Staring into Darkness…

Staring into Darkness…

As someone who has battled secretly in the darkness for many years with the black cloud of depression and anxiety, I’ve written many things alone about my experiences but never felt brave enough to share it. The news of Caroline Flack’s death a couple of weeks ago shook me to my core, half in part as a tragedy, half in part as I can completely understand how she got to that point. 

Depression is like a computer programme, or an app on your phone…you don’t always know when it’s running, sometimes it will open covertly and quietly and all of a sudden you are in it, the BELIEF icons feel SO REAL, as are the thoughts…The behaviour can soon descend into complete isolation, filling yourself with toxic foods, completely overwhelmed to make a phonecall, leave the house, reach out to anyone…And if you do it feels like people don’t get it or they don’t really care, you are not heard. The negative thoughts are SO LOUD you have no choice but to HIDE. 

At some point the shift comes and you realise the program has opened itself and start making to tools to SHUT IT DOWN. Sometimes I break down and cry that most of my adult life has been lost because of this computer system. I’ve avoided so many situations for work, love, and friendship because I wasn’t feeling brave enough to cope. 

  1. Depression feels like you’re stuck in a huge jam jar with the lid screwed on tightly. Everything feels so overwhelming your head is full of everything, you may appear ‘normal’ to others when inside, or when you are on your own there is an oppressive weighty full feeling that drowns you.  I still have very dark days when I have HIDE away because EVERYTHING FEELS TOO MUCH (even the thought of going to the supermarket and having to decide what food you need to buy, or worse the thought of bumping into a friend in the supermarket).
  2. There is SUCH a level of SHAME with this illness. You feel like you can’t tell people, especially if you are a bubbly outgoing person, it somehow feels like a dirty secret. If you tell people it feels like an admission of your own weakness as a human being (Cue my script- ‘‘They’ll all know how pathetic I really am’.)
  3. Who is around you DO strongly affect the illness. I had such profound levels of loneliness and isolation yet paradoxically couldn’t bring myself to call a friend, go to social events or share what I was feeling. I cut myself off, avoided phonecalls and invitations until the phonecalls and texts finally stopped (thus enhancing my feelings of isolation). You feel FULL so FULL that everything that feels TOO MUCH.
  4. Depression is marked with deafening beliefs phrases ‘YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH’, ‘NOBODY CARES’ ‘YOU’RE NOT WORTHY’  ‘WHAT’S THE POINT’ ‘YOU ARE USELESS’ ‘YOU’RE A FAILURE’, These beliefs run on a script in the background and you are constantly waiting for confirmation of these beliefs in your environment. I remember one girl made a sly comment towards me at a work party once and it sent me in SUCH a spiral I went home and hid for 3 days. I cannot begin to imagine how Caroline must have been feeling with the level of abuse she was receiving in the media. 


Finding your medicine…

  1. Do communicate with friends and people you trust. Do go and see a professional. Do voice how you are feeling- what do you have to lose? 
  2. Get out in nature and move. For me exercise really helped, getting the heart rate up high (using whatever form you can) tiring the nervous system really helped to calm my mind and boost self esteem and worth. If you can be barefoot in nature go and do this. 
  3. Yoga and Meditation. Tonnes of stuff out there workshops etc everything from Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Sound baths etc, see what you feel pulled towards, I’ve attached some links to Louise Hay material as she particularly really helped me. 
  4. Food is absolutely critical. I cannot stress enough how much alcohol and caffeine affected the body. Foods enriching the system are attached below.
  5. Do something that makes you feel better about yourself. Could be a bath, lighting candles, buying yourself a plant, receiving a treatment something that will NOURISH your mind body and soul. 
  6. Ask your self- what are my needs today? Allow the answer to rise up.
  7. Yoga nidra- deep relaxation classes/videos online. 
  8. Acknowledge that this is non permanent and will pass. 
  9. If you are IN IT right now, tell someone you love and trust. 

Please remember you are deeply loved. These thoughts FEEL so REAL- they are not real. 

Remember if you are staring into the darkness of the night sky- there are always stars above you. 


A book that really helped me was part written by my wonderful psychiatrist, Dr Justin Haslam. Thank you for all the people you have helped Dr Haslam




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