The cheater vs the hard worker

Sometimes people don’t realise how much they’re actually winning at life. Just because it doesn’t feel like it, just because it’s a slow journey and a hard one doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. The most important thing I have realised in the last year is just how important it is to be able to achieve something without having to use others and to be able to have relationships purely for the joy of it not because you see what that person can do for you.
If you cannot support yourself, and need to use others pay checks because you don’t even have $500 to your name then you’re not working. Anyone can make business cards, anyone can throw together a website and anyone can have 10k followers on instagram. I have 10k followers and I’m no one important, I’m not special but I already know this and I don’t have grandiose fantasies about my abilities.
I wanted to post this because I’ve had so many conversations with people lately who fear they aren’t good enough because all these “entrepreneurs” with their slick websites and business cards have the upper hand. Don’t be fooled, because yes some people work really hard and those people are people like yourself but others do not. I personally know this from experience. Take away their fancy website, their twitter and their bloody business cards and they’re just ordinary people the only thing that remains is their overly inflated ego.
They’re not the hard workers you think they are because their full-time job is actually using other people to gain whatever they can.

“Just try to be more positive.”- Depression is an illness & we don’t choose it.

If you asked me to describe depression to you in my own words, I would tell you that to me it feels like I walk around the edge of a big black hole, and sometimes I fall in.

I have been balancing along the edge of the abyss for a long time now and two years ago I fell in, I have fallen way down and it is too dark for me to find my way back out.
This does not mean I am sitting around crying and feeling sorry for myself day in and day out. I think that is what conclusion a lot of people jump to when you tell them you suffer from clinical depression.
Let me put that myth to rest, because I still try everyday, most suffers I know still try. Yes, you do lose interest in things you once found enjoyable, and yes, you feel hopelessness and may lose your appetite and think about harming yourself. There are many symptoms that weigh you down. But if you’re like me and you’re still here fighting it, and giving life a go no matter how much you might not want to get out of bed in the morning, then, well done!

If the key to happiness was simply not feeling sad, then believe me I would have taken that path years ago.
No, I push on even when I do not want too, I work, I try to still do those activities I know I once love because I remember the feelings of happiness and joy they gave me even if I do not feel the same now, because I hope one day those feelings return.

I have encountered some ignorant people, people who will say things like “You look fine, though.” or “Just try to be more positive.”
For starters, long-term suffers I find tend to not dwell on their misery. We can laugh at your jokes, smile at you, or seem completely fine because depression is a disorder not a choice.

To really doubt whether you should be left alone or not in fear of ending your life is terrifying. I do not want to end my life, but when you constantly suffer and it’s gone on for years you start to see death in a different light, you start to become curious about what it would feel like to not have to feel at all. At least this is what it is like for me, I cannot speak for everyone and I know we all experience things differently and I understand and accept that.
I know there are those who do not, though. I find it hard to open up about my depression and anxiety in fear that someone will not understand and that can only make it worse. When you someone telling you to “be more positive.” It adds pressure and heightens anxiety.
I genuinely am actually a positive person and if I use phrases like “I doubt it” or “I don’t think it’s going to happen.” I am not being pessimistic, I am going off of experiences and I believe if you prepare yourself for the worst you wont be so disappointed.  Just because I choose to see things this way doesn’t mean it is the cause my depression, when will people get that.

Depression can happen to any of us, at any time and sometimes it doesn’t even need a reason to curse us with its ugly presence. I really wanted to write something down tonight as I am struggling (some nights are worse than others). I wanted to try to reassure those who might feel the same way.
If someone doesn’t understand your depression or they’re making you feel guilty for being this way, just remember, they probably don’t have depression, they’re most likely not a doctor, and if they think it is as simple as just getting over it they don’t realize how lucky they are. We all experience bouts of sadness, but sadness and depression are not that same thing, sadness is temporary.

It got really dark before I saw the light- I had a mental breakdown at 25.

