21 Feb

Depression

Well it has been noted that there has been a lengthily silence in our communication since before the summer. There are many, many reasons that we could draw on, but one in particular has probably had the biggest impact on our lives.
Just before the summer, Tim was diagnosed with moderate depression. This brought a sense of relief but also a period of introspection.
The Facts:
It all began with a series of conversations Tim had with various people leading to a change of mind-set relating to a whole bunch of things. For example, Ali is no longer a cancer victim needing a carer, but a cancer survivor, needing a husband. We finally managed to buy a house, Dan settled into school, a whole series of things were resolved that really had been causing Tim to live on adrenaline. Once those things had been laid down, and no need for the adrenaline to continue running, it meant that the chemical balance in Tim’s body went haywire. The final straw was an occasion when Ali cooked Tuna Pasta bake, but cooked the veg into the bake instead of on the side. Tim simply couldn’t cope with it. No idea why it was such an issue, but it was quite evident that something was very wrong. A couple visits to the doctor and a blood test later, Tim was diagnosed.
The treatment was not medicine, but an offer of counselling and ‘see how it goes now you know what is wrong’ .
The Reaction:
It was a relief to understand why I have been reacting to such strange stuff, but also the start of exploring further into some of my life issues so to speak. There are days when I wonder how on earth Ali ever put up with me! I was also disappointed that he wouldn’t give me meds to help with the processing, but I guess that getting my body back in order and taking every thought captive into obedience is better into the long run!
I would have described the tough times as a black cloud over my head. It was almost constant and to be honest, I had passed it of as ‘everyone has bad days’. I hadn’t really registered that it had become weeks and months. I am sure the un-balance provoked a symptom / tendency that was already underlying but it was bought much more to the surface.
Ali was also relieved to know the reason behind me! Between us we are determined not to allow the diagnosis as an excuse for any of my behaviour, but it has helped with the processing of incidents and the restoration of relationship along the way.
6 Months on:
Well, not really knowing who to communicate what to, it has been very hard to see past the obvious and communicate on mass. I didn’t want to feel like I was not being honest with people, probably a stupid decision, but I couldn’t get past it. However, as you can see, now trying to get back into the communication swing of things. Generally life is going much better, there are very occasional days, mostly moments when I can feel that cloud appearing, but being able to say to people close to me that I can feel it coming on, is often enough to halt it. A little bit of understanding can go a long way. Also learning what can ‘trigger’ it, means being able to process those things quicker and be a little bit more prepared. I am by no means perfect, but I do on the whole feel I have got to grips with things. Ali can probably give you a much better grasp of how I am getting on!
I alluded to not feeling right in my last post about Nigeria. Well it was great to feel so good again! Maybe it is a small fix of feeling good, but it is a wonderful reminder that life can be good and that it is worth striving for. It probably sounds so un-spiritual to be invigorated like that, but God has had his hand upon me all the way. I love music and worship leading, and if I had not been involved, I suspect that I would have been in a far worse state before recognising something was up. Determined to continue renewing my mind through reading the Bible, I know the combination of all these things contribute to the process of ‘getting better’.
With thanks:
I am so thankful for people who have been able to stand by me.
Ali – God’s gift to me, twice it feels!
Geoff – My Pastor who is wise and understanding, who in my mind should have removed me from so much involvement, but I am very thankful that he did not, in fact he did quite the opposite.
Kent – My line manager who with understanding and grace, has help me steer a course through this.
My Cell group – who allowed me to share, and be myself, no longer needing to hide, helping me to be honest about what is going on.
By God’s grace and love we continue to serve him.
Please do talk to me about this! I am happy to talk and share my experiences.

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