Home > Opinion > Journey asks Linda Thompson; What is it like to live with mental health issues?

Journey asks Linda Thompson; What is it like to live with mental health issues?

I THINK that I would have to say I didn’t live with depression; I just somehow managed to stay alive until it was gone.

During the worst times, it wasn’t living; it was existing.

The real me was gone and the shell that was left had the job of filling in for her, of going through the motions and attempting to maintain the semblance of her life and her person.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom; there were moments of light and colour, but much of those 15 years were periods of blank nothingness, just sitting in a holding pattern waiting to get at least a little bit better.

It was like a persistent vegetative state where, cruelly, I was conscious but able to recognise my state and grieve for my loss of life.

There wasn’t as much awareness back then as there is now of depression as an illness and I found that it’s a human trait
to dismiss or minimise what we don’t understand.

Depression isn’t the same as the temporary sadness that we all experience from time to time.

It’s not something you can just snap out of.

It’s a potentially permanent illness untouched by the natural healing that occurs with time.

The practical side of managing life fell to my husband who picked up the tab for running the household, taking care of the
kids and looking after me.

I was grateful to those who assisted him with this.

Those who helped me the most personally during those long awful years were those who knew they couldn’t help much anyway, those who were able to realise that they didn’t understand but were willing to sit with me anyway.