I’d moved to Australia just before Christmas in 2001. Beyond the people I’d started working with, I knew nobody as I settled into life in Sydney. Australians are a pretty friendly bunch, but Christmas was a difficult time period for me to arrive – people naturally tend to withdraw to their close family and friend groups during this time. This left me as an outsider, which was very difficult to deal with.
I did some volunteering work for a Christmas Day lunch which was great, but then I ended up back at home alone again. Boxing Day was a beautiful day, so I decided to try and boost my mood by heading to the Botanical Gardens to read in the sunshine. When I got there, I couldn’t even bring myself to open the book, cause all I could see was people celebrating together while I was there alone.
It was a truly devastating feeling. I took myself off home to bed and didn’t get back out of bed for three days. I’d originally been diagnosed and treated for depression ten years before, so I knew what was happening, but that didn’t make it any easier to cope with.
I knew I needed help, but I didn’t have anyone to ask for help. I was lucky to find a great GP who helped me get on medication straight away and connected me with a psychologist who was extremely helpful. It was also at this time that I came across SANE while searching the internet for information and resources. The SANE website in particular was invaluable to me at that time, because it helped me understand what was happening to me and what I could do to help myself. It set me on the path to learning more and managing my recovery. SANE gave me facts, not fiction and sensationalism.