I was watching a programme over the weekend which really struck a chord with me. The programme in question was, ‘Curvy Brides.’ Being a girl, I love wedding dresses, so I watch quite a lot of these programmes, they are my guilty pleasure, if you like. This show is my favourite. I love how the owners of the store, make sure every single client gets the best possible shopping experience, going above and beyond all expectation. They understand that some of their brides have had awful experiences in regular shops and as well as helping them to find the right dress, they often have to help them overcome fears and insecurities.
The reason I’m referring to the show has nothing really to do with wedding dresses, or brides, or anything vaguely wedding related. This episode had a lovely bride, who had been suffering with depression. She was beautiful, but her depression had literally sucked the life from her, and she was unable to see how pretty she was. I felt so sad for her because I know exactly how she was feeling. I may not be curvy, but I would look at myself and see a skinny, ugly, worthless person staring back at me and it wasn’t nice.
What made me even sadder were the words she used when talking about her journey. She said she ‘missed the person she used to be,’ and my heart broke for her and for everyone else who has ever uttered those words.
When you suffer with depression, it hurts! It is a physical pain as well as an emotional pain. It is a pain so great that it feels as though you are being torn apart, but there are no pain killers to cure it. You cannot escape it because your head is constantly telling you lies, misleading you and draining the life from you. People who’ve not experienced it, will never be able to understand. It’s not something which is easy to explain, and recovery often feels as though it will never come. Eventually, with help, you do begin to get better. It’s a long road and one which cannot be rushed, it’s a case of one small step at a time.
The problem is, many of us stall recovery; we’re so busy chasing after the person we were before depression, but that person has evolved into a new and better person. I cannot think of any other traumatic life experience one might go through, where we (and those around us) feel that we should come out of it the exact same person we were before. Trauma of any kind changes us. Depression is traumatic! It does change you as a person, but if you look at it in the context of a personal evolution, perhaps it may be easier to embrace the new you.
Think of it as a bulb (of the flower variety). In Autumn you plant your bulb and you wait. During the long, dark winter days, the bulb is buried in the earth, in darkness, hidden away from passers by until the Spring. And when next we see it, it’s no longer just a bulb. It’s changed, it’s grown and it’s a beautiful flower. The bulb is still there, under the ground, but what we see is its new self. The life cycle of butterflies and dragonflies can also be relatable (hence why our logo is a dragonfly).
Times of crisis are the hardest times, but they are also times where we can grow. If we can look back at those dark days and give ourselves the credit we’re due, for battling through every one of those days, we will be stronger, more resilient, kinder, more caring and considerate of others. Having depression and overcoming it is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. Stand tall and know that you have developed into a bright beautiful, amazing person, you’re still you, you’ve just grown.