Guest Post from Kirsty Ralph

I really wanted to start featuring some guest posts and I was lucky enough to have Kirsty Ralph agree to do my first one for me!  Kirsty is an amazing young women and I would highly recommend checking out her blog here. Also her blog button is on my homepage for this month so you can check her out there too.  Enjoy her touching post below.
Depression - My Struggles

Ive had depression for 10 years now at least. I was officially diagnosed with it in 2009. Over the years I have had many struggles. Depression isnt easy. People underestimate just how hard it is to live with. Many people have this viewpoint that winds me up, when they are like oh Im so depressed, my boyfriend broke up with me.If only that was it!

 Depression can affect you in many ways. It affects your mood, your sleep, your appetite, your concentration, your ability to feel emotions. I myself struggle continually with sleep and concentration. My head literally feels like it explodes when I have to read articles and sources for uni assignments, let alone type it up. Sleep is horrible, I am forever tired, I feel drained and lack energy, my day becomes fragmented and even when I finally wake up in the morning, I want to go back to bed. I have to sleep in the afternoon, if I dont, my night-time sleep pattern is even worse.  I struggle to settle and drift off to sleep; my mind feels like it's racing at 100mph, the thoughts wont shut off.  I suffer from terrible dreams of my past. I have struggled with confidence, and if you have read my high school series, youll know ive had to deal with some tough issues and even self-harm.

 There are bad days where I literally feel nothing. I am like an empty vessel, a shell of a person. More recently I am coping with the loss of my dad who passed away in June. Grief and depression is a strange combination. There are days when I feel literally numb and unable to make a cup of tea without getting upset. There are days when I feel nothing, the days following my dads passing, I couldnt function, I couldnt feel, I was on autopilot. Even now I struggle to feel anything, to even cry or smile, its like im trapped in a world of darkness.

 But not all days are bad. Sometimes you feel the light, you can feel normal. You can laugh and smile. Depression is a rollercoaster ride of constant up and downs. You just have to remember on those darker days that life can be better and you are strong person. You have the support around you and it is always best to get the thoughts and emotions out, dont bottle it upwrite it down, talk to someone, just express it somehow. I love blogging; it has without a doubt helped. I can express my feelings and I know there is a vast community of support of lovely people who are always there if you need a shoulder to cry on or a rant.

 Just remember you are not alone. You will defeat the darkness.