Your Life Without Depression

I am in a weird place tonight. I had a very rough day at work making mistakes that were my fault for no good reason. I look around my home and wonder why I live like I do. I am alone with a make shift wildlife refuge. It is my profession and I take critters home normally if they are healthy enough to enjoy life but not strong enough to take care of themselves. I work an insane amount of hours a month. And there is not much of 'me' left. My blessings include my partner, my pets, the fact I do have a job to pay my bills and that I am lucky enough to know relatively good health minus my mental illnesses.😋

Did you ever wonder what your life would be without depression? For me I am sure I would of had children. I would get my drivers license and be able to go to restaurants and enjoy a proper meal without all the anxiety I get about food. I would be able to wear a bikini and other summer clothes instead of wearing a silk shawl to my knees, big floppy hat, sunglasses and carrying a parasol in one hand and a bottle of 140 factor sunscreen in the other. I am a size 0 in clothes- but something in me prevents even the thought of the sun touching me unbearable. When I was young I always had sunburnt shoulders and naturally sun bleached hair. And now my hair is medium brown but the sun has bleached he colours out of some of my hats.

If I didn't have depression I would be able to visit my family I have not seen in 15 years. I would be able to have a few drinks without my brain taking me to sadder times in my life. I would be able to wear make-up and do girl things without the fear of being labeled as a joke or a clown. I actually am afraid to dress nice or do something with my hair in case people think I am 'trying' and still look bad.

If I didn't have depression I would not stay up all night listening to mental recordings in my head of harmless conversations seeking for clues or hidden messages to what people must of been really saying. Seeking things I know everyone would be able to understand but since I know who I am - I must look harder. Because knowing me means I likely missed the obvious.

If I didn't have depression I would not be so skeptical of others. I would trust my instincts more and realize I do deserve to give and receive love like everyone else.

If I didn't have depression I don't think I would even be able to recognize myself.

What are your thoughts?

14 Replies

  • I would like to clarify one point I made. When I said I am a size 0 and cover up from the eyes of others and the sun -taking fashion risks most people would not with my layers of clothes and parasol... I would like to clarify that being a size 0 is what the media yammers at us all to strive to be and it definitely is not as 'beautiful' in real life. And the true reality of someone of that size looks ghoulishly boney. I had my eating disorder for over 2/3 of my life and at times I feel even though I struggle to help myself at times- I would like to sincerely dispel the myth of being reed thin is desirable. My collar bone is disgusting and my torso like a mackrel fish bone! If there was any lady I was 'jealous' over it would not be a thin, average or heavy set woman. It would be a healthy woman who can enjoy the skin she is in being herself.

  • Hi Lacey

    I was just about to write a response to your post and by chance read your additional comments - the last sentence confirmed what I was thinking when reading what you had first written - you are struggling to know how to or feel able to be yourself.

    When I read your post my initial reaction was a really positive one - I was thinking how interestingly eccentric you sounded - not like a clown or joke but rather someone who is a real character, who does something interesting with her life - rescuing wild creatures - and who has a partner... it all sounded really good. However a I carried on reading I realised how sad your post is - full of regrets and 'if only's... it is as if you feel your life has in some way passed you by and you have done none of the things you would have liked to have done. When you say about covering yourself up and not allowing the sun on your skin I feel really sad as it sounds as though you feel real self-loathing - for your body and for yourself. The image of you with the silk shawl to your knees and a huge hat made me think you were a very overweight lady who loathed her body because it was so big and so covered it up - I imagined by size 0 you meant so big you couldn't say - but then reading your extra comments I realise you mean you are skin and bone? How sad. By wearing the shawl and that you are expressing the desire to be much larger than your size and yet something prevents you from allowing yourself to be a more normal size and build... That is really sad.

    You say you go over and over things in your head, trying to work out what people have meant by things they have said - and I think that is your main problem really. You care so very much how you are seen, what people make of you, that you are unable to allow yourself to be yourself. Probably if you have had the eating disorder for a long time then by now you perhaps do not even know who YOU are? It is as if the familiar patterns of eating to remain skinny has ruled your life. When you say to your readers that you would like to dispel the myth that size 0 is beautiful or desirable I think it is yourself that you are trying to convince as we all know it is not desirable - I think you have spent a long time living the way you do, with your eating disorder but are beginning to realise it is not desirable and that you want to be normal and comfortable with yourself. I wonder what prevents you from being like that?

    You say you have not spoken to your family for 15 years and I am wondering what led to the breakdown in communication, what the relationship is between relationships within your family and your eating disorder? Perhaps you can share some of that information with me and other people on the site and we can begin to help you to be more comfortable with yourself as the person you are - a resourceful, caring, imaginative person who is ready to seek help from others rather than going around in circles trying to help yourself.


