Tuesday, December 23, 2003


I've been going through a bad time with depression lately, something which has affected me in a mild way throughout my adult life (haven't we all had 'low times'?).

It clobbered me in earnest after my brain operation.

Being diagnosed with MS in 2001 wasn't the awful punishment I thought it was until severe depression kicked in once again a few months ago! There was no definite event that triggered it, just a slow, creeping feeling which turned to absolute despair!

I saw a therapist - just the one time! A lady, whom I didn't 'click' with at all, and just brought up harrowing memories of my mum slowly dying of cancer. Something suddenly snapped one day and I cried and howled like a Banshee in Arf's arms!

After talking to him over a cup of tea (yes! TEA!) we discovered that my mum's death when I was 16 had everything to do with how I felt now.

Pure guilt engulfed me because I thought she didn't know how much I really loved her and I never remember saying 'goodbye'. Arf put me right on this - he told me about his childhood and how he used to hug his mum and she would say "what do YOU want, then?".

It was a natural thing to say and his mum didn't love HIM any less! So! That was one great weight off my chest and I can now talk about my mum without crying.

I still miss her and always will but the guilt has started to fade and I can see beyond just 'words'. The other revelation that evolved from this afternoon of 'baring my soul' was that I finally and utterly admitted that I had MS! Sandie Bailes has multiple sclerosis and there is no real cure in sight and the truth is that I will probably become worse rather than better!

Funnily enough, this admission empowered me, in that I had something to fight and hold at bay. This is what I came up with, and is printed on my kitchen wall where I see it every day! Sandie's plan of action - a challenge!

Been talking to Arf! Finally admitted to him and to myself that I have MS and must face it head on and live with it. My weight is depressing me.

It's a vicious circle - less mobile, more weight, due in part to anti-depressants. I want to come off them and start taking St John's Wort if my doctor l has no objections. Arf has my tablets and we both know the signs of lurking depression and I will then see the doctor.

I have worked out a diet for life - smaller meals, less carbohydrates, no snacking, one treat a week! I have given myself a small goal each week to achieve and feel good about it.

I've made some mistakes in my thinking up to now but no-one is perfect and I'm allowed to have the chance to put this right! I will try this for 2 months then see my doctor.

This is a challenge for me and I want to give it a go! It's simple, and if any of you are in despair, it's worth a try to address what's lurking underneath your sadness!

I wish you all a happy Christmas - God bless! Sandie.