I feel I need to divulge a few secrets... as I have jumped over a couple of hurdles in the past four days, and I'm almost a little bit proud of myself.....
On Saturday it was the end of an era celebration party thing for the shop that I used to work for. The shop has now closed down, and so a big shin dig was planned in Bath. I'd been thinking about the possibility of going for a while, but so many negative thoughts and scary things were holding me back. However, I knew that if I went, I would be able to finally go into Bath without worrying about bumping into people. I had this sneaky suspicion that it would give me closure too....but there was so much at risk.
What if no-one spoke to me?
What if people said horrible things to me?
What if I had a panic attack in the middle of the pub and generally collapsed into a heap?
These thoughts were all consuming, and I was frightened.
But I was.
Anyway, I decided not to put any pressure on myself, and if I was feeling OK, I'd make an appearance. I tried to concentrate on all the lovely people that I knew would be there, instead of focusing on the negative. I attempted to get things into perspective, and control my over active imagination.
As Saturday evening approached, I decided to go. Maybe I copped out a little bit, as I had to take someone with me for a bit of moral support..but I figure its better to reach out and ask for help instead of suffering in silence. I'm done with that!
Walking up the stairs to the party I could feel my palms sweating, and my legs had typically turned to jelly. My heart was pounding, and my hands were shaking.
But as soon as I opened the door, I heard a shriek of "Susie!" and my friend Annie flung her arms around me. "Its so good to see you!" she smiled, and I knew it was going to be OK.
I tentatively walked further into the room, and I was surprised to be greeted by more and more friendly faces and hugs. It was lovely.
I couldn't believe that people were pleased to see me and made the effort to come and catch up with me. After spending so much time away from them, I guess I'd just presumed they'd forgotten about me.
Depression is the ultimate illness for making you feel invisible. You are not able to get out and see people because you feel so low, and also the depression convinces you that you're not worth seeing. That nobody would ever want to hang out with you. That you are invisible, and definitely don't deserve to be visible in any shape or form.
On Saturday I was able to push out those demons.
Its possible that those horrible demons will come back, but at least I know that I fought them on Saturday. Which means I can do it again. And that gives me strength. And hope.
In fact, I was able to push them out again today as I managed for the first time in 18months to get the bus into Bath on my own and meet a good friend for coffee.
Perhaps a small achievement for some.
But I feel like I'm kicking ass right now!!!