What if I wasn’t just a moody b*tch?

What if I wasn’t just a moody bitch, what if there was actually something wrong?

open mind

Opening your mind won't make your brain fall out!

And what if I told you that my problem was incurable, though hopefully not terminal, would that help you to understand? And together, with my loved ones,  we could celebrate that understanding with black humour. We could laugh at the stupid things that upset me;  like the way the sun doesn’t do as its told, and that life keeps throwing those curve balls at us. We could self-medicate with humour, it would beat wine, or drugs, or food, or sex.

We could make a pact – you and I – that said I would do my very best to keep as even keeled as possible, I would take the right medication, get the right exercise and ease back on tough days. In return, you would do your very best to not give up on me, and to understand when I keel over. Not panicking that I was about to completely capsize, not getting angry with my inability to steer my way through stormy waters.

I know it’s  a huge amount to ask of anyone. I understand it isn’t easy. I know that everyone concentrates on how hard it is for those who are stroking the black dog, but what about those who love them, live with them, or are friends with them? What help and support do they get? Not a great deal; I can see that.

I’d like to change that, and the only way I know how is to help raise awareness of the struggles those who live with sufferers of mental illness, manage to overcome.

So much more should be done to help those people, and with 1 in 4 suffering at some stage of their life, that’s an awful lot of husbands, wives, sisters, mothers, brothers, and friends. Understanding is the first step, but there must be a next step. Would it be talking about it? Smashing the stigma, so that everyone can share the problems they’ve experienced, and share the support and lessons learned. I don’t know, we could even call it something really wild, like being part of a caring community.

What if, I couldn’t get out of bed some days, because I wasn’t well, not because I was lazy. What if I continued to keep going even when the thoughts in my head screamed at me to give up… could you see that as courage, or would you only see the bad mood and ask me to snap out of it? To use my sick, sad mind to think my way out of my own mind’s darkness?

What if blogging about it, talking about it, being honest about it, appeared to others that somehow I was trying to get on the bandwagon? That I was making it ‘trendy’, because I had an illness like the stars, like Stephen Fry, or Ruby Wax? As if I had the latest artistic accessory. Because, you know, not sleeping, and being constantly panicky is an acceptable price to pay, for the profile and attention.

You know what? All these ‘what ifs’ don’t change the truth.

I am not just a moody bitch. Nor a lazy cow. I know that within myself and I do not have to prove it to anyone else. I have an illness that cannot be cured, but it can be moderated. It can be controlled, and I am doing my best to do the right things to keep me bright and perky.

My illness is depression and anxiety, and the hardest thing about it is, other people’s misapprehension of my behaviour. During the past 16 years since I was diagnosed, I have been called all those things, up there. I’ve been told that my depression makes me a bad mother, a poor worker, lazy, moody, miserable, whiney, whingey and weak.

That’s been fun.

But one thing I realised just this week (I know I’m a slow learner), is that whilst I may appear to be  just a moody bitch, I can work on it, I can deal with that. My mind may have problems, at times, but at least it is open. My detractors however, like those stone-throwers who live in glasshouses,  are not open minded.

They just truly are, moody, bitchy, and bigoted, right to their very core.


Image:Flickr CC



NB/This post was written to mark Depression Awarenss Week in the UK. But all of it is my own, true, lamentable experience. Have a look on The Black Dog Tribe’s website for more information and support for those who suffer from mental illness and those who live and love them.

Also have a look at this helpful online tool that helps you to take charge of your mood’s highs and lows by charting them. Moodscope


'What if I wasn’t just a moody b*tch?' has 23 comments

  1. April 27, 2012 @ 11:34 am Martin Koss

    Here here! You know me well enough that I don;t need to say how pleased I am that you wrote this post. You have said what I have thought for a VERY long time. Thank you Vicki. Thank you A LOT..!


    • April 27, 2012 @ 1:44 pm vegemitevix

      Oh Martin thank you so much for your support, I really do appreciate it very much indeed. Depression is hard work for those of us who suffer with it, but also very much hard work for those who live with us. I’ve had one of those weeks where I’ve seen that, again and again. Hoping all is well in your part of the world. Vix x


  2. April 27, 2012 @ 11:37 am Funky Baby Clothes

    You’re not the only one!