Most of us use the term “I am having a mental breakdown” to describe a tough day or just when something isn’t going right, resulting in frustration.
I will never use the phrase loosely again, because I had actually did have a mental breakdown and it lasted months. The most scary part of having a nervous breakdown is that the person experiencing it has no idea they are actually having one. Well, at least I had no idea, I honestly thought I was going insane towards the end.
It had built up over years, my psychical and mental health slowly but steadily declined. I became extremely depressed, but at the same time I found ways to cope, grit my teeth and bare it. It is for this reason I did not seek professional help, I thought I was fine and I thought I was strong enough to beat it on my own.
I am strong, I pushed through the constant thoughts of suicide that entered my mind, I found happiness in the company of a dog and kept sane by my love of outdoors. When I felt my thoughts going to that dark corner of my mind, I knew it was time to saddle up my dog and go bush walking. I say saddle because he was huge, and I quite small so it always felt like I was tacking up a pony, there is no other way to describe getting my dog ready for a walk.

I went in labor at 19 weeks into a previous pregnancy, the thoughts from that night still haunt me and my brain has blocked out a lot of the trauma for me, but of course it’s still there, deep down those memories hide. It was a warm night, I remember that much, I was feeling unwell and thinking I was just over heating. The pain grew, and I knew something was very wrong. We were far from help, far from a town, even to call an ambulance I would still need to wait, and time wasn’t on my side. It was so quick and before I knew it I needed to push, I gave birth to a tiny baby girl in the car that night on the side of the road. Too fragile, too undeveloped to survive on her own. My brain was still logical at that point and I had to accept fate. She couldn’t breathe on her own, her lungs hadn’t developed to be able to do so. The world just could not take her, and she was born just to turn into an angel, at least that’s how my mother puts it.
I was only 23, at that age we never would guess how cruel the world can be until it decides to show us.

This was the starting point for my depression, but denial made it worse. I don’t remember much that happened in the weeks after, it seems like a blurred dream. Sometimes I think to myself “Did that really happen, or am I imagining it?” my psychiatrist said flashbacks are usually caused by the brain remembering a suppressed memory that is triggered by a certain situation, or even a sound or smell.
I have been told I would pace, I vaguely remember the pacing. I remember the soothing but odd feeling it bought me, as if I could pass time really quickly if I kept moving.
I spoke to various doctors, psychiatrists, and lots of other people after it happened but my brain wasn’t taking anything in, the lights were on but no one was home so to speak.

Just because a traumatic event happens to someone, does not mean they are going to immediately have a breakdown, or become severely depressed right away. It took almost 3 years for everything to catch up with me, and when it did, it hit me hard.
Unfortunately I dragged someone down with me, someone who really had no idea what he was getting himself into. He wanted to help, but he wasn’t a professional, he wasn’t psychically with me either, we was overseas but we spoke daily and at the time I thought it was enough. When I met him, well just before I met him I was at rock bottom, I had been in an abusive relationship with my former partner, the one I had the baby girl too. Even though him and I had separated about a year and half after the miscarriage I was free from his narcissistic abusive behavior but I was still struggling.
Then I met this other person, who held out their hand to me, little did he know at the time but he was a lifeline. Little did I know that I couldn’t be saved from the breakdown that was edging closer.

So what are the signs you could possibly be having a mental breakdown, keep in mind they don’t all come at once, symptoms include anxiety, depression, memory loss, distorted reality, flashbacks, unable to stop crying or stop yourself randomly bursting into tears, restlessness, dramatic change in mood, and a strong desire to self harm. There are many other symptoms because we are all different and all experience things at a different level of intensity but my psychiatrist said anything out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t normally be doing can contribute.
It is easy to believe you are insane, you forget the person you were before the depression even started, it becomes harder to imagine what it would be like to return to your former self because it’s been so long you have actually forgotten who that person was.

Pressure and stress makes it worse, unfortunately my quest to desperately recover added to it all. I need to get better, I need to be stronger, was the worse thing I could possibly tell myself as it added more pressure than I could handle. It adds pressure on others as well, those trying to help but are unsuccessful can’t understand what they’re doing wrong. This starts a whole vicious cycle of self blame as well as looking for others to blame.
There is hope yet, I started to receive professional help, I got to know and trust the people I talk to and my psychiatrist put me on medication before tackling my past trauma to make sure I had a more stable mind to avoid anything like this happening again.
Guess what? It is working, I am still very sad, I have lost a lot in the last year and I still have a lot of grieving to do but being able to freely grieve and know exactly what it is I am sad about, which is such a relief than being distraught and not entirely knowing why.

