Depression can hit any one of us. Even celebrities.

by 
Valerie Anthrope

JK Rowling, Jim Carrey, Hugh Laurie are
just a few stars who have suffered with depression. It can hit us unexpectedly
or develop over time.
Mine developed over time. Crept over me
like a fungus.
Valerie Anthrope

I’d always known my mother was
‘different’. Highly strung, neurotic and impulsive are the few words I learned
from a young age. I think I was more like my dad: quiet, shy and preferring
books to going out; Mum was always dragging Dad somewhere.

She had fads. Obesity in children had reached
the headlines in the early 90s, and she was determined I wasn’t going to become
one of them and put me on the Rosemary Conley’s Hip and Thigh Diet.
I was five years old.
A normal, healthy little girl who
weighed barely fifty pounds (3.5 stone). She bought exercise videos and insisted
I did them with her. If I didn’t work hard enough she’d cry.
If it wasn’t for Dad’s stabilising
influence I’m sure I’d have issues with my weight today. Though some would say
I did have a poor body image. I wore
dark colours, and high-necked blouses, and tons and tons of makeup. When I was
dressed in my uniform of black and thick makeup I ceased to be the vulnerable
and hurting Valerie, and instead I became a cutthroat business woman.
I can remember exactly the day my life went wrong: August 17th 1994. It
was Wednesday, and half-way through the school summer holidays. I had a new
baby brother, and Mum had transferred her irrational behaviour onto him, so for
a few short, sweet months I was free.
Dad persuaded her that we all go to the
funfair that was travelling the region that fatal day. Telling her, I deserved
a treat.

It became a nightmare.
Sean, my brother, was normally a good
baby, but he wouldn’t stop crying. Mum was fussing, but Dad chose that day not
to pander to her.
During their row and Sean’s crying, I became separated from
them.
I was eight years old and terrified. The
funfair was crowded and noisy, and no one noticed my plight—except for an old
lady who beckoned me over. I followed her up a few steps into a caravan.
A fortune teller’s caravan.
My mind is slightly blank after that.
I’m having counselling now. I can remember her telling me I was cursed, and
that the curse would follow me until everyone I loved would die.
I don’t remember Dad finding me, all I know was that I was taken home and Mum, as ever, was fussing was over Sean. I was
completely ignored,
not because she was angry with me but because Sean was
taking all of her attention. I think Dad was determined that her obsessions
wouldn’t affect Sean’s childhood like it had mine
. Boy, did he choose the wrong
day to put his foot down! They argued. Sean cried, and I stewed alone in my
room.
Then, that night, Sean died.

The sheer horror of it all made me
forget about the ‘witch’ in the caravan. I had to forget to look after Mum. Dad
withdrew and was no longer the stabilising influence I needed.
He became a shadow.
A thin, gaunt shadow with a sickly pale complexion and hollows beneath his
eyes. Mum became more fixated on health. Vitamins and the latest health pill
were often hidden in my food. If I rebelled, she would cry and Dad would just
pat my head and say, ‘Just do what your mother wants.’
So, for the next eight years I bent to
her will.
It was easier that way.
When I was sixteen, she committed suicide.
We could see it coming, Dad and I. Probably why we let her get away with so much,
had we not, her death would have been sooner. Dad had a heart attack a week
later.
He died too. I was devastated. My nan, his mother, came to live with me
but she was crushed by his death. I think I felt I couldn’t grieve because I
didn’t want to upset her. But, anyway, she died a year later. It was a bit of a
relief, to be honest. God, that sounds awful.
At seventeen, I was all alone in the
world, and I decided being alone was the best thing for me. A lot less painful,
anyway. But you can’t stop teenage hormones! I met a boy called Matthew. He was
everything to me. But then I began getting strange dreams, and for the life of
me, I could never remember them when I was awake. My sleep was disturbed, and
I’d be lying if I said it never affected me.
I had a strange notion that the dreams
were linked to Matthew with the horrid feeling that something bad was going to
happen him. We had a row one night, mainly because I was cranky through lack of
sleep, and I told him that I didn’t want to see him any more.
He stormed out, and on his way home he
crashed his motorbike. Oh, he survived, thank God, but I was convinced it wasn’t fatal because I’d finished with
him
. I think he was expecting I would rush to his house with grapes, chocolate
and apologises, but I didn’t. I blanked him. We were over, and guess what?

The dreams stopped.
I had a few short-term relationships
after that. They didn’t last; I didn’t let them.
Read the rest of my story in the novel: The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch
therefore I am.
Available in most stores:
It’s funny, heat-rendering, and so true
for many suffering the infamous Black Dog. It was therapeutic writing it, but
it’s not a story just about me. Lex Kendal was a big-headed playboy with too
much money and an ego the size of The Statue of Liberty. 
I guess we both went on a journey in
those hectic few months of meeting.
The
Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am

is cheaper than the energy pills I used to pop.
Thanks for reading

Valerie Anthrope.

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3 thoughts on “Depression can hit any one of us. Even celebrities.

  1. This is really an inspiring info. I am impressed with your above share. Depression is a medical illness which is caused due to a number of reasons. In this depressed person feels constant sadness and lack of interest. So it must be treated in a right way otherwise it makes many other problems in life. It is cured using both physical and medications treatments. Few home remedies are shared below which are really useful for a depressed person. http://www.searchhomeremedy.com/top-15-home-remedies-for-depression/

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