    • April 27, 2012 @ 1:45 pm vegemitevix

      Thank you so much for taking time to comment. Have you had a look at the resources down below? I use them myself and find them really helpful. 


  3. April 27, 2012 @ 12:48 pm Cate P

    Bravo. Having brushed past the black dog a couple of times myself (reactive depression, not chronic thank goodness) I totally hear you. x


    • April 27, 2012 @ 1:44 pm vegemitevix

      Thank you Cate. Hearing is brilliant, thank you so much and also for sharing on Twitter. Mwah gorgeous! x


  4. April 27, 2012 @ 2:28 pm Dr Depression

    Great site i realli like the look and feel and not to mention very helpful content


  5. April 27, 2012 @ 3:57 pm uniquenique01

    Excellent sometimes we forget how many people deal with depression on a daily basis – thanks for always keeping it honest ;~D


    • April 28, 2012 @ 5:44 pm vegemitevix

      Yes I think we do forget that people deal with it on a daily basis, though I am hoping that this is starting to change and that there is a greater awareness out there that so many people struggle. Thanks for commenting!


  6. April 27, 2012 @ 4:32 pm Steve

    Depression is the one disease that gets all of us at one time or another and yet I| am amazed at how little most people know about it.


    • April 28, 2012 @ 5:45 pm vegemitevix

      It is staggering isn’t it. I think people often think that depression is only the severe end of the spectrum, but as Cate said earlier in these comments, some people have reactional depression at times of great stress in their lives.


  7. April 27, 2012 @ 10:20 pm Donna@MummyCentral

    Love this post. It totally sums up how I feel – and how I used to feel my husband saw me, as a stroppy, moody bitch. Now my husband has been signed off work with depression, and I wonder if dealing with me and PND has done this to him.


    • April 28, 2012 @ 5:49 pm vegemitevix

      Hi Donna, I really felt for you, reading this comment. I’ve been there, not so much with my husband now, but certainly with my first husband. It’s helpful to remember that relationships involve two people often with complicated issues of their own. I don’t think your depression has ’caused’ your husband’s depression, but I do think that the stress of the situation must be very difficult for both of you. Please try to be a little easier on yourself, as well as each other. Take care, Vix x NB/I’m not a medical professional by any stretch but if you feel you need to talk to someone anonymously please feel free to email me at any time on vix@vegemitevix.com


  8. April 27, 2012 @ 11:19 pm Jen

    a friend told me about this post 🙂

    really pleased I read it
    I can relate so well 

    kia kaha and remember being normal is highly over rated 🙂

    Ill be back to read more of your posts later 🙂


    • April 28, 2012 @ 5:50 pm vegemitevix

      Thank you Jen for your comment, and I hope the post helped you. I wonder where you heard about this post, it could be helpful for me to know. Thank you for saying kia kaha too, one of my absolute favourite sayings, and one I don’t hear nearly enough over here in the UK. x


  9. April 28, 2012 @ 8:03 am Claudia McFie

    I’ve had brief brushes with the Darkness, fortunately only short term ones.  But enough to appreciate what it must be like to live with when it’s ongoing.  Like Jen  says; kia kaha.  And like John Kirwan says, there is a way through (


    • April 28, 2012 @ 5:55 pm vegemitevix

      I love that series that John Kirwan did and have used it to help male friends of mine who’ve suffered with depression too, over the years. You are right, there is definately a way through it. I have my low points, that’s true but on the whole I’m still the outgoing vivacious person I’ve always been. I think the only longstanding effect depression has had on me has been – it’s painted my humour a darker shade of black ;-P and it’s helped me to be more patient and understanding with those I love and live with. I once thought depression (at the time PND) only happened to weak people who couldn’t cope, fragile flowers, but now I understand that is a fallacy. Thank you for your comments x


  10. April 28, 2012 @ 10:39 am Bumbling

    Great post vic. I don’t have depression. Yes, sometimes I’m sad, because bad things have happened in my life, and I’ve been messed up, for sure, but not depressed.

