The Mask
Posted by Caronhw
18th Nov 2014

SANE Community member Caron shared some of her blog posts with us:

2 November at 22:18 · Lutterworth

I'm going to write a poem,
to say what I need to say,
about my life and how it feels,
when you ask 'how are you today?'
I smile and out of habit
' I'm very well; and you?'
But no one really understands,
that's rubbish, and not true.
I wake and put 'the mask' on,
I nod and smile you see?
I've practiced this, it's perfect;
but just not really me.
The person underneath the mask is dull and insecure.
Not confident or bubbly, NO, more boring and demure.
That black cloud, overwhelms me.
Those voices loud and clear,
"you're rubbish, really worthless"
yet to me they sound sincere.
I wonder what it's like,
to feel that everything's worthwhile?
To stop and reassure yourself that life is not a trial.
To stop the hurt of feeling.
To rest , no longer dwell,
on all the hurt upon this earth,
that makes it feel like hell.
To live without this feeling,
who knows who I would be?
The cards were dealt,
they're in my hand
and what will be, will be.
So don't be quick to judge me,
please look beyond the smile,
this illness isn't visible,
just walk with me a while xx

7 November at 17:27 · 
SO sad to see SO many good people (who work their backsides off and ALWAYS give their all) SO demotivated. Life should be less about the constant struggle to be 'perfect' and more about appreciating the fantastic and individual qualities of each and everyone of us. We are all different, we all have something unique and we all deserve to be appreciated. 

7 November at 17:49 
This week has been a toughie! I've not been well (mentally) and working has been quite a challenge! But I did it, and the main reason I've coped is thanks to the support I've received from so many. There is a lesson there....sometimes speaking up about something as stigmatised as mental illness brings about a very unexpected reaction. There are people out there who genuinely care!!! Wow! (I didn't realise that) If I could encourage one thing of anyone struggling with mental illness, it would be to not be ashamed, not be embarrassed; talk to someone/anyone or even everyone!! 
I posted my poem on here and it proved cathartic. The (very unexpected) support I received was phenomenal. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou x 
I know my battle against depression is far from over, but I'm actively seeking help, I want to reach out to anyone out there going thru' something similar and say "you are not alone". 
I'm here, and I get you! Totally! Xx

8 November at 17:35 · 
Cooking! Fresh bread, fresh cakes, fresh pasta, chicken flambé, it's called THERAPY for depression. I love my kitchen ..... My family love me being depressed 

13 November at 21:15 
I'm going to keep a diary and share it with you as I promised to be open and honest about my long old battle with the black dog. Tonight I saw mr arora, a consultant psychiatrist , regarding ECT. I know that sounds like extreme therapy, but I'm desperate. He was very kind, and I felt less embarrassed about sobbing my way thru the appointment. Unfortunately ECT is only carried out as an inpatient so that is something else to think about as the thought of being back on a psychiatric ward fills me with dread. For now I've been placed back under the crisis team, and the woman I spoke to was so kind and so gentle. I have a 24 hour telephone number I can call at any time..... That is so reassuring just knowing that someone is at the end of the phone, I can't tell you! So Saturday I go back to hospital, to go thru it all again with the crisis team, and be assessed as to how they can best help me. Although I've cried buckets today, and tried my hardest to 'keep the mask in place ', I think there may be a glimmer of light at the end of this dark and hopeless tunnel. Thankyou for walking a bit further with me xxx

16 November at 10:08 · 
Firstly, thankyou for all of your support, it is proving to be such a lifeline to me. People are so kind and I am truly touched that they have taken time from their busy schedules to write to me. It has made SUCH a difference. When I have felt my lowest, it has raised me up just enough to get my head back above water. Proof again that when you feel totally isolated and alone, if you can try to reach out in anyway at all, by talking (that's a toughie, I know) by writing ( this I find quite therapeutic) or/ and by taking the bull by the horns and sobbing your way thru' a drs appointment and begging for help, that people really do care and you are not alone. Friday (the day after my visit to dr arora) was hard. I really didn't want to go to work as I still felt tearful from the night before. Mask in place, I went in, only to sit at my desk and cry for the first two hours! Sorry to all my lovely work colleagues who rallied round, bless them, trying their best to cheer me up and offer their hugs and support. As anyone who has lived with depression knows, it's often just as hard for the people around you, as they really want to help, but there is very little that can be said or done to improve things without seeking professional help and intervention. By 10am I decided this couldn't continue. I would be scaring the kids if I stayed any longer!! I decided to call the 24/7 crisis team line as instructed should I be feeling particularly low. Having passed thru the 'press 1 if you are a dr', 'press 2 for the one to one team', 'press 3' etc, etc, I remained on hold for a further 15 mins. Now I was feeling pretty low at that time, but for anyone else at their absolute lowest ebb, that 15 minutes could have been the difference between life and death, so I wasn't overly impressed! Finally, having got thru to a very gently spoken lady, they couldn't find my notes.(My name had been spelt incorrectly, with a K instead of a C) so I was told I would just have to make my way to A and E and sit and wait to see a doctor. Bloody brilliant!!! I am now a red, blotchy, tearful wreck and I'm expected to drive to Leicester royal infirmary, park miles away, walk past people and then sit in a large hospital, (where I'm likely to be recognised as I used to work there) sobbing my heart out and looking like a mad woman! ...... Oh, I almost forgot, I AM a mad woman. I left work , came home, got into bed and slept. I'm lucky to be able to completely shut down and sleep. A lot of people with depression can't do this. It has always been my coping mechanism.... I hibernate ! So,back to yesterday. I was assessed by the crisis team, who agreed I need further medical intervention. My medicines have been increased to their maximum dose and I've been prescribed lorazepam to help calm my mind. I took one last night, and I don't know about calming my mind, I had vivid dreams and have awoke exhausted this morning. I am supposed to take them twice daily, but not on days I intend to work. And I DO intend to try to keep working. I need routine, I need people around me and I need busy-ness, despite every urge in my body to retreat under the duvet and sleep, I have to keep trying to be 'normal' and the mask will be back in place on Monday and I will try to give it my best. I will have contact everyday via the crisis team, and a psychiatrist visiting again this week. I will tell you how it goes, but meanwhile, thankyou again for walking with me xxx


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