I Was a Sad Child

The last few weeks have been tough.

Both my mental and physical health have taken a hit and the journey to get back to a place of stability has been difficult.

I become quite introspective during times of depression, and I recently started thinking about how long I have had to live alongside this darkness, and although I cannot pinpoint an exact time I realised that I have always been sad.

The one thing that is clear when I look back at pictures from my childhood is that I was, even in my youngest years, a sad child. 

From the stories my mother has shared with me, I never cried, I didn’t complain and I never spoke of discomfort – however my sadness was palpable.

I was 10 years old when I first entered the mental health system. I was not diagnosed with depression, in fact, we were told that children could not have depression, however, that did not stop years of counsellors, therapists and various medications. By the time my depression was diagnosed I was a broken teenager, and completely unresponsive to any help that may have been available.

I cannot help but wonder who I would be, and where I could be in my life if I had not been dismissed. If somebody had taken the time to piece together all the clues that with hindsight are so glaringly obvious. If someone had wondered why I was so sad, and not just assumed that it was due to my sister’s health problems, my parent’s divorce or a lack of attention.

If someone had seen how overwhelming I found the world; that every sight, sound and touch brought pain. That I didn’t speak, because I couldn’t speak. That my head was full of words, thoughts and ideas that all wanted to burst free but, even as a child, I held back.

I was a sad child, and I wish someone had seen the hurt. Had read the suicide notes that I would scribble in the dark depths of the night only to find myself waking up the next morning.

But they didn’t. Or if they did they didn’t speak up.

I was a sad child, and now as a grown woman, I grieve for that little girl. Each day I wear her pain and feel her desperation. Some nights I find myself caught up in her anguish, fighting back in the night terrors in a way she never could.

I was a sad child, and I cannot change my past, however, today I commit to healing that part of my soul that is still that little girl.

Today, I promise to cherish her and comfort her.

I was a sad child, but today I am free.

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