the dark smog

I finally feel that I have enough energy to post about how things have been for me recently. I have posted about feeling down and anxious and seeing a counsellor but things have got worse and the last week has been the toughest time of my life.

Ive felt things slipping for a while, work has been stressful, my hernia is back (that’s a wholllllleeee other post!), my mum fell out with me in May and hasn’t spoken to me since, counselling brought up a lot of things from my childhood that aren’t resolved, Timm and I are having a rough time and so I’m really overwhelmed right now.

My sister came over from Australia for work for a few weeks which was amazing!!! But her going back is just a reminder of how far away she is. At the minute it feels like she’s the only person in my close family (not including Timm and the kids) who loves me and gives a shit, so her heading back home was tough and I miss her terribly.

But really, I don’t know what sparked this low point off. The past couple of weeks have been dark, this week I literally didn’t have the energy to move. I lay in bed hiding from the world.

I managed to work (I work from home) and so I kept things going on that side, but everything else went to shit. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t move. Everything felt pointless, I felt pointless.

I suppose the biggest thing is that I’ll need another surgery and that has hit me hard. I just can’t believe I’m back to square one and I’m devastated. It’s made me feel so down on myself and my body. I feel like a failure. I feel like a burden. I feel like I only bring stress and shit (both literally and figuratively) to the people around me.

The thought of leaving the house and speaking to anyone made me cry and shake. I cancelled all plans. Even those with my best friends, I just couldn’t bring myself to move, let alone speak.

But for once I was honest about it, I text them and explained I was struggling. That was hard to do but I didn’t want them to think I was cancelling (yet again!) because I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be a shit friend.

I cancelled on my cousin for her child’s birthday party. But again, I was honest. I said I was struggling and couldn’t deal with a crowd.  I did joke that I should have come up with a more socially acceptable excuse but it actually helped to tell the truth.

I felt dark. Like everything was black and heavy. Like gravity had gone into overdrive and my body weighed more than is humanly possible. My mind went from spinning and whirling with terrible thoughts, to blank, silent numbness.  My mind was telling me how useless and worthless I am, it told me what a huge burden I am to everyone, it told me everyone would be better off without me.

It hurt.  No one ever told me that depression hurts, like physically pains you. My chest hurt, my head pounded, my mouth was dry and became ulcerated. My limbs ached, my back hurt, my eyes were dry and raw.

It came to a head on Friday, I exploded in grief and rage and fear and hurt. I threw it all at Timm and pushed him away from me. I said horrible things to hurt him. I told him to leave me.

I screamed and raged at him, I whispered the dark thoughts from my head and then waited for him to leave.

Because everyone leaves. My experience in life is that people who are meant to love you, they walk away and it tells you that you are worthless, that you literally aren’t worth the effort.  My dad did it, my mum has now done it, my sister doesn’t speak to me, cousins who I grew up with turned away at the blink of an eye, aunties block you without thought or care.

Everyone leaves.

Only he didn’t.

He kissed me and stroked my hair.  He rubbed my back and whispered words that told me I’d be ok.  He told me we were a team. He ran me a bath as I’ve not had the energy to bathe for a while. He loved me. He told me he has a choice, that he can choose to leave if he wants but he isn’t going anywhere.

He didn’t leave.  He stayed and loved me.

And it gave me a tiny bit of strength back, it helped me get dressed and take the kids to the opticians with him, it helped me to leave the house and see friends.  It showed me a crack of light in this dense, dark smog that is smothering me, it made me smile.  Even if it was only a small smile.

Its not a cure all. I’m not ok now, but I have slipped my fingertips into that chink of light and through it I can pull enough energy to call the doctors on Monday. It is just enough to allow me to ask for help.

And that’s what I will do.


Sam xxx


24 replies
  1. Dave Pawson
    Dave Pawson says:

    Keep on telling the truth Sam. Bull is good for some, but not for friends? Those who give a shit will respond with support (Big hi 5 for Timm).
    You’re on lifes big dipper, big down atm. Look forward Sam, a few of us give a shit and (somehow) hope to support you?

    Look forward to your parastomal hernia post – I have ‘opinions’ on that….

  2. julie
    julie says:

    You have been having counselling and it rakes up all the things you wish you could forget. This can easily lead to depression.
    I recognise the signs of clinical depression having been diagnosed 19 years ago. I felt useless/couldn’t be arsed to the extent I took an overdose. I was sectioned and got the help I desparately needed, but didn’t know I did.
    Please, Sam, talk to your GP and get some anti depressants. You may only need them for a short time, but they do help. And luckily there is not longer a stigma about mental health issues.
    Sending hugs

  3. Tonks
    Tonks says:

    You are amazing Sam and this step is enormous & asking for help is so mind boggling hard when the pit holding the black dog has its grip on you. Timm is like my Dave, like you I’ve tried to sabotage my relationship when my thoughts turn dark & he has been there for me when I’m at rock bottom & I often wander why he does. Like you I have lost connections with those I had hoped would be there for me. BUT by taking that step, allowing you lips to turn up into a small smile and asking “help” is the start of finding some solace. The black dog still follows me but with therapy, medication, recognising toxic people and severing those ties whilst keeping honest, frank lines of communication with those that stay by my side despite everything has helped immensely. You are a huge beacon of light and inspiration to those who follow your blog and who admire your advocacy and awareness. Time now to put yourself first, to take time to heal ~ much love xxx?

