“With help, I’ve come out the other side. Recovery has given me a totally different life.”
Ann has been supported by Links to Wellbeing in South Australia.
I’ve suffered with acute depression for a long time. Recently I found myself in a pretty dark place. It was affecting my relationships with my family, my friends and my marriage. It became a case of having to do something before it became too late; I felt I had to seek assistance.
I spoke with my GP who changed my medication and suggested I see a psychologist. I had no idea where to start with that, so she referred me on to Links To Wellbeing, and they connected me with Richard down at Marion.
I didn’t think I’d respond to a psychologist. I thought I was just too practical, but it’s worked out really well for me. I actually look forward to talking to him. We have discussions and a few laughs together. He’s made it a much more pleasurable experience than I thought it was going to be. We’ve worked together on strategies that I can use when I’m feeling anxious, depressed or even angry, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or simple ways to calm myself.
Going back to work has been a huge part of my recovery. Last time I tried to apply for a job the anxiety became so great I had to withdraw. I’m qualified, but I didn’t know if I’d be strong enough to make it to an interview. This time I did though, and I got the job.
Now I absolutely love what I’m doing. I’m a person who likes to fix problems, but I’ve become better at accepting what I can’t change. Richard taught me how to work through that. He’s also taught me how to face the things that I can make a difference with. When I feel anxious, I know to go away and take time for myself, to do some deep breathing exercises and smell the roses.
The strategies aren’t rocket science, but they really work. I don’t get so stressed over silly thoughts that run through my head. I’m actually really positive about my mental health and the outlook. Every so often I feel a bit down in the dumps, but it’s nothing compared to where I was before. I accept the blue days for what they are and just move on.
It helps to know you can scratch the surface and find others just like yourself who suffer with mental health problems. I think until you’ve been in that dark place, people don’t understand what is going on with you, because you look and act the same on the outside. It’s really scary when you’re in that state.
With help, I’ve come out the other side. I can appreciate the blue sky and the birds singing in the trees like I never could before. I’ve also learned not to let myself get into that state again before I address it.
My marriage has certainly improved and there is a much calmer atmosphere in our house. I’m curious to see what I can achieve at my age. I want to see how far I can take myself and my career. Recovery has given me a totally different life.
Now I can see how mental health is just another sickness like measles or the mumps. I don’t believe that it should be pushed under the rug.