Having a mental breakdown does not mean you’re crazy. It means something is wrong and we are unable to help ourselves in that moment. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness and neither is going on medication. I have heard or even been told myself, that you do not need medication. Well sometimes you do if it helps.
Never let anyone else tell you what they think you might need because it could lead to a tragic ending, and if you or someone you know is suffering from depression seek medical advice because trying to tackle it on your own is a difficult and dangerious journey.

Our dogs can sense our emotions

Until now I have never got professional help for my depression, and even though I am receiving help its early days and I don’t feel any different yet, unfortunately.
3 years ago I had a miscarriage at 19 weeks into my pregnancy, it’s still very raw in my mind because after it happened my brain shut off. I don’t remember my stay in the hospital after it happened, but I have been told I would pace. I vaguely remember the pacing, it’s a haze but I can remember the feeling of stress and not being able to stay still.

I was in hospital for 7 days but the days and nights are the same to me, I wouldn’t eat, I slept all the time and if I was lucky enough I would have a moment where I would forget why I was sad, but it was only for a moment.
I didn’t want to talk about it, even though I wasn’t doing anything I was so exhausted even just to speak.

A little while on and I was given a gift, a puppy.
I know you cannot replace anyone you have lost in your life, everyone leaves a unique print on your heart. This puppy didn’t replace my baby, I know that now but at the time I was so desperate, and it was enough.
He was scared and sad too, he wanted his parents and his siblings and would cry out for them. I realized that he didn’t understand why his world had changed so dramatically and he needed me to make him feel safe and wanted.
I wanted him to settle in and be happy, I wanted him to have the best life he could possibly have.

It helped me to focus on him, I started to smile, at him because he knew that, that was me being happy, his little tail would wag. He knew if I had tears and was sad, and he would rush over to see if I was okay.
Eventually he was toilet trained, and I had trained myself to get out of bed and have a better day than the previous one.

I have been speaking to so many people with a similar story, how their dogs aid them through tough times. This makes me happy, it makes me happy to know that there are people who love and appreciate dogs as much as I do, because they are truly remarkable creatures.

20150918_075722.jpg@biancamcgibney – Instagram

Reaching out about depression- It’s okay to feel sad

I have almost good days, but I still have very bad days, so almost good day is an achievement.
Since I have been resting during my pregnancy it’s the first time in 3 years I have been able to reflect on my past. There is no such thing as luck in my eyes, only life. Life happens how it happens, sometimes you can’t avoid it.
If you are anything like me you might find yourself wishing you could go back in time, wishing you could go back to a certain point in your life before it got bad and redo it with the knowledge you have now to aid you in not making the same mistakes.

I have come to get to know myself more than I ever did in the last year, I know I am strong, I have pushed through this endless storm one slow day at a time.

Sometimes it helps to hear others speak out about their depression only to find the similarities that reassure me that I am not completely alone in feeling this way.
Lately I have been trying to work out why, in the last year has my depression peaked. Why am I my lowest when I should have have everything I ever wanted. Perhaps because all I ever wanted I already had.
People come and people go from our lives, if they go it’s probably because they weren’t that good for us in the first place. I met a man who changed my life completely, if you have read my previous post you will know the full story but this isn’t about that.
There are some people in the world who want to white knight themselves, as I like to put it. These people are usually a bit narcissistic and can’t seem to genuinely just want to do a good deed without praise, or them getting some sort of self-gratification out of every situation.

The person I met thought he was my savior, I want to make note that I rolled my eyes just typing that.
“I’ve always been attracted to girls with some sort of extra baggage.” he told me once.
Immediately this rang a distant warning bell in my mind and I was actually quite offended. My depression isn’t cute, it’s not something I want someone to refer to as a trait to be attracted too. Unfortunately like a lot of people do, I pushed this strange comment to the back of my mind and filed it under “not important so forget it.” I do this a lot, I file potential warning signs from those whom I want to believe mean well.

