Most people who click on my blog link expect to find a crazy post with a funny image, and that is what you will find for the most part. I make no effort to pretend that this page is anything other than what it is - an outlet for my loopiness.
My readership varies; I have family and friends from 'The Real World' who regularly stop by, then there's my online buddies who I've known for years, my blogging buddies who stumbled on my blog right at the start, and my newest followers, who found me through last month's April A-Z Challenge.
Why I am rambling? Well, I thought that a short ramble would help to ease the serious subject into the post - nobody wants to be thrust into seriousness right from the off, it can be a little disorientating, especially if you are expecting a rude limerick or a bit of Taffing.
The truth is, this blog came to be because I needed a bit of escapism, and it probably ended up being a kind of therapy too. My online persona has always been a slightly exaggerated version of me, a version that is a little bit naughty and a lot crazy. When I first started blogging in 2009, I had no idea that I suffered from episodic depression. Well, I knew that I had periods of 'The Blues', but I didn't realise that they were anything other than normal. I mean, everyone feels down now and again, don't they?
My 'Blues' started way back when I was a teen, and having these periods of blackness so often over the years kind of made me a little immune to them. They came so often that they were just something that I expected. They were a part of me, just like my hair's tendency to curl was a part of me. They were just something that I had to deal with, rather like the annoying cough that I get every winter.
It wasn't until I hit a really big wall of blackness last year that I understood that feeling like crap wasn't something I had to deal with alone. I had been suffering bouts of depression over the years without realising it. They had been coming in spurts, and they rarely lasted longer than a few days, so I had put them down to just feeling sorry for myself (I can be a bit of a Drama Queen). With hindsight, I can see that these small bursts of depression were very clear warning signs. I'd basically been sitting on a time bomb. It wasn't a question of if I would ever hit the point of a breakdown, it was when.
Obviously there are triggers, and over the years there have been many. I think my stubbornness was part of what helped me to stave off the inevitable falling to pieces that was waiting for me. I was too busy looking after my kids to be bothered with an irksome breakdown, after all. Of course, the culmination of all of the little bouts of depression eventually caught up with me, and all I needed was one last trigger to set me on the path to losing the plot.
I am still flabbergasted at the extent of my deterioration when that final trigger came. I'd read lots over the years about people who suffered depression, about how they couldn't function normally, about how they felt so bad that they didn't want to get out of bed, about how they often had suicidal thoughts. I always had sympathy for these people, but I never really 'got' it. I never truly understood how anyone could feel so low that they thought dying would be a better alternative to living.
Now I 'get' it. I am only thankful that I had children to ground me during my lowest point, because I am pretty sure that if it wasn't for them I would have contemplated suicide myself. Only the thought of leaving them motherless was enough to keep me from doing something stupid. Just as they wouldn't be around without me, I surely wouldn't be around without them.
Now this post isn't supposed to be all dark and depressing, it really isn't. After a few months of trial and error, my doctor finally found medication that helped me. It's taken over a year, and that year has been hard, no question, but I am now back to my normal self. Oh, I still have moments of darkness, true, but that is part and parcel of being me. That will never change. The difference is now I know that these periods of blues will go away. I don't have to keep plodding along and hoping for the best, or bury my negative feelings so deep that they fester inside of me.
The medication blocks the worst of the feelings, but it's having an outlet that allows me to be silly that really completes the treatment. Making people laugh brings a smile to my face. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it's true. My natural inclination when it comes to writing fiction is to write dark and emotional stuff, believe it or not, but my blog has never been that way. I don't know how or why, but my blog became my playground. Maybe my subconscious knew that I needed a place to be silly, and thus the Princess of Procrastination was born. Maybe my Inner Nut came forward and forced her way on to the page, pushing my darker self into the background.
How ever it happened, I'm really glad that it did.
To finish, I just want to say that if you know anyone who suffers from depression, or suffer from it yourself, please, please, please be aware that it does get better. I'm by no means an expert, and I'm not arrogant enough to believe that that my own experience of it is the worst that it can get, but what I do know is that it's not permanent. It might feel like it is, but it isn't. Take whatever help is available, whether that's support from your family and friends, medication, or even making a silly blog page. You don't need to be superhuman to get through depression, you just need to know that you're not alone, and that you don't need to hide. It's not something to be ashamed of, and it's not something that can't be overcome.
Here endeth the serious post.