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Broken Crayons Still Colour. Saturday May 9, 2015

In my 20's, depression had the ability to knock me off my feet and put me in bed for weeks at a time. I've come some distance since then. Therapy, medication, self-help, knowledge that comes from experience, and just the confidence that comes with the whole, I've-been-here-before-I-know-it-will-pass sapience. It all helps. A lot.

One of the things I fret a lot about when faced with a low these days (which, as you may know from previous posts, I have been in just recently) is that folk won't understand how, if I'm functioning - more or less - I can be poorly.(Oh I know, I know. I need to quit this need to have implicit understanding from fellow humans. I'm working at it. Promise.)

The depressed individual can feel like a shadowy ghost of their real self. They may feel too raw and sensitive to be with more than one person at a time. And the smallest of happenings may trigger teary-eyed despair. Even if they are managing to function they are still climbing a vertical mountain face.

That all said, a soul accompanied by sadness can laugh at a joke, feel gratitude, get out of the house and, although perhaps in a much more limited way, give. They may even find it possible to stick to a normal routine.

Yes, 'broken crayons can still colour' (I don't know who said that, but I love it).

Another enormous paranoia of mine when I'm depressed is that people might think me an attention seeker.

The thing is, when very low, I don't just wish I could erase my name from the earth, I long for all memory of my name to be erased. I want to possess that cloak from fairy tales that magically makes the wearer disappear. I want to be invisible. Attention? No - a bit of understanding maybe - but definitely not attention.

These are two (possible) mis-conceptions about mental illness that I fret about. Are there any myths (imaginary or otherwise) surrounding depression that you would like to debunk?

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 7:20am

Oh Suzy! I'm sorry you feel like this, but I am *so* glad you shared:


"folk won't understand how, if I'm functioning - more or less - I can be poorly"

and this:

"Therapy, medication, self-help, knowledge that comes from experience, and just the confidence that comes with the whole, I've-been-here-before-I-know-it-will-pass sapience. It all helps. A lot."

So familiar and so true, but knowing I am not alone in feeling either are deeply comforting. It makes the word of difference to know that if someone else can describe exactly what I am feeling then maybe it is not "me" but that evil depression gremlin making me feel these things...

Thank you for sharing and keep on keeping on, knowing *you* are not alone either.


Sally Backhouse Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 7:33am

Hi Suzy, I always read the Moodscope emails that I receive but have never commented before, however your post struck such a resounding chord that I wanted to say Thank You! I love the analogy that Broken Crayons still Colour, and that we maybe functioning but are still climbing a vertical mountain face. I hope you feel brighter soon, and thank you again for sharing your thoughts. It is so reassuring to know that I am not alone in my experiences and that others feel the same way too. I am not seeking any attention, just understanding from others , so that they can continue to support me in my recovery.


Leah Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 7:42am

You describe your experience of depression in such a moving yet understandable way.
One myth about depression that I would like to debunk is that depression like many illnesses is experienced differently by each individual. I was once told "You can't be depressed because you are fat". The understanding being that people lose their appetite when depressed and do not over eat!!
If we all understand that we all experience depression differently we can be compassionate to each other.

Thanks again for expressing your feelings.


Hopeful One Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 7:50am

Hi Suzy doll- you are most certainly not on your own or alone..I too remember the feeling of profound utter loneliness and isolation when in the depth of my depression.It felt like I was in a bell jar looking out to the world which seemed to have no connection with me or me to them. When I went to see my GP I described my feeling to him but the poor chap had no idea what to do( I had to ask for a glass of water as he did not have even that in his room,GP's please note). I realized in that moment that the recovery would come from me.

Julia Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 8:48am

I agree with you Leah! It seems almost impossible for anyone, professionals or non professionals who have never been depressed to truly understand how we feel. But you can't send a mental health worker on a course on how to feel depressed, well you can but you know what I mean; I guess the really good ones don't make judgements or silly statements (like the fat equals no depression!) but listen and accept we are telling them like it is for us. I think there are similarities in many depressed people, e.g lack of self confidence, energy etc but I agree, each of us is unique; just as we react differently to the same drugs.

Julia Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 8:52am

Really thoughtful meaningful blog always. I love that broken crayons can still colour. Thank you for this little gem.For me, it's the feeling that I must present myself to the outside world as normal and functioning, that's so exhausting. I've always done this. I also don't want to appear as a victim which iI guess is the same as attention seeking.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 7:14pm

This is beautiful Suzy love. A depression myth I would like to debunk? Well, I know I am sane, level-headed and absolutely normal. AND I have Bipolar disorder.You don't have to be mad to have a mental health issue. I would like to debunk the assumption a lot of people have, when I tell them about the bipolar, that I am "on a high right now!" No - I am just *normally* a happy, friendly, joyful person. When I'm "high" I wouldn't be talking to you because you would be just one of the annoying "little" people who are *just SO stupid" around me (I'm not nearly so nice when I'm high). I would like to debunk the theory that depression is all in your head or is caused by adverse circumstances (although these can certainly trigger an episode or contribute to one.) I could go on, but then this would be a post in itself. Thank you Suzy, I really loved this post.

Julia Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 8:01pm

Surely Mary, it could be caused by adverse circumstances? It could also be mostly in our heads??? As you say, a blog subject!

Anonymous Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 11:05pm

HO, I agree, and sometimes a glass of water, a tissue, an arm's all acceptance and means so much. I'm with you on "recovery would come from me". Love ratg x.

Anonymous Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 11:06pm

Hi girls, yes agree, it's so different for everyone! I find that really interesting. So much to learn from others... Love ratg x.

Anonymous Sat, May 9th 2015 @ 11:09pm

Thanks Suzy, I love broken crayons...:-) love ratg x.

Sarah Sun, May 10th 2015 @ 8:36am

Hi Suzy - I too have recently sunk to the deoth of despair (again). And your blog is a true reflection on exactly how it feels. I empathise with you completely. I love broken crayons. Thank you Sarah.

Suzy Sun, May 10th 2015 @ 1:18pm

Thanks for all your insightful comments folks, particularly if commenting for the first time. You help me see ( all the more so) the importantance of taking care of my own feelings and recovery because no else will understand my health and myself better than I.

Di Murphey Mon, May 11th 2015 @ 9:43am

Good job, Moodscope. I love you. Di

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