  • Hi Sue! Thank-you for your kind reply. It is so cool we can gain other people's perspectives and learn and offer support to each other.

    I had a rough start in life being put in foster care but it made a tough cookie in the best of ways. I shunned people my own age and never drank or did anything but study. But the result was that I was spared the problems many kids at risk face with drugs, etc. Many kids in foster care form like their own little family and that meant partying and doing trendy things. And although I was unbelievably lonely I just wanted to be somewhere quiet. When I was 18 I met a troubled boy that was in his twenties. And long story short I got myself a skull fracture, dislocated jaw and dislocated shoulder and pregnant. I miscarried three months along. I did see two ultrasounds and now that it happened 20 years ago in someways I am thankful to of had that experience of carrying a child. I think never knowing what it would be like would be harder on me now to accept I will never be a mother. I suffered a TBI - traumatic brain injury and had severe problems with my speech for about a year. After rehab I am back to myself pretty much.

    I had a successful career allowing me to work internationally on projects. But then my physical health failed due to a genetic condition in my family. And I just basically settled into the one job I have know for 4 years.

    The dysmorphia? of eating disorders is fascinating. I feel fat - but I can see my ribs. I don't think other people are fat. But when I look at me I feel thick and weighed down. I am heavy into exercise and learned I can not keep a super low weight and still be able to run and function cognitively at work. I just wanted to let the ladies out there who wish they were a size 0 that being one has many downsides. It hurts to sit in the tub because your bones stick out and there is no padding for your bottom. I need to,shop in kids departments plus I even buy my bras from the girls department. Media is full of lies telling women to be super thin. I nearly died from a basic operation because my blood pressure dropped so low due to my weight. Because I am super thin I hope my voice will be heard with some credibility that I know first hand that being a healthy woman is the best 'size'. Toss away your scales and just eat right, exercise in moderation and be kind to yourself. Wish I could do that!

    I have an amazing loving partner. He goes to my doctor appointments if I ask him along. He really likes my fiqure and tells me often. I am into running and yoga and do keep fit. He tells me my weight doesn't matter as long as I am healthy. I had two ex-boyfriends that were trying to convince me to even loose more weight! 78 pounds at 5'5" was my lowest. Now I am holding steady in the 90s. My boyfriend encourages me to eat and sometimes teases gently that I should get some more meat on my bones. He really does make me feel loved and accepted while still being encouraged to be proactive with my health.

    My family.. I don't know where to start!😋 I have forgiven them and hold very little angst in my heart towards them. Before my father died he said he wanted to apologize to me for rough childhood my parents had gave me. Something about that moment lifted a billion pounds of lead off my soul. And I forgive my mother too. Everyone was trying their best. And those generations they were raised in were very tough. So a lot of their behaviour towards me was what they experienced when they were kids.

    I tried to go home 10 or 15 years ago. My mother had an eye surgery so I took a long journey to the remote corner of the earth I grew up in- and looked after my mother after her operation. Well after all my efforts and gifts I brought she had bad things to say about everything. She told me I only came 'home' to see my ex husband. That is not true. My ex husband was outed as a child sex offender after I married him- and I have absolutely nothing to say to him. So my gesture if reaching out to my mother was not well received. She also came behind me and punched me very hard in the back of the neck. I told her I am not a child anymore and I will not tolerate this behaviour from her. It was just a tangle mess of everything going to see her. My family has no idea of my major operations I had done and they know I have a partner- but never seen a photo of him. And while I was dating my boyfriend he found out he had cancer- and I never told my family that either. Why? Well I was dating a man with adult leukaemia for a year and every time I spoke to my mother she would ask if I was really up for dating a man with cancer after my father dying. So I know she will start on that again if I ever told her about my boyfriend who has been in remission for a year.

    I reached out to my brother when he and his wife welcomed in a new baby. I asked him to give me an address so I could send a gift. But he never bothered to give me the address. We have no hate between us- just kind of a blah indifference.

    I love your last part on your post about me asking for help from others or continue on spinning in circles trying to find answers on my own. So true! I appreciate your kindness very much. Thank-you.

