There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.
Yet, we squeeze by with,
“how are you” and “I’m fine…”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
we talk about everything else
except the elephant in the room.
We all know it’s there.
We are thinking about the elephant as we talk.
It is constantly on our minds.
For you see, it is a very big elephant.
But we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.
I am sure there are many blogs today about Robin Williams and the sad news of his illness. It would be wrong for me not to acknowledge his passing but also to raise him up higher than any other human who suffered with depression and sadly also took there own lives.
The elephant in the room can be any form of mental illness which debilitated a person. Depression just seems to be the most diagnosed. I am a sufferer and can relate to the thoughts of escape but thankfully I have never actually taken it further than a thought. Am I lucky, yes.
I grew up in a home where we danced around several elephants in the room. There was no mention to anyone of the happenings inside our home and although it was not a deprived childhood, it wasn’t normal.
I learnt from an early age to answer correctly, I didn’t know any different until I started to suffer myself. I didn’t know that depression was an elephant in the room and that it explained many behaviours that sadly affected my self esteem, trust and dependency from an early age.
I had always been creative and as a child I would write poetry rather than speak about anything that didn’t make sense. I hid behind a guitar and microphone trying above all to be the best Christian I could be. I walked away from church (not my God) when I started to feel emotions such as shame and guilt. These emotions I was carried for many years and I am sure contributed to the depression I felt in 2006.
Life has been like a pond. If you watch a pond, it is still. Occasionally something will come to the surface and will need to be fished out. My experience has been that aspects of my past have come up when they are good and ready and thankfully I have had people around me who carried me until I found my feet.
I have dealt with many issues over the past 8 years and I have learnt through bereavement counselling for both parents that it is always best to talk about the elephant in the room. At times I can wind myself up to the point of total depression and unmanageability. At this point nothing makes sense and I fail to trust my own thinking let alone the advice of others. Left to my own devices God knows what I would do. Never say never.
So today I make sure that I don’t suffer anymore, that I welcome the elephant and introduce it to my friends. Eventually it will be finished with me when it realises that it has no chance against the support I have around me.
It will return and try again from another angle but thankfully I know that I no longer have to hide anymore, that I am free. My friends can usually see it before me. Those that have walked away due to ignorance I can only hope never experience the illness themselves.
I am grateful for those that have stayed and for the new friends who have been part of me finding me. I dedicate this post to all who didn’t make it.
Karen W. Terry. Linda. Paul. Marita. Robin W. God bless you and your families. Xx