Don't tell me depression is not an illness. Because I sought treatment. I am now well, without it, I may not have been here to tell you that.
Don't tell me that everybody has dark days. I still do, doesn't everybody? I do what I can, what everybody can on those days.
I take a shower, a walk. I put on a pretty dress, I get a spray tan and I remind myself to be kinder to me.
I feel sorry for myself shamelessly all over twitter.
I play my favourite music, I dance, and I hang the finger at inspirational quotes on Facebook then post my own aggressive blunt card.
I call a friend.
I vent until I'm exhausted and can't be bothered listening to their turn and I know they don't mind.
I know I'm lucky, I have supportive relationships, with very understanding friends and family whom still love me, and understand my moods without me having to say anything.
I have much to be grateful for.
I go for a run, in the sunshine and pick a flower. I pull funny faces to make small children laugh on school buses, smile at babies in shopping trolleys and pat the dogs I pass.
I get on with it.
I stuff myself with cake dipped in KFC on a stick with a side of melted mars bars.
I have a fucking bath with scented fucking candles and soak in it while I find my faith.
I get a good night’s sleep, and before I know it... tomorrow is another day and most likely the sun will be shining.
PLEASE don't say it, don't remind me to do these things.
I DO these things at the mere hint of a dark day, I do this as soon as I hear the faint jingle of the black dogs collar, and the noise still makes me anxious but you wouldn't know that I hear him coming or that the sounds is like a terrifying familiar friend.
So I do all of these already, almost compulsively, and I wear them like armour, Because I remember when the part of me capable of getting the desired result from such exercises screamed at me from somewhere, while I cried for her.
I was in there somewhere, and I remember. That's mostly what I remember.
The next thing I remember wasn’t any of these solutions.
I remember not being alone next.
I remember someone took the time to see I needed help. To help me, help me.
Like a big long ladder had been lowered and I could hear the ladder getting lower. It took a while to reach me, but I knew it was coming.
I remember the day that someone who had climbed the ladder before me shared their story, and it could have been mine and I knew there was an end, it helped me climb faster.
Eventually the noise of climbing the ladder drowned out the growl of the black dog and I kept going.
I now celebrate that I’ve made it far enough away to look back.
I'm at the top of the ladder, and I'm telling my story in case there is anyone else still down there.
It might help someone climb faster.
But please don't say depression is not an illness, you might make it harder for me to be heard.