The broken wrist analogy (written by Abigail)
*Picture taken off internet*
BLOG TAKE OVER
I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.
**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required**
Thank you Abigail for your openness in ‘take over 10’
When asked to write about how it feels to have depression I started by reflecting on a question that I have had for years, “do you think you’ll ever get better and stop having depression?” Personally, I don’t think so. I think depression has become an aspect of my life and I cannot ignore this. I think my brain HAS changed because of depression. I now think differently and perceive the world in a new way. Not everyone who has depression feels like this, and this is entirely from my own experience. Sometimes it doesn’t feel rubbish knowing this, more of a resigned acceptance.
But do not despair! I think it’s really hard for people who do not have a mental illness to understand that, when I say “yes I’ll always have depression” it doesn’t mean I’ll always be depressed. Quite the opposite in fact. I love life. I am so blessed and currently very lucky to be surrounded by a gorgeous network of people I know and love and I’m very excited about my future. Despite the fact I am currently going through a depressive episode. It is because of this mis-understanding I have developed something I call the “Broken Wrist Analogy”.
A few years ago I broke my wrist on holiday. The experience I had with that caused me to reflect and think of it like the one with my depression. You’ve broken your wrist and It hurts. You can’t move it and you literally can’t stop thinking about this pain. You go to the doctor get a plaster cast on it and it heals, however, it’s never quite the same because your wrist has been hurt. Sometimes you can go months without thinking about it. You can go about living your life with no problem to your wrist. Some days you can wake up and be in pain. All it does is hurt and you’re sick of it because you broke your wrist years ago and it’s just so annoying that it still hurts.
Sometimes you decide it’s a great idea to carry lots of heavy bags in one hand, causing your wrist to ache. Sometimes it aches in brand new ways. But you’ve already had pain before so you can think of ways to help it. Whether that’s going to a doctor, having a rest, or just moaning about it to friends and family. At some point you begin to see how funny it is that the wrist just keeps doing the same things in brand new shiny ways. Your wrist heals and it gets stronger. For a while its delicate but then it’s unstoppable. You begin to use it normally again, you carry one bag of shopping, then two, then three. You begin to weight lift, it gets stronger and stronger every time you do, so then the next time it hurts, it’s okay, because your muscle has all this memory of being strong. Sometimes your wrist twitches, you get a shot of pain but then it feels okay again. Sometimes it’s such a shock. It’s still got these lasting effects of the injury. You’re trying really hard, but it just hurts. And that’s not great. But it’s okay.
Over time, you accept the fact that, your wrist is different now. Its been broken but now it’s getting better, you realise that maybe if it wasn’t for all the trouble with it, your arm wouldn’t be as strong as it is now. You realise that maybe, it’s okay to be a bit different and have battered, unique, wonderful, wrist.
There we have it, me talking about my mental illness. Those who have finished the aforementioned paragraph and feel somewhat confused about a girl who clearly spends too much time thinking about old injuries that’s okay. Just know that if you know someone who has depression, it’s okay. They can still laugh and have joy and conquer difficult things and achieve EVERYTHING they want. It just means sometimes; old injuries play up.
Thank you Georgie for giving me this opportunity to write! It’s been super fun, and I would encourage anyone out there who hasn’t done this before to give this a go, it really adds perspective.