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Hello there my little love muffins. How are you?

I’m Emma and I’m a 28-year-old, chronically ill, clinically depressed woman who is estranged from her family. Fuck, I’m a barrel of laughs. Really though, I’m smiling as I type this because why the hell shouldn’t I. That old saying of, “Laugh or you’ll cry”, is particularly fitting for my life and I know it is for many others out there too.

You see, the pressure placed upon us these days is just bloody ridonculous. If you’re not married, mortgaged to the hilt, driving and have a vagina ruined by the horror that is childbirth, well then when are you getting started? Isn’t it about time that you started thinking about these things? Time’s ticking, don’t you know. Do you have a pension? Is it with a secure institution? What about your savings? Are they earning enough interest? Are you working hard enough to achieve your #goals? Do you take enough time to relax though? Heart attacks are on the up in younger people. You should really crack on with having babies now you’re in your thirties. Are you going to be a stay at home mum? Oh, he’s going to be a stay at home dad? That’s…interesting. Is your house clean enough? It probably isn’t because you work a 60 hour week but tidy house, tidy mind! Have you lost any of that weight yet? No? You could try the 5:2, Atkins, Slimming World, the Louise Parker Method or even a juice cleanse just to get you started. I know they’re pricey but it’ll be worth it babes.

*If the words ‘babes’ or ‘hun’ are part of your vernacular, we cannot be friends.*

So, you’ve all of that shite going on which is bad enough but what if you have depression too? In that case, let me tell you that you’re more than entitled to feel completely up the creek without a paddle. But, I’m hoping I can help you in some little way, even if it’s just to make you laugh for a few seconds when I tell you about the days when I have a migraine, chronic diarrhoea and a back spasm all at once.

My depression is both clinical (since the age of around 15 but diagnosed at 20) and situational, thanks to my chronic illness. The chronic illness though, makes both types of depression even worse. Unbearable, overbearing, all-encompassing, never ending. I’m an incredibly ambitious person, like a Jack Russell trying to fight a Great Dane, and tenacious to a level that most can’t comprehend or compete with. I mean it. My still being here today as a functional, well rounded person is nothing short of miraculous so I want to make the most of it. The thing is, I can’t do that in the way that I want to because my illness is a whore and puts a stop to any hopes of working. I’m not short of ideas or the talent to make them happen and I’ve registered and subsequently struck off several companies after they remained dormant because I was too ill to trade. I’ve blogged three times: once about the stigma against mental health, then about my physical health issues and finally, food. Jumping head first into projects was my way of trying to have a purpose in life other than struggling with the pain and sadness every single day. None of it worked. Every dormant business was closed and every blog was deleted because not one of them could be sustained. I was trying to do the impossible. I don’t want to write daily about being ill. I don’t want to blog on food because my passion for cooking is over powered by pain levels. This though, this I can do.

I am ill and I have depression but I deserve to be happy. So, that’s precisely what I’m going to be. Even if it’s one glimmer of joy during the week because I’ve been able to go on a long walk with my owner (my dog Patsy) or I found a pretty print with expletives on it, I’ll share it with you. Having depression does not mean that laughing or smiling = cured. It means a moment of peace from a dark monster that eats you up from the inside and has the potential to ruin your life.

I deserve to be happy, you deserve to be happy.

Emma x