Why I Published that Post on Depression

Trigger Warning: mentions of depression and suicide.

My last post in which I revealed my struggles with depression, came as a shock to some readers. This is a space normally reserved for issues of education, not issues of  mental health.

I was nervous about it, but I felt I had to publish.

Public blogging helps me sort through ideas and find clarity. In a private journal, I go in circles, ruminating. It’s unhelpful. Writing for an audience forces me to make sense of things and communicate in a more constructive manner. It brings a responsibility to find a positive or practical outcome.  It was when I started to write the more positive part of my last post that I recalled strategies to help me in my own struggle. So at a personal level, public blogging is a helpful process.

But an even more compelling reason was  this story, shared in my Twitter feed by George Couros and then on Facebook by Tina Photakis. My heart just broke for this suicide victim, who was trying so hard to maintain an image of normality when inside she was in so much pain. She perceived that the perfect lives everyone else presented on social media was real for them, and only she was faking it.  None of us have perfect lives, we all have flaws, we all struggle, but if we only present our best parts to the world, we risk isolating others who struggle, perpetuating the belief that they are alone and not normal. I don’t want to be complicit in that.

Since publishing, I’ve received messages of support from so many of you, I’m thankful for that, and I cannot tell you how much it makes a difference. I’m doing it tough at the moment, but the the messages of support, kind words, the acceptance and validation are helping carry me through.

If you think you are struggling with depression, or if this post has triggered some difficult thoughts and emotions in you and you need help, check out the Beyond Blue website. 

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11 thoughts on “Why I Published that Post on Depression

  1. The story that started your journey is now so very sad to me. Yesterday, my talented, smart, beautiful, soon to be 21 year old god daughter took her own life. She projected a perfect life on social media but clearly was struggling more than anyone understood. I don’t think she had your support network or the maturity to recognise or see past her illness. Please look after yourself Corrine.

    • Oh Jen, that is so, so sad. This story must be so common, and particularly hard for young people, who don’t have the life experience to know that bad times don’t last. I’m so sorry to hear of how this has touched you so personally, and I hope that in sharing my story, I haven’t made things more difficult for you. Take care, Jen.

      • Quite the opposite Corinne. I think more people need to be open about our imperfect lives. Like you, I find writing publicly helps me cope with the struggle in supporting my husband through his illness. I see a counsellor regularly to support my mental health. The more we can make young people aware that they are not alone in the struggles, the less we may lose to suicide. Again thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh so sorry to read about Jen’s god daughter. I am incredibly thankful Corinne that you have been courageous enough to begin this important conversation on line and via social media. Reaching out to each other and taking note if one or the other and friends and family do not appear to be well…or are taking a time out…is vital. We are a family, a community and let’s remember that. Thanks you for your tweet this afternoon. Meant a lot. Denyse

  3. Corinne, as others have said here and with your previous post, thank you for your honesty. I feel deeply for Jen’s goddaughter and others who feel so desperately alone in their struggles. I too have a family member whom I try to support, from many miles away, and I know sometimes his struggle is so black that he can’t leave his bed, can’t see any light beyond the darkness of his day. Your post is brave because it meant taking a risk, but you have done a huge service to so many by saying it’s ok to be flawed. Thank you…I’ll pass on those apps, and I loved the ceramic bowl image. Best wishes…

  4. Clare Greenup says:

    Corinne
    your posts (whether they are on education or your own struggles) shine a light for many people. Please know that you touch a lot of people and that we are here (albeit virtually) for you too.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Corrine. I personally believe that when anyone shares a story (as long as it’s done in a respectful and appropriate way, as yours are) it makes it easier for others to access help or treatment, and, ultimately assists in reducing some of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

    Once again, thank you. Madeline

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