Its been a while since I have done a Mental Health guest post so I thought what a better time to do one than now and I had the pleasure of talking to a lovely lady called Mel who opened up about her journey.
Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’m 45 and married.
We don’t have any children but we have a dog is our baby.
Just under 2 years ago we left our life in England and moved to Spain .
I was a teacher England and I worked with adults with learning disabilities.
I am now a teacher of English as a foreign language where we are now in the process of starting our own language school.
Where did your Mental Health journey begin?
My mental health journey began around 9 years ago when I was diagnosed with Severe Depression.
I was having trouble dealing with the little things in my life not the big issues.
My husband noticed the change in me when I didn’t.
When I went to the doctors they prescribed me with Citilopram and I’ve been on it ever since.
However with hindsight I think I had issues with mental health before then nut nobody including me recognised the signs.
How is you Mental Health now?
Most of the time I think I manage with life ok.
Being in Spain has been good because life is different to England and I have time to be me.
However some days are harder than others.
One thing I find hard is people expect me to be happy.
So when some of my English friends who know I have Depression ask how I am where I respond low don’t understand how when I live in Spain.
Do you consider yourself disabled?
I’m not sure I consider myself disabled.
In some aspects I think I am enabled because I am beginning to understand myself.
How does your family deal with your Mental Health issues?
My family has never had a problem with my diagnosis.
My in-laws don’t understand.
My mother in law doesn’t understand what I have to be depressed about.
I think it might be a generation thing.
My brother who works in the medical profession is great, he’s non judgemental and just listens.
My dad works for the Samaritans and is very good as he is able to distance himself and ask questions that make me think about how I’m felling and honestly answer.
Some of my friend found it difficult because they hadn’t recognised that in me but they are supportive.
What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
I think I would tell people its scary but enabling.
Some days you will take 2 or 3 steps forward then the nest you go backwards.
Its frustrating and agonising but you will go forward again.
When people ask how you are tell the truth even if your felling crap.
They will find it difficult and weird at first but your true friends will get used and help you through the bad times.
The black dog is always there but not always negatively.
And finally tell me something you like a bout yourself.
I like my eyes and the fact that I care about others.
Thank you very much for being so open and honest Mel and I wish you all the best in the future.
Daddy Giraffe x