At the time I honestly thought I was being saved, for a short time I felt excitement again, I felt happiness from the excitement and for someone who had suffered a two-year bout of depression, these emotions were addictive.
This person was not saving me, they weren’t even helping me, I just ignored it because I desperately wanted it to be picture perfect to believe it had all been worth the fight.
Eventually it led to them realizing their efforts weren’t paying off or being as rewarding as they would have hoped because I was getting worse. Their patience was up, and I was told to stop being sad and compared to all these other people who managed to pull themselves out of it.
This is the most disgusting thing you can say to someone who suffers from depression. I lost a baby 2 years ago at 19 weeks into my pregnancy, it’s true what they say, there is no time limit on grief.

No one can help us but ourselves, we have to want to be helped, and at that time I never asked to be saved, I didn’t realize it but before this person came along I was already on my own way to finding my own way out of the dark.

Don’t let someone cloud your judgement for their own self-gratification, don’t let someone tell you that they know best and they know what you need because they do not.
Especially if these people do not have any kind of qualification in mental illness and I can assure you if you seek professional help from lets say a psychiatrist, they are not going to tell you what they think you should do with your life. A professional will listen, and guide you, maybe help you achieve the goal you want to achieve but aren’t sure how to reach it.
I find this so important because if someone is trying to help you, no matter what their intentions are.  Whether they think they are actually doing right by you or not, if they are not trained to deal with such matters they can do more damage than good.

I also understand that reaching out and getting help can initially be a big step. If you are like me, you may not like to open up to strangers or even talk about certain topics over and over, having to relive them again and again.
If you’re thinking about seeing a psychiatrist or any professional able to help you then my advice is don’t give up on it. If the first person you talk to you doesn’t suit you and you do not feel completely comfortable, it is perfectly okay to find someone else, establish a relationship first before you open up.
This is what I have had to do, it hasn’t happened overnight, I am not cured from my depression no matter how hard to wish I could be, but with my first-born on the way I want to get better.

It’s a journey I have realized I have to face alone, I am now a single mother at 26 and this does not scare me. I have had people, mind you it’s those who don’t have children and most guilty of this, tell me that it’s too hard on your own. This is exactly why we need to follow our own path, everyone is different, we all handle situations with different strengths.

You don’t know how strong you are until strong is all you have left.

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Instagram @biancamcgibney

If you live within Australia and feel you need to talk to someone you can visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites

Could guilt be fueling our depression?

I was diagnosed with chronic depression in 2014, but probably suffered from it a little bit longer than I sought out medical advice for.
Good things don’t happen to us all the time and I don’t actually believe in karma. I was having a conversation with my mother earlier who was saying today she was having a bad day and missing her friend who had passed away from an aggressive brain tumor that came on very suddenly.
I sensed her frustration as she said to me “Why can’t it have happened to a murders, and not good people?!” This got me thinking, karma does not exist no matter how many inspirational Facebook quotes we post about it. Life just happens, whether you’re a good person or not, being a good person does not guarantee a perfect happy life.

I know this from person experience, I have at one time in my life been in a long-term abusive relationship, lost a baby at 19 weeks of the pregnancy, met another man, got married only to have him leave me when I was 16 weeks pregnant into my third pregnancy.
I do not have any children due to misscarriages but I really want to be a mother.
All this ends up weighing heavily on ones shoulders, and to add to it, if you have read my previous blog I made the mistake to re-home my dog who was my source of happiness throughout all this.
The plan for me was to move to America to join my Husband in Los Angeles, his idea originally but I was the only one with stable income. I was paying for his flights if I wanted to see him, even gave him cash to pay his bills, all the while he just enjoyed a freeloader lifestyle with relatives at the age of almost 30 while he pursued a career in the music industry.
I am all for supporting people following their passion that I have learned that you cannot sacrifice your own happiness to do so. I did just that, I wasn’t used to the feeling of pure happiness of my own in quite sometime so I turned his happiness into my own, and you can only stretch someone else’s happiness in replace of your own so far.
He never asked me for money I gave it willingly which he uses to justify the whole sitution, but for me it kind of makes it more heart breaking because I only wanted to help and support him and I feel as though he took advantage. He will beg to differ but like a say later on in this blog I will literally work myself to the bone for those I love for them to have the best life they can have, if even if I am not asked. Even if you suggest I take a break. I now believe and realize if you really want to give someone you love a break, and you’re perfectly capable, get out there and lend them a helping hand no matter what it takes.

