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Depression is not being unhappy
Posted by Daisy Duke
22nd Oct 2014

I think my daughter (14) finally understands I am not unhappy.

After finding a little notebook of hers that I thought was empty and I was actually going to throw away, I flipped through the pages and found a list of three wishes she had written. The first was 'I wish my mum was happy and her mental illness would go away'. I was so touched and yet so sad that she though I was not happy. The fact is I AM happy. I have a beautiful husband who I have been with for 18 years, I have a gorgeous daughter who I adore, my own home, two cats, two chihuahuas, an appreciation of the world, I have faith, I have appreciation and I am grateful for all I have.

After finding this notebook I felt I needed to make sure my daughter understood that mental illness is different to being unhappy, that they are not the same thing and the reason I cry and get distressed is that I am in mental pain rather than feeling unhappy with anything. So I made a point of talking to her and explaining the difference, over a period of a few weeks I re-iterated all the facts and asked her if she understood, she said she did.

Yesterday I had quite a bad episode, a melt down. Unfortunately my daughter was here and had to witness it. However, she made me a cup of tea, hugged me and kissed me and said - 'you're happy' - and smiled at me. Through the tears I smiled and laughed and said 'Yes darling I'm happy'.

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