Here I am on my thirtieth birthday. I look happy, don't I? And why wouldn't I? My tits were AHHH-MAZING.
The truth is, I had just had a miscarriage and was feeling very fragile.
I was heartbroken, but to the rest of the world, I looked fine.
People are incredibly resilient. We survive many obstacles in a lifetime.
But people are also excellent actors. Shiny, happy exteriors provding the perfect subterfuge for inner turmoil.
The above photo is nothing new. I have been doing this for years.
Bubbly, loud, funny, fun – adjectives used to describe me.
And yet, I have a long history of depression and a slightly less long history of anxiety. Mental illness has prevented me from living fully at different points in my life.
At this particular point, I require anti-depressants in order to be okay.
That is my truth. For now.
Many people have asked me, "Don't you worry about taking those drugs long term? Don't you want to get off them?"*
Yes and yes.
But you know what worries me more? Falling apart in front of my family. Exposing my children to the dangerous lows associated with my untreated depression. Subjecting myself to the terror of unchecked anxiety.
I know what is more important.
In the future, who knows?
But for now, I am so happy that I can answer the question, "R U OK?" with a resounding YES.
So how about you? R U OK?
If the answer is no or maybe you're not sure, know that there is no shame in reaching out. I started with a GP I trusted. Maybe you can, too.
Today is R U OK Day. Check out the website here.
*Would a Type 1 diabetic be asked the same question of taking Insulin? How about cancer patients of Chemo? No-one wants to be dependent on a medication but it sure beats the alternative.