So recently my depression and anxiety were reassessed, and it became apparent that my depression is currently nowhere to be seen. After discussing it with friends, a couple of people asked me how it felt to be free of my depression.
My first instinct, sadly, was to hide the fact that I'm healthier than I have been in years. Why? Because I'm terrified that if ATOS find out then my benefits will be removed. The thing is, my depression isn't really what stops me being able to work; the anxiety is. However all it takes is for whoever I'm dealing with at the time to decide that I'm not "sick enough" to be out of work. Then I'm back to jobseekers allowance and trying to find a "real job". What the benefits folk don't realise is, if I end up in the wrong job then I will begin to spiral again. My anxiety levels will go up and my depression will return.
Then there was a feeling of uneasiness. What you have to remember is I've had anxiety and depression for about 6 years. Remembering life before mental illness is difficult because I was quite young. So being told I don't have depression any more felt a bit like a piece of me falling away. It's like having a hole that I need to fill. I've started trying to fill that hole by attempting art for the first time in several years.
Now I'm at a place where I'm making the most of it. The depression will return, I've no doubt about that. However, right now I am happier and healthier than I've been in 6 years. That's no small feat. So I'm just making the most of being happy, throwing myself into every available opportunity, and I'm considering looking into volunteering somewhere that makes me happy. I figure if I start small and work my way up, then one day I might be able to enter into the world of work again. We'll see.