be there, love them and know they are in pain and that it isn’t their choice to be this way.
I will get there and hopefully they will too.