Where are you now, Ruby?Ruby talks about how life has changed for her since being interviewed for our young people, depression and low mood project in 2008. This is the first in our 'Where are you now?' series of blogs by people who have shared their stories on Healthtalkonline.org and Youthhealthtalk.org.
What happened next? Where have you been? Well, what happened next was astounding and geographically speaking I’m in the same chair that I was in for the video interview. I really need to buy new furniture.
Since the interview I have quit drinking completely and am in my third year of sobriety and writing more than I ever thought possible. I have not danced with Bulimia in over three years and I do not miss it kicking me as it inevitably did when we were partners. At risk of being shallow I think the photos of me before and after speak volumes. I have some physical health problems left over from my addictive behaviours but can count myself pretty lucky that that’s all. My initial diagnosis of Depression has been changed with the addition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the result of rape.
I am still too ill to work but I am putting in the hours writing every day so that I have a chance to get off benefits. That’s my career path, my first ever since I wanted to be a PE teacher when I was 18 (dodged a bullet there, I think I over-sported myself in my youth, I sit still a lot now.) I’d love to do my Masters at Cambridge University, if they’ll take little old me.
I still have dark days and even darker nights. But I am no longer restricted by the darkness. Rather than sit there and get scared, I find a torch. That torch might be reading about my condition (and recovery from it,) watching a movie, writing in my journal. Some days even brushing my teeth is a laborious effort but I go through the motions, mimicking what I think is a ‘normal’ lifestyle. Back to the basics, but a lifestyle none the less. I no longer exist…I live.
Taking part in Youthhealthtalk I was delighted that my big gob had finally found a listener, that by telling a bit about my mental health I can encourage others to do the same and not feel, like I did, that it needs to be crisis point to seek treatment. Never fall silent, there's always someone who will listen and validate your feelings. Some won't, so keep talking; silence is defeat.