It’s a while since I spoke frankly about myself. Do you mind these little interludes? Most other wedding blogs don’t really talk about the shadow side. They skirt away from topics which don’t hold themselves in a good light. Yes they mumble words that oh I don’t look pretty today or crumbs you should see my kitchen but are they ever truly honest or do we think that’s what you want to hear? I don’t begrudge them the fact that they show only the rainbows and unicorns. Why would you want to portray anything less than perfection if perfection is what you are trying to sell? However whilst I do love the fabulous, I am certainly not trying to sell perfection.
So deep breath and optimism.
5 years ago I was first diagnosed with depression. The shame I feel is still so very close to the surface.
However, I notice as I use pinterest more, I am pinning words of hope. Indeed I met with one of my doctors the other day (ooo get me I see many many doctors!) and whilst I am quite ill right now, one day I will be better. I will no longer use depression as an excuse or as a badge of honour. I will be able to move on.
She forces me to look at my life and see what I have achieved. Perhaps I do need to list my achievements. Old anna would say I should never be so brazen about achievements as 1. they mean nothing and 2. hello arrogance. Yet lovely doctor (they’re all lovely but this one really doesn’t need to be) has made the point that even my modest achievements are important.
So here goes -
1. I am still alive. If I am brutally honest I would still say I wish I had never been born, am jealous of those who have taken their own lives and wish I could be braver and take my own but there is a tiny voice. A voice which has guided me away from the (not so metaphorical) platform edge. I’m not sure to whom that voice belongs but I am alive because of it. The past few months have been hard but I am still alive.
2. Bean. Even in my darkest moments, I have a man who cares so very much about me despite, well everything. He is a good, kind man. Unless he happens to be a very secret masochist there is obviously something about me he loves.
3. I am a doctor. Sure, it is not the most amazing achievement but it is a honour no-one can take from me. I know how to work hard and flourish. I only found out how much I love knowledge at university. My first, distinctions and national prizes are a mere by product of my passion to learn and care about people.
4. I care. I care about people. I care about my Bertie. I worry. This is not a negative attribute. Yes, it can be exhausting for me but I still always want to care. I want you to know you are not alone. I do oft take solace in one of my favourite Shakespeare quotations.
“Come what come may,
Time and the hour run through the roughest day.
~ Macbeth. Act I, scene iii”
5. I write a wedding blog which is slowly but surely becoming a strong community. I love it here. I love your insights and I want to know your fears. Being a woman (or indeed a man – hello chaps) in the 21st century is confusing and difficult. I want to make things easier and slightly more fabulous for you.
Finally, perhaps most importantly (save Bean), without depression and with my old conveyor belt career goals (I still have my career desires but know it will take a little longer to get there) I would not have met you. For a consummate introvert this really is an achievement. I see that not everyone will want to be my acquaintance leave alone a true friend. Yet even from those who would not wish their worst enemy on me I have learnt things. From the important of believing in myself to conveying my hopes and dreams effectively and emotively. So for those who do not like me, I still thank you. If you still read these words (I doubt it) I thank you. It was not in our final parting that you taught me such lessons, you were teaching me all along.
And so to my friends. Without depression, I would not have started my first little blog, I would not have connected with wonderful men and women all across the world. I would not have met you. I hope you know who you are. You are the ones who know me, we may live many miles apart but you have been there for me. You continue to inspire and make me smile. Please know I love you. You embrace the ideals I want to live and breathe.
So in many ways I want to thank my depression. It has made me see how lucky I could be. How lucky I really am. No, it’s not a Nobel or Pulitzer prize but it is still something. I am not nothing. We are not nothing.
Together we are something quite special. I, for one, am incredibly proud of that.
Hope springs eternal. (Even if Bertie eats all the roast chicken and all we have is a wishbone to paint gold).
And if you happen to want to make me smile more, take our little survey - show me what you want and what you like. We want you to love it here.