About depression + being bald

Depression totally sucks.

I woke up this morning feeling so buoyed.  I recently launched my kindness bomb campaign.  Something I feel so strongly that the world needs.  To help people know, be reassured, that there is kindness out there, more than there is evil.  That the old good over evil is winning, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Except in my own brain a raging war is going on and today I felt like I was losing.  There is no reason for it, as there often isn’t with the black dog.  It just crept on over me over the course of the day.  Tears would trickle down my face and I had no idea why.

Sadness.  Such a horrible thing to feel all the time.  Having no sense of hope.  I truly hate it.  I very much want to be a positive, optimistic person.  I want to be one of the lucky ones who fought it and won.   I want one of those blogs where there is only sweetness and light, and summer and brightness, where you leave feeling like you have tasted a rainbow.

But that isn’t to be.  I am too real for that, too honest for that.  Too honest.

I should get out more.  Every fibre in my being is screaming to just curl up on the couch and let it all out.  Howl, scream – let the pain out.

I didn’t even wash my hair today.

I’ve struggled with my baldness today.  Each day I pop on my hair to simulate some sense of normality, but each night when I take it off, I am faced with the reality of never having my own hair again.

I miss having my own hair so much.  As I lay in bed next to Mr C and we chat, he strokes my head and I am so conscious of the loss of my hair, the loss of the fondling of hair that two lovers do when they are entwined.  It just isn’t the same.  I don’t feel the same.  I feel incomplete.

People will tell me, do tell me, that is only hair, that it shouldn’t define me, that I am lucky to have everything else in working order.  All true.  And all completely useless to the person experiencing the pain.  It’s really unhelpful to try to make someone be grateful to be alive by diminishing their affliction.

I talk about my baldness freely.  I hardly ever talk about my depression.  Is it shame?  Am I ashamed that I cannot be happy?  What is happiness anyway?  What is joy?  These are concepts that are foreign to me.  Baldness is easy to talk about – people can see baldness.  Depression is invisible.

I used to dream of a mental break down.  Is that an awful thing to admit?  I used to want to be admitted into hospital so I had something to show for my misery, some proof that it wasn’t all in my head.  I find myself laughing at the irony.  I need to prove this isn’t in my head.  Yet it is – buried so fucking deep not even a lobotomy could cure it.

The other night I ended up in a heap on the floor in the bathroom.  Mr C cradled me as I cried at all that was wrong with my life, acknowledging all that was right, explaining the guilt I felt at not being able to focus on that.  I cried so much – for the loss of my hair, for how people keep asking me if I have cancer, for the family feud that is ensuing that has isolated me so much, for having a child with autism who so very often takes his frustration out on me, for our other child who feels she missed out on the childhood she deserved, for being overweight and too damn tired to do anything about it, for not being able to grow my nails and being told how shitty they were by a nail technician, for the gaping, horrendous, massive loss of my mom.

I cried until I could cry no more.

Depression is a horrible affliction.  So often people don’t understand.   That is why suicides are on the up.  I am lucky.  I have support.  A man who loves me so much that he can separate the real person I am from the black dog that lives inside me.  Someone who is so strong, he can carry me when I feel I can no longer carry myself.

So many are not that lucky.  But know this, if you are one of those that feels alone, I am here.  I understand, I know that tempting feeling of wishing death for the sheer relief of it all.  Don’t give in to that temptation.  It isn’t a release.  Not for you, and certainly not for those left behind.  Call someone, call me.

I have to keep going.  Otherwise I would die.  And that wouldn’t do.  Life is worth living.  Even in my darkest moments when I don’t know if I can continue, something inside of me urges me to keep going.

So I’m off out.  Without my hair. Because that is me.

Tomorrow is another day.  A new chance to do battle with the black dog.

Until next time,

SHW Signature

 

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8 thoughts on “About depression + being bald

  1. Such a brave post Sarah. Thank you for being so candid and real about such a huge struggle that lies within so many. I’m super glad you’ve got such a strong man that you can lean on. I feel for those who have this battle and feel so alienated and alone because there is no support or understanding there. Awareness and communication is key and hence blog posts like this are so important. Thank you for starting this conversation. I hope tomorrow is a calmer day for you.

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  2. Sarah, I love that you are so accessible, that you spell out the torment of depression so the world can see. It is a devastating, insidious despair and it breaks my heart that you battle it. Here’s to kindness. You do good things X

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  3. I love your writing and your honesty. Your posts are so passionate and heartfelt and I wish I could put myself out there as much as you do. I am glad you have Mr C there for you and you know we all think the world of you Sarah. x

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