FFDA Volunteer, Jenny Windsor is a teacher and mom from the United Kingdom. She has decided to share her story and her poetry with Families for Depression Awareness.
I'm a 32-year-old teacher and I live with my partner and two young children. I discovered I had depression when I moved jobs and realized doing so had been a big mistake. I had been teaching at a school for 8 years and then decided to move to another school last September. I went from being confident and happy to anxious and incredibly low.
I suffered panic attacks before going to bed and in the mornings. The world felt dark. I no longer smiled, or laughed and I couldn't look forward to anything. I didn't want to speak to anyone, including my partner. I wasn't sleeping properly and stopped eating regular meals. I lost over 15 pounds and, finally, after a lot of persuasion from a very good friend and my partner, I went to see my doctor. I was diagnosed with reactive depression nearly 6 months ago, although looking back I think I have been have had depression for a few years. I take anti-depressants and am slowly but surely getting better.
One of my coping methods is writing poetry. I have also found that exercise is helpful and gives me something to focus on. Writing poetry is like writing a diary; everything in my poems is from my heart. I hope to reach out to other people living with depression through my writing. The best thing anyone with depression can do is to say out loud, ‘‘I have depression." I ignored my symptoms for months and I know if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have got to the stage where I was having panic attacks each morning and night. Talk to someone you trust and in time you WILL get better.
Following is Jenny's poem about depression, I Smile on the Outside.I smile on the outside