My depression began in December of 2006, during the late stages of my mothers journey to the other side. She was terminal with bowel cancer and spent the whole of November and December of that year in bed and in huge amounts of pain or taking large doses of morphine to relieve it. Very difficult to watch! We were told she probably wouldn't make it to Christmas. They were wrong. 22nd february, 2007 was the date she passed. I had to arrange the funeral and notify all of our relatives and my mums friends of her death. After weeks of being 'strong' for others and just a couple of days after the funeral, when I got back to my own home, the ground finally gave in below me and my world fell apart. My 16 year old sister had turned to Cocaine as a way of coping with mums death so I had her to deal with, as well as trying to take care of my house and my 2 children alone! Depression took a strong hold on me, and i found that i couldn't perform normal everyday to day tasks. Getting up to take the kids to school was virtually impossible, as was cooking a meal. For months I did nothing but lie in bed and cry. I put this down to purely being grief at first, but as all the other elements began to unfold, I realised I needed help. the other elements being 1) Very untidy home 2) Major Debt 3) No social life. 4) No motivation to do anything at all. 5) Niggling at my kids on a daily basis 6) The department of education on my back over the kids attendance and punctuality at school.

At this point I realised I needed help. I visited with my GP and he prescribed anti-depressants which made me ill. He changed them a couple of times before finding one that eventually seemed to help, if only a little. I was presented with a family support worker, to help me deal with all the various aspects of my life which were keeping me slave to depression. I had a housing officer involved also, as my home was in a terrible state…and finally, a social worker, as there were concernes over the wellbeing of my children. All of this made my depression worse. I was forced to work with these people and more or less threatened to make necessary changes in order to get them off my back. My family support worker was an angel from heaven though. I cannot begin to describe how much she helped me. She put me in touch with C.A.P, who helped to manage my debt, and she visited my home regularly in the mornings to help me with daily routines etc. As for the others, the social worker, the department of education and the housing officers, it seemed like a huge bind at the time and was physically and mentally exhausting trying to carry out the tasks they were assigning to me. Some weeks I did ok, others I didn't. My support worker was there to help boost me forward with them all. This went on for 2 years. I did eventually manage to make the necessary changes (tidier house, kids in school, fed, clothed) and all these people are no longer assigned to work with me. Even my support worker has left me to work with another family now. I am still not completely over my depression 2 years later though, and although I am now off the meds, and it is just me and the kids again, some days are still fairly difficult for me.

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