A worm can turn

There is an old saying that ‘the worm has turned.’ It describes a person who has been treated badly for a long time, who will suddenly stop accepting the difficult situation and do something about it.

There are times in all our lives when even a strong-minded person, through no fault of their own become unable to cope with things in their day to day life.

Like a worm they become defenseless. This is what happened in my case.

My husband had been very sick, and things seemed to be overwhelming. I was not coping, and my daughter took me to see the doctor.

The doctor told me that I was suffering from depression and wanted me to see a professional. When I heard this, I was distraught. I thought that depression was something that only happens to weak-minded people.

I didn’t want to believe it. I felt ashamed that the doctor would think that about me.

I refused to see anyone, and I told her that I was just tired. After I had calmed down, she gave me some medication and asked me to stay with my daughter.

Although I didn’t want to admit that I was depressed, I knew something was different about me. I had lost interest in everything around me, I had no desire to do anything. I didn’t want to see or talk with people, not even my family. I couldn’t sleep at night although I was exhausted.

It seemed as if I was caught in a place that I couldn’t get out of. I was sad, and I cried a lot, a feeling of weakness and detachment that I was unable to shift surrounded me. I felt like a defenseless worm.

I was forever worrying about what other people would think of me if they found out that I was suffering from depression. I didn’t want anybody to know, even though I couldn’t fight the feelings.

On my next visit to the doctor, she told me something profound. She looked at me quite sternly and said, “Nancy, it is none of your business what other people think of you. What is important is how you see yourself.”

This was a big revelation for me. Most of my life, I had been worried what people thought about me. But she helped me see it differently.

One day, my daughter asked me if I would sort some quartz crystals into different sizes for her. It was the first time since I was diagnosed that I had to concentrate on what I was doing and not on myself. Although I had no confidence in doing it, I finally finished it for her.

I don’t know if my daughter knew that she was helping me, but it did. Each day, she gave me different tasks to do. It took me many months, and along with talking to my local doctor and taking the medication, I began to turn around.

I had always been an independent person and going through the depression made me realise that even a worm can turn.

Since then, I’ve learned not to judge others, and I became more accepting of their feelings. When others seem annoyed or unhappy, it was not about me; it was something that they were experiencing on the inside.

I realised that a person can change from a strong independent individual, into weak and helpless through unforeseen circumstances.

I know this because I have been there.

If you are going through a period of depression, I can offer this advice: when things aren’t going well, don’t avoid the problem. Every situation provides a learning opportunity as well as an outlet to improve in the long run.

I am stronger now and going through something like that changed my attitude to life and to the people around me.

Today I feel that I am a better person having gone through the period of depression. It’s not that I ever want to go through it again, but I am grateful for the many blessings I have and to the people that helped me through this difficult time in my life.

To the many friends that read this, I hope it will in some way help you if you are going through a difficult time.

Ask for help, even though you may think like I did, that no one will understand. The dark clouds will pass, and you will again be the special person you have always been.

A worm can turn: you are so much more and with help, you will be able to turn things in your life around.

Remember you are not alone. Reach out.

– Nancy

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