How would we survive on my small savings of $20,000? Where would I work when I finally got overseas? Would it have to be workigng illegally? How do I get my giant dog from Australia to America and afford to have my child?
These thoughts would replay in my head, I knew deep down, even though I was strongly in denial, that I was the only one willing to work hard enough to achieve this plan, but I am naive and would sacrifice for those I love most. I only 26 and still have a lot to learn, but believe me I am learning fast!
I sacrificed a lot, at the top of the list of course, my pets, even though I was willing to work myself into a heap of bones piled on the floor to take them with me, my previous living situation was a bad one so I probably would have had to move on anyway at some point.
I gave up my happiness to work away from my hometown for months on end to support a grown and capable man who was not putting forward anything only promises that he could never seem to meet. Actions speak louder than words and all he gave me were words but my first instinct is to believe those I love and try to triumph the bad with letting the good overwrite it.
My grandmother says “People don’t change, they only reveal their true selves.” How true this is, I took myself down the hard road to have to learn this. This is my problem, of course, I don’t blame anyone but myself, why do I do these things and when will I learn?
I continuously blame myself for everything and it has made my depression worse.

My husband told me to terminate the pregnancy at 16 weeks because he thought it was best. I had seen my baby on ultrasounds, moving about happy and healthy, I had heard his little heart beat grow stronger and stronger, I was not about to end his life!
Why do I feel so guilty for not abiding my husbands wishes? He doesn’t speak to me currently, not that I care, but he doesn’t even ask about his child, that believe it or not if I kept he wants to be part of its life.
Why do I let guilt take hold of me? I feel guilty that my child wont have a father, no matter how many times I tell myself it is best this way.
I feel guilty because I let a 30-year-old man tell me I “quilted” him into having a child, I didn’t rape him, he wasn’t in tears tied down, trying to escape at the time we decided to make the child.
To clarify, I wasn’t sure about going to America due to wanting to have a child on my own. This was something I had thought long and hard about after losing a baby and having an abusive partner, I preferred life on my own and I have always been very independent and loving towards children and animals. After my miscarriage I had gotten a bad infection in my uterus that I was taking courses of antibiotics on and off for. I would go through periods where it was all okay, and then out of no where it would strike with vengeance, spreading to my kidney and bladder at times and I would be straight back on antibiotics. Eventually this would lead to me having a hysterectomy by the time I was 30 if my condition hadn’t gotten any better. I had looked into carry a baby on my own, and was told the earlier I had I did choose to have a baby, if I chose to have one at all, the better my chances were, of course like any situation there was pros and cons. I weighed them up, and knew if I didn’t try I would live with regret.
My pregnancy is going so well, I have had 3 miscarriages in total, but two of those were before I barely even found out I was pregnant. I should feel blessed and happy, I feel extremely grateful but my depression wont let go, and again, I am pretty sure it is due to guilt.
Nothing is my fault and my fault alone, really. We all make mistakes but I think if you’re trying to cater for everyone else’s needs and happiness we eventually feel guilty if we can’t please everyone.
Keeping this baby is the most selfish thing I have ever done and my psychiatrist reminds me religiously that keeping my child is not selfish. I have only been told it is by someone who is using the trick of guilt to get out of a situation they don’t want to be in, even though they are across the other side of the world pretending to be famous and taking 100 selfies a week to remind us all what they look like on a daily basis. My point being, he couldn’t care less and appears to not have a care in the world.

If you have suffered something similar to this where you think guilt is fueling your depression you are not alone.
This is just my experience with it, but people around me speak of their experiences also, and the moral of the storty is always same, guilt can and will eat you alive!