So, last night I had about 4 1/4 hours sleep. I am having some tests done at the doctors' at the moment and yesterday I was told that I have to have some tests repeated, hence 4 1/4 hours sleep. Anyway, after scrolling Pinterest, researching second hand furniture on ebay, doing a much needed catch up of my scripture study and trying to 'accidentally' wake up Stephen (without success), I decided to spend some time blogging.
At the moment, I'm moving my blog over to a new platform. Wordpress and I have had a falling out and I've discovered a more user friendly platform. So, I don't know when this will actually get to you but I wanted to write it anyway.
Animal Lover came in at 6:30, carrying in an old hotdog jar, her new pet caterpillars named, Pillar, Speedy, and Tiny. She lay next to me whilst I was going through old blog posts and she started asking questions about some of the photos she saw. She asked me why I had a photo of a black dog. This is no surprise because she is completely and utterly obsessed with dogs. I suddenly and in a panic thought, you have never talked about depression with your kids, this is unfamiliar and daunting territory!
As a mother, I've always tried to stay to teach my kids honestly and help them understand life, in an age appropriate way of course. I opted not to tell them when they asked how the twins arrived, about a certain white, long beaked bird. It's scary sometimes and I always give a little information to begin with and then add to it as seems necessary and as requested by my curious kids.
Considering that I've always taken this approach, it made sense to tell Animal Lover about the significance of the Black Dog as a metaphor for depression. The English student in me, began with an explanation of what a metaphor is. At which, that in itself is pretty time consuming to explain to an eight year old. Then came my age-appropriate description of depression (oh boy!).
I began by explaining to her, the difference between feeling sad and having depression. I told her that we all feel sad from time to time but people with depression often have no reason to be sad, but still feel sad and can't seem to do a whole lot on their own to feel happy again.
Then, perhaps the most scary part of the whole discussion, I told Isabella that for a few years, I had suffered with depression. I told her that I saw 'a special lady' called a counsellor who helped me work out my feelings.
I talked about how depression is like any other illness, it needs medicine. We have a pretty good history of asthma in my family, so it seemed like the obvious choice, to use this for the comparison. I explained that just like Mammy needs to take her inhaler in order to be able to breathe when I am having an asthma attack, I use prayer, yoga, scripture study, and spending time with my family as medicine to help me to feel better.
I asked Animal Lover if all of that made sense and she smiled at me and said yes. I emphasised that above all, having her and her brothers and Daddy around have helped me the most. I guess I included this because I wanted to make sure that she didn't for one minute think that my depression was anything to do with her.
I have to say, I feel so much relief. Even more relief than when I managed to brace the subject of how babies are born.
I finished our chat by telling her that I use my blog to share my experiences and hopefully try to help other people who suffer with depression. That's really what prompted me to share this with you all. I hope this is helpful to anyone suffering who needs to, at sometime in the future, define things to a family member; child or otherwise.
I have realised whilst writing this post, that I didn't mention to her about taking Fluoxetine. I don't know why I didn't mention that, perhaps accidental or perhaps I'm still coming to terms with that. Who knows? I don't really feel the need to tell her that right now and I think when the time is right maybe I will be speaking of them in past tense. Here's hoping.
Just another slice of my reality.