Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WHY I HAVE BEEN ABSENT

 Hi,

 I feel ready to explain where I have been  for the last couple of years.

I have been ill.

I was far too ashamed and embarrassed to let anybody know particularly those people who follow my blog.

This blog is all about recovery from child abuse and how it can be done and I am proof of that. How could I possibly tell you but I was depressed? Especially when it took me a while to realise that I was.

The daft thing is that the depression had nothing at all to do with my childhood although of course everything is affected by childhood abuse but this was not about that.

It all started in July 2012 when our house started to be renovated. I absolutely detested having people in my house all day every day even though they were doing what I had asked them to do and was paying them to do. They were making my house safer for me. The floors were taken up so that all that was left was very dusty concrete all something like it. We had been away for a week whilst they did the bathroom and the kitchen and although I knew that the floor was going to be taken up I didn't realise this report I would see when I came back. The dust was everywhere and it put my teeth on edge.

I felt very guilty for not wanting these men here I wanted my space. My home is my safety and I felt very unsafe whilst they were doing it. I naïvely thought it would take a couple of weeks but in fact it took almost a year but I am very happy with the result and we have a much more secure house now.

My disease was progressing at quite a pace but I did not stop doing dog shows in fact I did more and I showed more dogs. I was not going to give in to my disease. I was not going to be a wimp. I could stop my disease from progressing if I did enough. During this time I had no time for anything and the only indication to me that I was getting worse was that instead of having to spend the following day after dog show in bed I had to spend the following two days in bed and the third day doing nothing unless of course I had two shows which mostly I did have a show each weekend and sometimes on a weekday as well.

I started falling quite frequently at the shows.  Sometimes I fell on grass which was less painful but many times I fell on concrete which was very painful but of course I denied it and I made a joke out of it. What I didn't see was the danger I was causing myself and any dog but I might fall on which fortunately never happened. Dogs are not stupid they get out of the way fast.

I also started to have problems with my driving. I had more than once fallen asleep at the wheel on the way home from dog shows. So I would stop at service areas and I would park way off leaving my engine running because of the air con and I would sleep for an hour or so. I got home but I usually spoke with John all the way back after the sleep.

John had always said that he would never go to the general championship shows with me because he would never get up that early to go. He changed his mind and decided that he would come with me because he said he realised it was the only way I was going to be able to continue to go. He doesn't drive but he was able to get everything out of the car including my wheelchair and set everything up for me in the grooming area.

Whilst I was waiting in the collecting area to go into my class I happened to look up and saw John sitting at the side of the ring and I saw the look on his face and I realised that my days of showing dogs was over. These are our retirement years. I could not let John do this. He hated it but he was doing it because he loved me and he knew how important it was for me to show the dogs.

Two things converged at this point: my denial of my disease and consequently my denial that dog showing was no longer possible for me. Idea to have a good cry over both of them one is the cries was with a dear friend who listened and understood because she herself shows dogs.

This left my life feeling empty as if I no longer had any purpose. I had not been able to knit for quite some time and I had done very little in the way of yarn dyeing. 

 Gradually I became severely depressed to the point but I was beyond planning but about to do it.  My drugs are kept in a safe under the desk on which I keep my iMac.  As I was sitting there with the safe open and calculating how many I was going to need that would send me to sleep and stop my lungs from working whilst I was asleep, my iMac made a noise which told me that an email has arrived.  For some reason I moved my mouse which cleared the screen and I could see that I had two emails are both from friends that I have spent a lot of time with despite the fact that they live abroad and that I met them on Facebook. Both emails were telling me to get to a doctor as soon as possible. One of them who suffers from depression herself told me something that really frightened me: she said you have always said that you would never do it because of John but depression doesn't care what you think it thinks for itself and it can make you do things that you do not want to do. Considering I was looking at my safe full of drugs  when I email arrived and when my other friends email arrived I picked up the phone to my doctor's surgery. They know me very well and know me as a happy person who never grumbled about his condition and always cheered them up. They knew immediately that I needed help and within an hour I was seeing a doctor and I did not argue when I was prescribed antidepressants  (something I have always been very much against because I felt that they did not work and would just a way for drug companies to make money.)

