"I am happy and I feel loved".
So read my affirmation for today from Bringing Spirit Into The Everyday, who rarely fails to inspire me with her inspirational wisdom.
But lately my depression has left me so empty of verve and energy that despite all my usual cures, I feel bereft of happiness and I feel decidely unloved.
Saying the affirmation in spite of myself, there is a hollow ring to it. My mouth is dry and tears spring to my eyes.
I know it is a lie.
Depression robs me of my self-confidence and self-worth. It takes away the sense of feeling joy from anything that would normally make me smile.
It lies to me and tells me I am nothing. That I am unloved and useless.
I know in my head this is untrue. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister and friend, and people do love me. They tell me so.
But today I don't feel it.
I feel I fail at everything I do. My achievements in life have melted away to be replaced by all the things I haven't done right - and there's been a lot of that.
I'm not where I wanted to be. Will I ever be? Isn't there meant to be more to life than this constant struggle for survival?
On days like today, an affirmation like "I am happy and I feel loved' is more important than ever. I will say it and repeat it and hope that a shift occurs.
I will take stock of the good things in my life - for there are good things in my life, despite the monsters in my mind that keep on telling me that isn't so.
I will focus on my kids, and our love for each other, and my desire to be the best Mum I can be for them. A healthy Mum. A happy one.
I will hug our pets.
I will take my pills and do everything I have to do to stay well.
Because as famous depressive, the late Winston Churchill said: "If you are going through hell, keep on going."
Happiness - I'm not close today, but I am trying.
Lifeline provides crisis support and chat 24 hours a day on 131114 or go to www.lifeline.org.au