Hello… It’s me!

Hello you lovely lot, it is good to be back here blogging.  Thank you for all your kind messages and support over the last few weeks, I have taken a bit of a leave of absence to get my head together and just haven’t had the energy to blog.

I opened my laptop today for the first time in a month and honestly, it took a lot to do it.  I have been feeling very low and my anxiety has been sky high.  I just felt so overwhelmed by everything that I thought it wise to avoid anything that was causing stress.

I have always used this blog as a cathartic way to deal with my emotions, writing has always been my way of dealing with the shit that goes through my head and for the first time, I just couldn’t make it happen.  But as things get every so slightly better, it feels really good to be back here.  I feel like I have come home.

So how have things been? Well, not great.

I went to see my doctor and was prescribed antidepressants to help with my low moods and anxiety and we are still trying to sort my dosage, it has been upped twice and we are working together to find the dose and medication that is right for me.  I have also been today to see the psychotherapist today to get an assessment of how they could help me, I am going to see a counsellor to try CBT and see how I get on.

This struggle with my mental health has really knocked me for six, I don’t feel like myself.  I have always been the sort of person to just power through, to be positive and be the confident, silly, loud one.  So to all of a sudden feel like I am depressed and anxious has been really difficult and frustrating.  I feel like I have been hit with a shovel.

chronic illness and mental health

Some days are better than others, and most of the time I can paint a happy face on and smile and laugh, I find it extremely difficult to open up and talk to people about how I am feeling and so I almost feel like I am acting most of the time.  I am playing the role of Normal Human Being.  Whilst inside I am ridden with sadness and anxiety.  It has been tough.

The doctors are suggesting it could be PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), that the last few years of multiple surgeries and illness have taken their toll and my mind is just catching up with it.  Whatever it’s title doesn’t really matter to me right now, what is important is that I have recognised how I am feeling and I have asked for help.

It is funny that whilst I sit here on my bed, typing away, the sun shining through my window and the sound of kids playing outside dancing on the wind, I can open up.  I can say how I am feeling.  Yet when I am with others, I find it so damn hard to find the words.  My throat closes and I feel sick at the thought of telling people my sad and dark thoughts.

I worry that they will worry, that it will make them sad.  I worry that this is just one more thing that makes me a burden to those closest to me.  I worry that they will be scared, that they will think I am an unfit mother.  I worry that they will not believe me, after all, my instagram and Facebook are filled with photos of me laughing, so how can I be depressed? I worry a lot.  You can probably tell.

I sometimes wonder about this label of depression, what does a depressed person look like? In my head, I imagine gaunt, hollow souls floating around a psych ward in hospital gowns and bunny slippers.  I think about someone who is crying, wailing and hurting themselves.

It turns out that my perception was so skewed, I see that depression doesn’t have a look, it doesn’t have a character, it is, like everything else in the world, so personal.  I know that on the outside I look happy, confident and strong, yet inside I feel like I am crumbling.  I am honoured that so many of you have been in touch and spoken about your own mental health issues and I want to thank every one of you for taking that time to reach out.

sam cleasby so bad ass blogger health ibd ostomy

I am working hard to feel better.  I am taking meds, I am forcing myself out of bed and into the allotment, making myself go out and see people, pushing myself to do ‘normal’ things.  This is easier some days than others, some days I can do it.  Others it takes everything I have just to get out of bed in the morning.  The effort of showering and changing out of pyjamas defeats me some days, but I am learning not to beat myself up about that.

This will take time.  And effort.  But I know that I will get there.

Thank you all for reading and supporting me and my little blog.

You are all awesome, you are all so bad ass


Sam xxxx


7 replies
  1. Richard Harris
    Richard Harris says:

    Hey Sam, welcome back. Thank you for sharing, the metal health impact of chronic illness is sometimes even more than the disease itself. I had a couple of periods of low mood, and councelling and CBT helped, so I hope it helps you too.

  2. Caren
    Caren says:

    Sam….You can talk about the way you feel here because we all get it! We are WARRIORS!!
    You will get better…once you’re on the correct dose and the meds kick in, you’ll feel like the old HEALTYHY you!!
    But for now, don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way that you do. It’s not your fault! You’ve been through major, major surgeries..how could your body not react???
    I’m so glad you reached out for help.
    Sending you great big, tight, squeezy hugs!!

  3. Gill
    Gill says:

    CBT is fantastic. Hope you don’t need to wait long to get it. Meds plus counciling is the way to get better for sure. I know you can’t imagine that ever happening… But I promise it will.?

  4. Jem
    Jem says:

    Sam, I wish you all the luck and recovery thoughts in the world. I’m a slow cycling depressive, and it took me about 12 years to open up properly to someone and that was without the health issues you have tackled and overcome.

    Take each day as it comes, easier said than done I know. The meds and the cat will help but you are a strong lady, even if it feels like a mountain right now. I hope you have a fab weekend.

    Much love xxx

  5. Dave Pawson
    Dave Pawson says:

    PTSD sort of makes sense Sam? Big ops are stressful in all sorts of ways, as much to your head as your bum. Hope the treatment helps.
    “Yet when I am with others, I find it so damn hard to find the words.” I hope that doesn’t stop you working with a therapist, you’ll have to pretend he/she is your blog page!

    Best wishes – good to see you in print (up to your usual high standards)

  6. Brian
    Brian says:

    Hey, it seems a bout of depression is fairly inevitable after surgery. I certainly felt drained of vitality for many months once my body had physically recovered. Give Tim a big hug for me please. Love and hugs. Brian

  7. KiKi
    KiKi says:

    Massive hugs to you Sam.

    I have, and still do, struggle with depression – over my crohns and my lack of children mainly – and you’re right; depression doesn’t have a ‘look’. Depression can and does affect anyone whether you’re rich, poor, fat, thin, a supermodel, an international star, or just a Compliance Manager from the UK.

    Thank you so much for sharing these very personal snippets of your life with us and I hope that the techniques you’re trying work for you. But remember, if they don’t work, there’s something else for you that will <3



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