Dementors, be gone!

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles feel their presence, though they can’t see them. 

Remus Lupin.

Depression is fucking ugly.

In the light of Robin Williams’ death, this has gotten me thinking…especially about my own battle with depression in late 2012.

It was the most darkest time I had ever gone through. I felt like the Dementors was visiting me every day. Initially, I bottled everything up and pretended that everything was well and dandy…until one November afternoon, everything came crashing down onto me. I broke the camel’s back if you will.

I stuffed up at work. I stuffed up a couple of friendships. Why? I shut everyone off. I wouldn’t share my feelings about everything and the world around me. I constantly felt like I wanted to say a big fat FUCK YOU to the world and disappear. I knew I wasn’t okay, but I denied it.

On the day when everything came to light for me, I realised I had to be honest to myself and everyone else in my life. So, I posted a status on Facebook saying “I want to say I’m okay, but fuck this. I’m not ok. I want to tell the world to fuck off and disappear”.

I didn’t do this to seek attention. I just had to get it off my chest. I didn’t think people would comment – especially to remind me that they’re there for me. You know, at the time, I thought I couldn’t talk to anyone about what I was going through. But…to my complete surprise, so many people sent me messages. So if you’re one of those people – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I then realised that people out there love me for who I am. This made me feel a bit better.

People suggested me to see an counsellor and to go on anti-depressants. I did consider those, and I researched a couple of counsellors. However, my gut instincts was saying that only ME can help and save myself. Just me. I was responsible for my depression, so I had to pull myself out of it.

Rome wasn’t built overnight…and I didn’t snap out of it overnight either. It wasn’t until early 2013 when I found my outlet by blogging. Every time I blogged, I felt better. It was like an anti-depressant for me.

I had read Harry Potter numerous times, and it has helped me to cope through terrible times especially during my teen years and early adulthood. Harry Potter was another outlet of mine, and I re-read the whole series. JK Rowling battled with depression, and her writing about the Dementors reflected on that…and she reminded me that I was battling my own Dementors. It wasn’t pretty, you see. Like Lupin said in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, they’re fucking ugly creatures and I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone, even my worst enemy.

I also found another outlet in planning my European adventure. Every time I booked a hostel, bus, flight, etc, I felt excited and optimistic for the future.

Europe helped me to find myself, and that it did. I’ve been on a soul search ever since then, and I’m loving it.

Robin Williams’ death brings the topic of depression to light on a large public scale. Depression is a taboo topic for many people, and we don’t like to discuss it. True this may be, but we need to acknowledge that it is okay to reach out for help whenever you feel like you’re being surrounded by a Dementor or twenty.

Celebrities are humans like us. Williams had been battling with severe depression for many years, and he even turned to drugs and alcohol to try and cope. There’s many other people out there who have done the same. No matter who we are, and how famous we may be…we’re all humans regardless.

It’s unfortunate that the death of a world renowned actor & comedian has brought this to the light, but in a way, we’re becoming more aware of how depression can be a killer illness.

Don’t be afraid to call out for help – even if it’s on Facebook or any social media platform. Send a text message to someone you trust the most and let them know that you’re not ok. Pick up the phone and give someone a call. Contact a helpline. Heck, send me an email if you want to.

Signing off with this profound quote from Good Will Hunting.
S xo

10 comments on “Dementors, be gone!”

  1. Tony Nicholas says:

    Just a couple of points in your article I wanna comment on.

    1. I’ve always advocated for a holistic approach to healing, and will avoid medication if I can help it. I know a few people who suffer really badly, and need medication to help them cope. That is OK.

    2. Counselling can help [I’ve done it twice in my life]. I always recommend someone do this, rather than medication if possible. But this is a scary option, as it means one has to confront oneself and our vulnerabilities.

    3. You are right in that YOU are the one responsible, and it is good you have found the strength to take action. If a person is not willing to take responsibility, all the help in the world won’t heal them.

    4. Sadly, for many, the torment and pain is just to much, as with Robin Williams, so they choose to go.

    But yeah, the black dog is an ever present shadow!

