Let’s Talk about Depression

Depression is so real. I’m not sure that people always believe that, even today, but as someone who lives with it, it sometimes has a huge impact on my life…and more than that, on the life of my family and friends.

If you read my last blog post, you will know that I have been struggling quite a lot over the last week or so. It happened pretty suddenly, and I think that there were a couple of triggers. My back has been causing me lots of pain, and then I had my dara treatment, including steroids. I think the crash from the steroids, along with the pain just tipped me over the edge from being able to cope with everything in my life, to really not caring about anything in my life.

To begin, I feel a tiny bit better today. I’m not cross with my whole family which is a great start. Not that they had done anything wrong, but I was just reading into everything and feeling like they didn’t care, weren’t helping and were almost out to upset me. I can see now that was absolute rubbish, but at the time it felt so real. I felt like the world was crashing in around me and that no-one understood, not even those closest to me. So I went to bed and stayed there, nursing my hot water bottle and dosing myself up with paracetamol.

The problem with depression is that it is often very hard for anyone to help you out of it. Well it is for me anyway. Nick has learnt over the years that whilst he shouldn’t allow me to dwell and sink too much, that he also has to give me space to come out of it in my own time. I’m sure everyone handles it differently. It’s such a strange thing to try to explain to people without sounding like I’m attention seeking. But at my lowest points, I often contemplate whether it is all worth continuing and whether people wouldn’t be better off if my condition could no longer be treated. I know that isn’t true once I start to feel better but it is such a genuine yet horrid place to be. I was just so fed up of everything that I was dealing with.

As I said, things are starting to improve a little. My back is a bit better and my GP has given me co-codamol and diazepam…..so I’m probably a bit spaced out writing this…and maybe a bit less emotional. Can only be good. I’m hoping that these help me resolve the back problems as then I can get back to proper exercise….again something that really helps my moods. I have started dog walking again now that the snow and ice has gone and I think that has helped slightly too. It’s made us realise that we need to make the time to walk each day as a family – to try to help the mental health of all four of us (like most families, the kids would much rather stay on their x-boxes/ netflix accounts if they had their way).

I couldn’t decide whether to write this post or not, but while I was walking today, I was thinking about how hard life is for so many people at the moment. Probably even harder than it is for me. And I think it’s important for people not to feel like they’re on their own. At times like this I’m certainly not brave or inspirational, but hopefully, if I can make one person know that it’s ok to be down, that it’s ok to feel unable to cope, and that accepting support from those around you is a good thing, then I’ll feel like the post is worthwhile.

I’m not ‘fine’ yet, but I do feel like I’m slowly moving in the right direction which is a relief. I’d imagine the family will find it a relief too….I’ve not been fun to be around and I think they’ve all been stepping on eggshells. Not something I’m proud of. But as always, they have loved me and supported me nonetheless, and, they are people I’m super proud of. And I am also grateful to those people who did send messages to me – I know I said not to, but they did help (even if I did find myself in tears a lot whilst reading them all!!).

Keep an eye out on your friends and family over the next few weeks. The ‘not knowing’ with covid, the feeling of isolation during a cold and dark lockdown, and the concept that despite vaccines, this could go on for some months, may make life feel very hard for people and they may try to hide it. Be kind, be observant and let’s all try to look after each other. xx

About Deb Gascoyne

I am wife of one, mother of two (& a dog!) and a person in my own right😊. I have used my diagnosis of myeloma to allow me to focus on what I CAN achieve and not what I can't. My blog is a way of me spilling out....it is for me more than you I'm afraid. But if it helps you along the way, that is an absolute bonus for me :-) Diagnosed in 2009 with smouldering myeloma, I started treatment in 2010 and had a SCT in 2011. I’ve was on maintenance until November 2018 but my figures went up so officially relapsed. I have been on dara since 2019 and had my second transplant in September 2020. Still on dara and keeping fingers crossed.
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4 Responses to Let’s Talk about Depression

  1. meeshymeesh says:

    Very well written and explained. Sometimes I am not very good at explaining how I feel but you have put it perfectly. My husband and 2 kids would say that is exactly what it is like being around me when I am feeling depressed. Anti depression medication has helped me a lot. It was hard to find the right one but with a great dr and counselor I found one.

    The Dex definitely does not help. I also felt the same after my second transplant. I was obviously over the moon after my second transplant to learn I had finally got into remission but then about 2 weeks later I fell into a black hole. It was like what do I do now with myself. I have been so busy with the myeloma and the transplant that I felt like I had nothing to do and did not know what to do. I almost wished that I had not got into remission. Eventually that feeling did pass and my anti depressants did what they were meant to do and I kept myself busy.

    The first 100 days after transplants, your numbers can and most probably go up and it will look like it has failed but after 100 days it should settle down.

    I am sure you know that yoga is great for your back. I too have always had a bad back probably from years of horse riding ! I have been doing Iyengar Yoga on and off for about 15 years and it really really helps with back issues.

    Take good care of yourself and keep walking and writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. alexbicknell says:

    I don’t often suffer depression – though I had a bout a couple of years ago, which I’m sure was caused by thalidomide; obviously didn’t agree with me. Dex certainly doesn’t help – it tends to make me angry.

    I’m glad you wrote this up – I’m all in favour of us not trying to suffer in silence.

    As for the little voice saying everyone would be better off if the myeloma was no longer treatable… that’s a dark thought, but I’ve been there too. It’s nonsense, isn’t it, to imagine that somehow “the worst” would be easier if we just got it over with? For me I think it’s sometimes just a product of exhaustion (mental and physical).

    Maybe pandemic helps other people understand a little more one aspect of what myeloma is like. As well as the physical illness, and all the unpleasant medicine, and on top of the ever present mortality, it’s also like living in a permanent pandemic where you have to evaluate infection risk and live with restrictions and limits, and where you’re constantly sensing that there’s some alternate “normality” which you are being deprived.

    Long ago I read a description of the symptoms of hypercalcemia as “bones groans stones thrones and psychiatric overtones”… and I’ve always found it pretty self explanatory – with all the physical symptoms and issues, we’d have to be superhuman for it not to affect our mental health.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb Gascoyne says:

      Thanks for the reply Alex. Sadly I’m not sure many think outside of how much this pandemic is affecting them….not that I blame them…it’s hard! I’m feeling much better this week. My back whilst bad, is a little better and that has made a world of difference! We’ll keep going won’t we ☺️

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      • alexbicknell says:

        Glad you’re feeling better in yourself. It’s a bugger. And a bad back never helps.

        My attitude to everyone else’s pandemic moaning flips back and forth. Unless they’ve been hospitalised themselves, or lost someone dear to them, then they’re experiencing nothing more than the inconveniences and uncertainties you and I live with all the time. But then again, if they didn’t moan about it, maybe that would just mean you and me have been making a big deal over nothing, all these years. So, I don’t blame people moaning about the pandemic, really. I just don’t want to hear it!!!

        Back in March I was trying to get a travel company to refund a holiday. They wanted me to take a voucher, so I explained that due to my ‘eloma, vouchers aren’t much use to me – who knows where I’ll be by the time the voucher might be redeemed. The owner of the company attempted to win my sympathy by explaining the damage the pandemic would do to his business. Grrr. I had a business too, once, you know, I told him. (I got my money back!) Makes you realise how clueless people are. But I know I was no better, before my diagnosis.

        Liked by 1 person

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