 Within a week my desire to live came back and now five weeks later my  my head has stayed above the water but my doctor yesterday doubled the dose because although I think it had worked remarkably well I still didn't think I was right and neither did she think I was back to my normal self. 

 This has been a very difficult learning experience for me full stop.  I cannot say if my childhood abuse had anything to do with the severity of my reactions to the last 2 1/2 years or not. All I do know is that I hid  what was going on with me. And I certainly was not going to be writing about it on my blog because I felt I would be letting you all down because I felt that you would think I had given you false hope  about how it is possible to recover from child abuse.

I realise now how very wrong I was to not have shared what was going on with me and making assumptions about what you would think. I also think for once that this wasn't directly to do with my child abuse but the effects of child abuse pervades everything as we know so  I am really not sure.

I am sorry that I did not share about all this as it was going on and that I basically abandoned this blog for long time and therefore its readers and for that I truly am sorry. Yes, it has occurred to me that there are now no readers of this blog but I have the least  done what I should have done and may be some readers didn't give up hope that I would write again. 

7 comments:

^.^ said...

Glad to have you back writing, Colin ... I was there with you in your time of darkness ... you have no idea, how important you and your message is ... to me ... tears, sweet man ... we are in this together, okay? ... besides, you still have to teach me how to friggin knit ... smiles,hugs,woofs and purrs ... Love, cat.

valerieB Canada said...

I look for your blog and twitter entries EVERY DAY but I'm a poor correspondent to say the least. I was worried about you and how well you were even though I didn't write. I know how it feels to have to adjust to a new reality, physically speaking, and I know it's very hard to let go of some of the things you want to do. It takes a good while, but you will adjust and find satisfaction in what you can do. At least that's what I tell myself and so often now, that I think it might be true. Kind thoughts, Colin!

steel breeze said...

I'm still reading!! I was aware you were struggling from your FB posts, so I am glad you are now getting help! Sorry I haven't commented much, August and September were pretty bonkers here so I haven't been online much. Depression is an illness and there is no shame in that - you wouldn't be ashamed if you had the 'flu! Who knows what is around the corner? Maybe a new hobby? Sending hugs!!

Dan and Julie in San Diego said...

Good to see you back writing.Know that many people care about you no matter what. I am sending nam myoho renge kyo for your recovery from this disease. No need to feel apologetic about depression. You wouldn't feel bad about a cold, and depression is just another disease that causes a total depletion of the spirit. So please do the things that are restorative to you.And remember there's a world full of folks out there loving you.
Julie

midnightvelvet said...

Dearest Colin,I wish you had found the courage to say what was happening with you before, but I am so glad to see you writing again.
Stay strong my friend...you have a wedding to attend in a few weeks on your birthday ;)
xxxxx

Biki Honko said...

I'm glad you are still here with us. You my dear are a treasure and the world would be dimmer indeed without your wonderful outlook. Take care of yourself, you are important!

Nancy Peterson said...

Hi Colin,
Thank you for your very frank post. Coincidentally, it's the very first post of yours I've read. I found your blog through knitman dot com, and that through a comment you posted on Mr Hugzz blog here on the West Coast (of Canada).
Whatever it is that brought me to look at your blog now, I want you to know that I honour your courage in sharing your health struggles. I too have a relationship with what is sometimes called "The Black Dog", and have done so knowingly for almost 15 years, though I am 14 years younger than you. It takes courage and commitment to speak openly about mental health issues, and by doing so in your blog you never know who or how many you could reach. It may be happenstance, as for me, or a regular follower, but openness about depression and its variants is a conversation that all of us have a connection to; someone we know, whether we understand it yet or not, is affected.

Enough about that. I really find your dyeing glorious, and have too much (haha!) lace yarn in my stash at the moment, and so haven't got the excuse to get some, but some day!

All the best to you as you move forward.
Sincerely,
Volleymomma
(Nancy AF Cripps P)