One of the numerous oddities of depression is its ability to make me freak out over the tiniest of things. A delayed train, unseasonably hot weather, an unexpected ring of the doorbell. A tree.
Just when I’m feeling vaguely calm and like my mind and body might even get a little rest, something usually happens to rock the mood boat and hurl me back into the icy waters of hysteria. Even positive things can be cause for a minor meltdown, because when you’re this fragile, any kind of excitement – good or bad – can be wholly overwhelming. Depression’s a tenacious little bastard.
Which is why although I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email stating that my little blog had been selected to be ‘Freshly Pressed’, I also lost the ability to take in oxygen, blink and use my legs for a good ten minutes. I panicked.
For those that don’t know, the ‘Freshly Pressed’ section of the WordPress site comprises a selection of blogs hand picked by the WP editors-at-large, to highlight their favourite posts of the day. It’s a fantastic accolade and certainly not one I had expected to come my way. It also involves a huge flock of new readers stumbling onto your page, which I think is what threw me the most.
‘HOLY JUMPING BADGERS. People are actually going to read this?!’ squealed my brain.
I began this blog as a means for emotional catharsis, a way to reach out to other depression sufferers, but also because I had a large amount of time on my hands. It was this or alphabetising my socks. I vaguely recall thinking that if just one person found my nonsensical ramblings useful, then I would have achieved something great. I didn’t really think anyone would read it.
A few hundred emails later my expectations have been well and truly smashed. And although that initially made me feel incredibly vulnerable and like I’d tumbled into one of those dreams where you end up naked in front of a football field full of jeering Welsh men (no, just me?), I’m smiling now. So an absolutely huge, warm welcome to all my lovely new subscribers and thank-you so much for all your feedback and stories. *waves*
Having had a chance to calm down and trawl through all the wonderful and supportive comments I’ve had, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to reach a wider audience with my experiences of what it’s really like to live with a mental illness. In a society where our perception of depression is often skewed and completely off base, I’m chuffed to bits to be able to play a part in stamping out stigma – and if I had to endure a little bit of hysteria to get there, then so be it.