    1. Sherrie says:

      Thanks Tony. You do raise valid points.

      Like you, I know of some people who have gone through counselling and taken medication to help combat their depression.

      People go through depression in many different ways. However, I’m open to discussion on how people have battled their Dementors.

  2. beefyisfeebz says:

    Hi Sherrie, thanks for sharing. I found that sessions with the psychologist never helped me. I never took any medications. As a writer, what really helped me heal was writing down everything privately in a word doc and then deleting it. I also found that one time I was hurting so badly inside that I didn’t know how to help myself that all I did was just pray a long prayer. To my surprise, an explicable sense of peace overcame me and I knew that I was on the way to healing. That sense of peace stayed with me until now and only little ounces of hurt came back but it was no where as bad as before. Now, I don’t even think about it and I know I am fully healed. 😉 (You don’t have to agree with me, this is just from my christian perspective). 😉

    1. Sherrie says:

      Thanks Pheebs for sharing your experiences.

      I’m with you re: writing as a healing tool. It’s one of the main reasons why this blog was born 🙂

      Everyone heals in different ways. But I’ve found myself to be a lot more positive since returning home from Europe last year – travel really does help; it may not be for everyone, but it’s for me 🙂

      1. beefyisfeebz says:

        Hey Sherrie,

        I understand re travel..I’m glad travel has done wonders for you. I think I get where you’re coming from. My 7 weeks in Singapore have really refreshed me and now that I am in the U.S.A and have been in Maryland for one week, I feel even lighter in my heart. The joy and peace I feel is inexplicable. Tomorrow I move to Gallaudet campus and I am so excited. I can’t wait! i’ve been waiting for this moment for the past 7 months.

        Embracing new experiences brings excitement and more positivity. The past one year in Melbourne before I departed Australia has actually been better than the earlier years because I experienced real healing and really found myself. However, I realised I was getting too comfortable – like Melb had become my comfort zone and it was making me a bit bored and frustrated – like life had become stagnant. This new change of direction in my life is helping me move forward and seeing life full of possibilities and open doors.

        If you still wish to go to Gallaudet by the time you finish at Deakin, I do hope you get to go. 😉 Anyway, enjoy whatever is coming up for you.

        Keep writing! I enjoy reading your blog! 🙂

        “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”~ Forrest Gump

  3. Holly says:

    As a psychologist, of course I will advocate for people seeking professional help if they need it but in saying that, I also believe doing what works and if writing works, that’s brilliant. And as a psychologist, a lot of is about finding what works for the individual. Medication is never a first option. Good on you for being brave enough to share your experience and encourage others. Hopefully you will inspire some others who are struggling to seek the support they need.

    1. Sherrie says:

      Thanks Holly. Yes, I do agree that it’s essential to advocate for professional help. I know I did when I had friends telling me about how they’re coping with life.

  4. Agatha says:

    Capitolising on someone who has been dead for maybe 24 hours. So many blogs I’ve read today have been about bloggers telling their own stories. Just like when Charlotte Dawson died.

    1. Sherrie says:

      Hi Agatha,

      I really doubt any of us meant to capitalise on Williams’ death – I know I didn’t. Instead, I saw it as an opportunity to share my experiences because I grew up watching his movies. He was a huge part of childhood, and while I might not have realised back then, he has shown me that it’s ok to laugh at inappropriate times and to enjoy life.

      Truth be told, I didn’t know who Charlotte Dawson was until she passed away and I read about it in the papers.

  5. Tony Nicholas says:

    Just to add a thought to the travel meme, I agree that travel can do wonders. My time travelling back in 1993 to 1999, helped me resolve many things. It was quite unintentional. It was all subconscious I guess.

    When I look back at it, I was busy living, and being me, in a way that I wasn’t in Australia, and I discovered an inner strength that I never knew I had.

    There’s a lot to be said for engaging in life, well your life, how ever you want to do it.

    One last point, sharing these stories and experiences, make people realise that hey, “I’m not the only one” and “Maybe I will be OK”

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