Days filled with darkness. One small question how are you would ruin my day. My sense of humour and fun lay dormant. Giggles like bells, fell silent. Now a hermit, I refused party invites. I dreamt Dawn escaped to a cottage by the sea.
Notebook scribbles told my story. Lazy left leg. Epilepsy. Abrupt termination of my career. Utter exhaustion. They were a small price to pay for life. My selfish suffering shocked me. My tumour only low grade. All part of survivors’ guilt; the silent devastation of a benign tumour.
I set a deadline for finding Dawn and hatched a plan if I couldn't. Escape my only solution. My GP suggested antidepressants but I would sort this out on my own, I was not weak.
Physical support at home to get me back on my feet was in abundance but patients with non malignant tumours fall into a psychological black hole, funding insufficient to meet their needs.
Counselling and support provided through the charity ‘Hammer Out’ started my rescue. Seen by my neurosurgeon a referral to the neuro-psychiatrist followed. The label severe clinical depression was stamped on my forehead and tablets prescribed.
The pills gradually dried the floods and the sunshine peeked from behind the dark clouds. My sparkle reignited.
With the help of my niece, we captured my journey in photographs; by seeing the changes the process of acceptance began.
Now I advocate antidepressants and counselling as a sign of strength. Acknowledging I have an illness called Depression took courage. Talking about it took more, but once the floodgates opened I was astounded by how many others have been hiding their story.
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