    And you know something? It’s incredibly difficult to understand unless you have felt it. Because it is not logical, it cannot be explained..

    It is difficult and frustrating that someone you love and care about can’t see that their life is good, and they have things others could only dream of. Sometimes it is easy to fall into that trap of feeling the other person could do more about it. Because it feels like failure. Like nothing you can do can ever be enough to make that person happy. That you are a problem, and you can never be a solution. And then it’s difficult to not have anyone to blame for why things suck. Because it’s not their fault (provided they are seeking treatment for their illness). But it’s not yours either though.

    And sometimes? Sometimes the bad moods, the not wanting to get out of bed? Sometimes it isn’t the depression, just like my bad moods and not wanting to get out of bed isn’t. And that’s also tough for other people to get. When is it fair to say snap out of it, and when isn’t it?

    Depression sucks, from all directions, and my heart and soul goes out to everyone dealing with it, either as an illness that they have, or an illness that someone they love has.

    Just a view from the other side.


    • April 28, 2012 @ 6:07 pm vegemitevix

      Absolutely agree! Thanks for speaking up for ‘the other side’. Thing is, all these years I’ve felt like it was my problem and I had no appreciation of what it feels like to be the one loving, or living with a depression sufferer. And then all of a sudden I did have that experience, and now I understand; it’s hard. Really, really hard. There’s the guilt (could I have done more for them), the anger (why us, isn’t my depression enough?), and the fear (are we ALL nuts?). I honestly don’t think those people, the carers (for want of a better word, because I really hate that word), don’t get enough support from the community we live in. Recently I had to tell someone close to me that they better not reveal tothe workplace, or friends that they were struggling with depression, as I understand what stigma can do. Then later in the day I had to stop myself from telling anyone else about this person’s problems and how it affected me, because I realised that stigma has a long reach. The result is that it is difficult for ‘carers’ to get support – even a simple ‘they will be ok, they will stabilise, it’s not your fault’ would have helped. And lastly, I think there’s something to be said for sufferers to be strong enough to stand up and say ‘I have a problem, but I can seek help and it can be moderated.’ Making your loved ones suffer because you are too proud to seek help, is not strong, or smart but could rip your entire family or relationship apart. Thanks for commenting Bumbling, x


      *A Kiwi expat Mum living well in the UK*

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  11. April 28, 2012 @ 11:35 am Ella Tabb

    Thanks for being so honest about your depression and anxiety. It helps.


    • April 28, 2012 @ 5:58 pm vegemitevix

      Thank you, I really do hope it helps. Yes I do worry a bit whether people think I’m being a bit melodramatic or attention-seeking, but if it helps one person then I honestly don’t care about the detractors. Real people, like you and I also suffer depression, it is not the preserve of the financially less fortunate or the Hollywood movie star. 1 in 4 people at some stage in their life the statistics say. That’s quite a few.


  12. April 29, 2012 @ 10:28 pm ChaoticallyMe

    Beautiful post hun 🙂  Though I must admit it made me sigh and brought up familiar feelings of guilt as I read it to the end.  Not by any fault of yours but mine.  

    To be honest the only steps I’ve taken to overcome depression have been years of moody blogging to get it all out and a slow tedious journey of self discovery trying to figure out why I say, feel and do the things I do.  A few recent years of self-medicating probably have made things all the worse.  The decade before that of medicating with food definitely didn’t help.  

    Knowing you are pro-active and manage your condition as best you can should empower me but at this point in the endless moody-bitch cycle I can see nothing but the negative and in this case it is feelings of inadequacy.  Feelings of incredible guilt that I’m not half the mother you are.  Depression has suffocated me since I was a teen.  It’s affected my education (and lead to me bowing out early), it’s affected every attempt to jump back on that wagon, it has affected my parenting every step of the way in the past 11 years and I feel like I’m less than half the person I could have turned out to be.  If only my intelligence hadn’t been suffocated by all that other ick filling my brain.    

    Thank you for writing this post.  I’m sure when the fog of pessimism and hopelessness has shifted this time around I’ll pop back and appreciate your honesty all the more 🙂


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