  • Hi Lacey. I had a similar moment tonight. I too was looking around my home etc. I hit a frozen state tonight. I couldn't move pretty much. I just sat, i felt exhausted. It came on me so quickly. It felt like a huge chore to even get up and go the toilet. And was asking myself questions like what am i actually doing with my life? What do i want out of life? And why did i create some of the obsessions etc that i have. I wonder, is it a way, an excuse, for not having to live life? Do i feel safer just standing still? Out of harms way! The unknown!

    i think maybe we hit a certain point where we lose the ability to 'care' about it all because of the ground hog day effect. Its just not that interesting anymore. Maybe its the unused part of our brains/personality begging/screaming to be noticed/ it all goes on strike!

    and i completely agree with skeptical thing and not wanting to be seen 'trying' incase it all goes wrong. I hate the thought of people laughing at me behind my back.

    without my depression, i think i would have continued to be quite ambitious. I might have my own accountancy firm. Or be on the way to it. I'd still play snooker and pool often. I enjoyed that. I'd enjoy choosing clothes instead of sinking deeper into my depression from all the self analysing and criticism. I'd 'do' a lot more...rather than hope/plan/list/organise/re-organise. However...i don't think i would have my son. Is depression our fate in a way?

    i cant remember whether i have asked you this another time...but have you tried CBT for eating disorders? I did. It worked wonders. I too have suffered with eating disorders etc. X

  • Thank-you for your lovely and insightful message! It does feel comforting to hear others suffering the battle of depression and still be there supporting others. The toilet is a big one for me too. There is a famous rock star- Macey Gray- that talked about her depression being so bad she would pee herself because she just couldn't find her way up even to go to use her bathroom. I quite feel repulsed by this but I have used a bedpan to pee rather than to get up to the washroom. It really is a sign sometimes is wrong when it comes to that. Brushing teeth and other self care can also be difficult.

    There is allot of lovely people out there like you who say having their child or children is the most special part of their life. It must truly be a blessing to know that kind of maternal love for a child you brought into the world. When I think of my baby I lost now I feel that it was best it happened to me. There is no way I could of given what any child deserves back when I barely could look after myself. But I do wonder what she would be doing now if she has lived. It is a sad thought for a person to know your child was better off not having them as a mom. But I think in my case it is realistic.

    I have tried CBT and it is very useful. If someone ever needed a research project of someone with a 30 year long battle with eating disorders I would help them for sure! Mine has morphed its way in many ways and phases in my life. As lame as it sounds.... I don't know who I would be without an eating disorder.

    I do know people laugh at me behind my back. And it does hurt. People might see me and have no idea why I am the person I am today. But they just see the person I am today and think I was eccentric or some sort misfit.

  • The short answer Laceytiel is that life without depression would be better but you are so far from alone in suffering this. There are many of us. You sound as if you think about and analyse your depression as do I but we both probably know there is little point in it. We just have to accept the fact that medical science and psychiatry is quite a way from understanding it or curing it. Its a recurring mood that starts again for no obvious reason and then vanishes only to recur again later.

    All one can do is as you are doing ,to hang in there , give as much as we can to other people, and in your case animals as well,and count your blessings. You have many, a partner, relatively few financial worries, good health apart from depression. If you consider all the problems it is possible to have diabetes, heart conditions ,cancer, mobility problems ,financial worries ,family problems ,mental problems etc etc the list is very long then there are few who go through life with no problems.

    Let us be thankful some progress has been made in giving some relief to the problem of depression and count the blessings we do have. You have been given the strength to carry on. I'm sure that you are never labelled a joke or clown and without knowing the circumstances I'm sure there are those in your family who would love to see you again after a long period of estrangement. I would try and reestablish contact. If you fail what have you got to lose -you will only be where you are at now. My feeling is that if you don't try you will regret this later in life, but discuss it with your partner and get their support in this.

    My very best wishes and a mutual salute to all of us with the courage to carry on with our lives through spells of depression.

  • Hello! Thank-you for your kind reply. I am completely on board with counting blessings. And looking at some of the bad places you were in only to have them lead into something beautiful when things took an unexpected twist for the better along the way.

    I never had positive relationships with men before. So the current person I am with really is a blessing to me. This is my first relationship without violence and I am 40 and been with the same person for almost 3 years. So it might sound lame to others but to me I feel so blessed to have someone in my life to allow me my foibles and still want to stick by me. He has diabities and had a heart attack and he lost his kidney to cancer while we were dating. But even with all the bad stuff we worked threw together- it really does feel like this is the first time in my life I am loved for me.

    My mother did the best she could with her own battles in life. She is super negative though. Anything you say she will suck the wind out of your sails and pee on your hopes and dreams. Years ago when I was in contract with my siblings we used to get a laugh out of the mean things she said. I never even sent a photo of my partner to her after almost 3'years of dating. He is very handsome to me. But as soon as my mother sees a photo of him she will compare him to 'some queer ole fellar ya used to see waiting by the rails for a coin". Or some other negative made up thing to put him down. She puts everyone down. And gives them mean nicknames. She called my brothers wife a Camel so much that she actually started calling her a camel to her face. Oh the joys of drinking wine from a box instead of morning tea! I never got into the drink myself. That is another blessing to count for sure!