  4. Kate Sutton
    Kate Sutton says:

    Oh Sam, I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way but so proud of you for being honest with the people that love you the most. (Timm is amazing, clearly.) I won’t say I know how you feel but I too have battled this demon and I found that my using that last scrap of energy to write my thoughts down really helped, so I hope you managed to find a way to continue to do that. You are a wonderful person and even though it’s only ever been virtual, I like to think of you as my friend. Lots of love x

  5. InertiaCreeps
    InertiaCreeps says:

    Oh, my love. 🙁

    You are not alone. Even in the dark.

    The black dog is a beast and you’ve definitely had a bit of a mauling. I am so sorry that you’ve had so much to deal with. Family things can be so hard.

    Well done for your honesty. I’m not sure I can be as brave as you have been – continually brave since the time we became aware of each other’s existence. You and Timm have been through so much. He’s definitely a keeper, though! 😉

    Deep breaths. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time.

  6. Winifred Marsden
    Winifred Marsden says:

    Please dont say your a burden to your husband and kids,they will help you through thick and thin, Ive followed you for a long time you are getting help thats the main thing and you will I say will come through it. Love and best wishes xxx

  7. Marianne
    Marianne says:

    Hi Sam,
    Firstly well done on being able to write and then publish such a revealing, heartbreaking post.
    Most of us hide all this stuff away, at least I do, I hope it helps you find strength and support from friends who care so much for you through thick and thin.
    I don’t have your health problems, I have my own, but I do get the soul sapping bleak thoughts depression brings with it. It can and does get better.
    Like Timm, my husband stubbonly sticks with me, despite me telling him he could do so much better! he still insists I’m the only woman he wants! I still don’t understand why?
    Take heart loads peeps care, virtual hugs Marianne x

  8. Linda
    Linda says:

    Lots of love Sam and big hugs. I hope that you get the help that you need. A big high five to Timm, your knight in shining armour ❤️
    Damama xxxxx

  9. NancyM
    NancyM says:

    Sam first let me tell you that you have gotten me through some bad times. I came across your blog when I found out I had cancer and they discussed some terrifying things. I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. It was a low tumor and they said after chemo/rad I would need surgery and an ileostomy that may or may not be permanent. I googled ostomy and your blog was there. I have been following you ever since that day. Our diseases are different but our surgeries and our scars are the same. I was able to lose my ostomy after a year but the trauma it caused was awful. Who knows what the future will bring I may need it again. Your blog made me laugh and cry but mostly it showed me how strong a woman you are. I used you as my example when things got rough for me. Your blog reached across an ocean and touched my heart. I only wish I had your strength. I pray you will get over this bump in the road. You stood up and took charge of what life threw at you and inspired so many of us. I never posted on your blog before but felt the need when read this new entry. You are loved …….remember that….and know that you are touching so many lives by just being you ! Thank you !

  10. Angela Turner
    Angela Turner says:

    Have you read / seen Ruby Wax’s Sane New World book / tour? She suffers with depression and wrote of her experience of it together with how she copes & deals with it. Highly recommend it.

      • Angela Turner
        Angela Turner says:

        Hopefully you’ll enjoy her acerbic wit as much as we did! She laid herself bare during her Sane New World tour and I think she has helped to flush mental health issues out into the open in a refreshingly frank and honest way. She also offers some answers and solutions to some of the issues affecting people living with depression. Enjoy Sam x

  11. Patches
    Patches says:

    Oh Sam. I’m so so sorry that you are struggling. It’s awful to see you are so low. But thanks so much for your honesty and your candour. You’ve helped so many people by sharing this and your other posts. I’ve found your voice such a comfort and I hope that by reading the replies to your post, you realise how much you matter to others, even to people you have never met. You are strong, even though you might not think it. Keep going.

  12. Sidra
    Sidra says:

    I came across your blog when I was going through a difficult time with my ileostomy. I actually saw you on TV on ITV ‘This Morning’ and searched for your profile. I found everything that you posted so relevant and I could pretty much relate to most of it. Keep up the amazing work!

  13. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Sam I have followed your story since my own emergency surgery in Oct 2013 going into surgery number 2 in sept 2014and my last takedown surgery in June 2015. I have always drawn comfort from your posts as it’s nice to hear your not alone even as the years pass we all still get those dark smog times X
    Thank you for the posts you write as it helps so many of us X kerp being true to yourself it’s something that these surgerys have made me do more Xx


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