Today is a big day for many, or should I say most Australian’s. It is ANZAC day. A day where we remember and respect all of those that have given there lives to fight for our freedom. Not only Australian’s and New Zealander’s, but also people from other countries, that have supported our diggers. It is also a time to give respect for those that came back home.
But although I have the ultimate respect and can honestly not even imagine what these people and families went through, it sent me on a tangent I was not expecting.
I suffer from Major Depression and Anxiety. There it is in print forever, and I am okay with that. This is my reality and although I have tried to hide it in the past, I am well aware now that did me no favours.
In my struggle to function recently I was voluntarily admitted to a Private Mental Health Hospital (that is a story for another post). I initially assumed it would be other people like myself that had depression and anxiety and perhaps people with some drug addictions too. I quickly learnt that I was wrong. Yes most people had depression and anxiety, but I was heart broken to learn that it felt like the majority of people were there because of horrific trauma. Some of these individuals had been trying to work through their trauma for years, even decades.
Now to tie this back to ANZAC day, today I just saw a television show on ABC and on it they interviewed a young family man that had been to the recent wars we are involved in over in the middle east. Unfortunately for him he came home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This affected his whole life and ability to work, be a husband and a father as he hoped to be. It went on to talk about the need for more to be done to prepare our defence personal for life back at home to avoid and minimise or treat PTSD. I would have hoped there would already be great processes in place for this, yet this story indicates perhaps not.
The man in the ABC interview said he sat down and told his wife he didn’t want to live anymore, I know this feeling and can relate so well (distracted with the husband and kids and dinner time I missed some of the story, however it looked as though there was a happy ending for this family). It is as if everyday I am trying to find that happiness I once felt. When I don’t know how to find the happiness I can’t work out what to do and feel like the only option is to sleep.
Last night I was scrolling through quotes on Pinterest and found the one I used for the title of this post ‘I want to see what happens if I don’t give up’ unknown. It gave me a feeling of positivity. Sometimes we are stuck physically or mentally in whatever is going on in or around us and it doesn’t feel like there is any way out. We focus so much on the hardship and how much worse it is going to get we forget to dream of the possible.
Perhaps those fighting in wars will get home safe, cuddle their loved ones and seek amazing support to deal with the anguish they have been through. Perhaps for me my new antidepressant medication will kick in soon and that together with seeing my counsellor and Psychiatrist regularly will get my life back on track. Perhaps I will find the strength that will allow me to be the wife, mother, daughter and friend I wish I was again.
I know deep down the happy me is still there, if I keep working on my mental health maybe I can find a way to bring her back. I hope if you are in the search for finding contentment in life again this might give you a little hope too.
Always remember our situations are different and never compare your struggles with those around you…we are all individuals. Please seek help if you are in need.
In an emergency ring 000, otherwise your general practitioner or websites like beyondblue or places like lifeline are a good starting point.
Love and peace,