How a lack of timely support led to depression
Life throws us curveballs that we’re not always prepared for. If you don’t have people to turn to or timely support right when you need it, you can find yourself on a slippery downward spiral very quickly. It’s how people suddenly find themselves homeless seemingly overnight, sleeping in cars or on the street.
How It All Started
I was in my 20’s working for a Trust company in the city with a bunch of other young people. I got roped into playing netball with them once a week in a corporate league. I’m not sure why I agreed. I despised netball.
Four games in and I was tussling for the ball with a girl way bigger than me when she lost her balance and fell with full weight and force onto the side of my ankle, and I crumpled to the floor in tears of agony.
I couldn’t put any weight on my foot and had to be carried to my car by a workmate (which was very embarrassing), and he drove me home.
I had recently moved into a flatshare in the city with three others. I didn’t know them very well and hardly ever saw them because I was always out.
No-one was home when I got home that evening, so I went straight to bed. In the early hours of the morning, I needed the bathroom, so I crawled on my hands and knees to the end of the hallway where the toilet was. The next thing I knew I was on the floor with my head next to the toilet (which was pretty gross when you consider what flatshare with boys can be like). It appeared I had fainted from the pain irradiating from my ankle.
Lack of Support
My boyfriend of one year lived just around the corner. He popped by the next morning, gave me a bar of chocolate and promptly left leaving me feeling very sorry for myself. He wasn’t the nurturing type.
As I couldn’t walk or drive, I couldn’t get to work or physio. And because I was a temp, no work meant no money, and no money meant I couldn’t pay my weekly rent. I realised then I was stuffed as I had not much in the way of rainy day savings.
A few days later in quiet desperation, I rang my parents who hired a truck and came over to help pack up my all my worldly possessions, and I moved back home. At least I had this option to fall back on.
Within the space of one week, I experienced four of life’s five most stressful events – an injury, moving house, a ‘separation’ (my boyfriend dumped me soon after), and job loss. I spent the next three months staring into space wondering how at 25 I was back living with my parents. It was no wonder I was depressed.
It Can Happen To Any Of Us
The reason I share this story is that something like this could happen to any of one of us, at any time. And if we don’t have good friends or family we can rely on or turn to, things can go pear-shaped pretty quickly.
And I believe timely support would have made all the difference to how quickly I bounced back from this challenging situation.
You can’t do this alone. Nobody can. Nobody should have to.
– Seanan McGuire
If I had been offered a lift to physiotherapy by someone (e.g. like my boyfriend!). If someone had checked I was well nourished with food in the house and the ability to prepare it. If someone had popped in to see if I was ok (before the days of text), then perhaps I would have been back on my feet quicker and back to work thus ensuring my ability to pay the rent and keep a roof over my head.
Be Better Prepared
Stressful times, without timely support from strong social connections, can bring about a deterioration in health. And if we don’t have our health, what do we have?
When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied. – Herophilus
We are more able to cope with difficult times if we are better prepared by having good support structures in place. Even though not everyone has these, it’s never too late to start building one by improving our own social network.
As Kiwis, we try and do it all ourselves anyway, often to our own detriment. We have a lot to learn about asking for help and really, it shouldn’t be that hard because people want to help, they just don’t always know you need it.
That’s why we created Swathe.me to make it easy to let people know when you need help, and they could show you how much they want to help.
Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected one and all. – Deborah Day
Life isn’t always rainbows and bunnies. The tough times will come and we can’t always do it alone. Having good timely support and strong social connections means knowing you are not alone, that people are there for you, and this will give you the strength and resilience to push through to better times and beyond.
Are you currently experiencing a significant health or life challenge and finding things difficult?
Until now, it’s just not been possible to get the practical support you need, when you need it. Now, Swathe.me makes it so easy for you to get the practical support you need from your family and friends, even when they can’t be there in person
CLICK HERE to start making tomorrow a better day.