  • Hi LaceyTiel, you need to know that nothing you say sounds lame. i just felt you needed to know that. it is true xox

  • Thank-you for your kindness.💐

  • Hi Lacey. You worry far too much what other people think and are trying to live up to an image of what you think you should be rather than doing what you want and being who you are. You need to stop this self criticism and accept yourself. Other people aren't worried about you you know, they are too busy worrying about themselves. What makes them perfect and you not? You can only be yourself which makes you honest and true to yourself and people like those qualities. Ok you are maybe too thin - so what? I am too fat and I don't obsess over it! If you don't like it change it. If you can't change it accept it. That's the secret to contentment if not happiness.

    Stop the obsessive thoughts. One way to do this (and it works) is every time you start obsessing is to interrupt your thoughts with something else. Distraction is the key in the same way you train a dog to stop barking (not that I am saying you are a dog). You interrupt it, so if you are awake turn the telly on, start reading a book, stroke or talk to one of your animals. It is hard at first but does get easier. Keep doing it. When I am feeling like this I put time limits on my self pity - say for 10 minutes a day then I deliberately switch it off and get on with other things. If I didn't do that it would spiral out of control and become a habit. It has become a habit with you and you need to start breaking it.

    Consciously turn your mind to other things at night. There is no secret that others know and you don't or things they understand that you don't. Recognise it is all in your head and it is the depression talking. You can't trust depression thoughts so kick them out of your life. If you start concentrating on the positive and not the negative you will feel a lot better. Instead of continually telling yourself off learn to praise yourself instead ie for working so hard, for getting through the day, for being independent and living your own life.

    Forgive yourself for making mistakes. We all make them and so does everyone - so what? I would not find it possible to live without it and nor would anyone. We are not robots we are human which means we make mistakes, we get things wrong, we upset people and others, we forget like I forgot a lunch date with a couple of friends last week. I am not going to beat myself up over it so why should you with your mistakes?

    Bev x

  • Thank-you Bev! Your kind words and advice hold so much truth. I guess part of my problem is if I make a mistake it could result in a patient being harmed. I am talking wildlife and not people- but when people cast doubt on your judgement calls it can hurt- even though you are confident you are right! I had this one situation that I could not rest at all with it weighing on my mind. Like I broke down and sobbed for an hour alone today dealing with it. I also went pale as a ghost and threw up bile while I was at work. Just not a good look. But then I decided to use my brain instead of my emotions. I contacted two more experienced people than me and had them access my case. One lady came over just to see my patient and said I did an excellent job and she feels he will make a full recovery. A milestone was removed from my neck upon learning this and I came home from work actually hungry and looking forward to having a nice meal.

    I am a big fan of setting time limits to dark emotion too when possible. The person I would most likely ever to be mad at is myself. How could you be so stupid? I ask myself about me.😜 My partner has issues with his deceased father whom left his family in a surprise amount of serious debt. And I see he is caught up on 'blaming" people- and in my head I don't think at this point the need to blame someone who is dead helping him other than getting more and more angry. I think asking ourselves what good are we getting out of certain behaviours is important. But it is not always easy to listen to,our own answers!

  • No it's not is it Lacey? I hate some of my answers too, but if you don't deal with issues they stay as 'poisoned boxes' in your psyche and pop out at you at the most unexpected times and cause havoc!

    I always think too many of these boxes and they can overwhelm you and take over your life. This sounds like what has happened with your bf and it's common in life unfortunately. Bev x

  • Thank-you Bev. I must say what happened yesterday was proof of a poison box being opened and making me incredibly ill and this morning I wake up feeling so much better for weathering the storm. My boss seemed to have really diffused of his hostility? Or whatever it is he shows for me. He euthanized a wildlife suffering the same condition I treated another wildlife critter before I worked here. I brought in a friend of mine who I feel is at the highest top of the game and my boss gave me permission for her to examine the patient too. And she said I did a wonderful job and the patient has a 97% chance of recovering completely. Before my boss was just acting super aloof around me and instead of showing interest in the method I was using- he was more like sneering at me saying 'we'll see if this works'. It pushed me over the edge because it was like if the poor little wildlife critter passed away it was like an 'I told you so' and to have the pressure of that from a person like that just was too much for me. He had his way of walking up close to me and then acting over the top animated and happy talking to someone beside me- and then turning away a bit dramatically if I looked at him. His rapid mood swings are like someone catching a cold in rapid changes in weather. Today Is the first Sunday I had in a longtime I am able to relax on my day off because of feeling some resolution from yesterday!

  • Thank-you everyone for your kind and insightful replies. I will respond to each of your posts when I get home from work. I am very nervous about today because of a complicated situation at work that will need some addressing today. Reading your words is a great start to my day. Thank-you.

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