I love October in Brisbane because we’re one step closer to summer. The weather is starting to warm up, people are back in shorts and flip flops, but most importantly Brisbane is sprinkled with vibrant, beautiful jacaranda flowers from the jacaranda tree. It’s a magical time of year.
But… this time last year I did not see the purple from the jacaranda flowers. I could no longer hear the laughter of my kids. I could not smell the delicious smells from my favorite bakery. Why you might ask? The depression had taken over and just getting out of bed was exhausting.
The last year in my journey from depression to happiness has not been easy. In fact it’s been hell for 90% of the time however with the right help and the right support I’m starting to feel better one day at a time.
Depression to Happiness
Something in side of me knew I couldn’t keep going the way I was going. Things were spiraling at home, work and of course my business. Things needed to change stat.
My motivation Finlee (my 8 year old) and Chloe (my 4 year old). They needed me to be a good mother. To be there for them. But also to role model to them that putting your mental health first is just as important as getting your leg fixed or your heart fixed.
I booked in with my local GP and the journey from depression to happiness began.
How to Get Help for Mental Health
As a mental health clinician, I know where to go get help for mental health, but so many Australian’s or individuals around the world don’t so I just want to put a few starting points for you below.
- Step 1 – if you are feeling like hurting yourself or others please phone 000 immediately
- Step 2 – if you aren’t in immediate danger ring your GP as the starting point
- Step 3 – explore with your GP if you need medications, need to see a psychiatrist or you can also get a mental health care plan where you can access a psychologist/social worker for up to 6 sessions and then another 4 after that (10 total)
Please remember that you may not need all of these suggested interventions, it will depend on your mental health.
Thank You to My Family and Friends
One can not go from depressed to happiness without the love and support from family and friends.
Depression is lonely. While maybe it feels lonely because you’re in the dark of the depression, but I’m here to tell you, there are friends around you the entire time; you just might not see them at the time because of the darkness of the depression.
There have been a lot of people contact me during the last year, but there have been a handful of people who have really gone above and beyond to stay by my side this last year. To check in on me. Send me funny memes/GIFS. And simply ask: how are you?
Dale, Finlee & Chloe – Thank you for always loving me even when I was at rock bottom.
Dad – half way across the world and you always continue to support me; thank you.
Lisa & Stacie – thank you for all the Facetime calls and helping me to laugh again.
Justin – you may have never realised how much it meant when you simply asked on a really bad day “how are you?” Thank you.
Karl – very similar to Justin above. Through the year, you asked on many different occasions how I was regardless of how busy you were; thank -you.
Brenno & Sarah – thank you both for always making the time to stay connected not only for me, but for the kids.
Glen, Peta, Garry and Emma – thank you for always touching base, for catching up over dinner and also for all the funny meme/GIFS.
Janet – thank for checking it, but also thank you for always being the sounding board, calling a spade a spade and keeping me grounded.
Jane – thank you being that one constant friend at school pick up, drop off, the park… oh and ballet too. But also for our nights out without children.
Richard and Michael – neither of you are on Facebook so you might not see this, but I still wanted to acknowledge how much the both of you mean to me. You both would ring me weekly to see how I was doing, arrange for lunch etc. Thank you both so much.
Katie – we’ve only been friends for a short time, but you always take the time with 3 kids and a business to ask me how things are going, how’s the new medication etc. Thank you for your support.
Where to From Here
My mental health journey is not over; it’s far from over. I’m still testing a new medication at the moment and even if that works, mental health will always be part of me. And I’m ok with that.
But what I do know is this… One year on and I’m happy to say that the jacaranda flowers look as beautiful as ever, I love hearing the sweet laughter of my kids echoing through my house and the smell of my bakery is as sweet as ever (I should know I now have a third ass from all the eating I’ve been doing).
Depression to happiness is a different journey for everyone, but with the right help and support eventually everything will start to be ok again.
And remember you’ve got this.
Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids.