Entrepreneur Sara Pollard talks about her battle with depression and where to turn to for help
Many of you know me well by now, some see me daily on the school run and others buy regularly from Free From Temptation and know me as The Cake Lady or Smiley Sara.
But very few know the other side or real me, the part of me that finds it hard to look in the mirror each morning, the part of me that has to pretend to be Wonderwoman every day because it’s battling darker secrets inside, that can’t be spoken for fear of judgement.
People rarely understand what it is like to be someone who is a recovering from depression.
I have learned depression is not a weakness as many may think, it’s a sign of someone who’s strong enough to keep battling despite the darkness descending.
I have been told many times that I am so strong and don’t appear depressed.
What this really means is that for too long, I have been repressing my feelings, putting on a brave face, taken care of others before myself, attempting to go on as if nothing was wrong, and beaten myself up when I couldn’t do everything alone.
I have pushed myself and my body beyond its limits, until finally my body says ‘I can’t do this anymore’, at which point there is no alternative I am forced to stop and re-evaluate.
I began to recover after a long struggle and many years later, when I had my daughter Chloe.
This wonderful gift of life had catapulted me into motherhood and completely depended on me, so how could I not swear I would protect her and myself (for her) from then on?
And how do I work through my depression now you ask? Yep you guessed it! I bake!
It’s important to remember no matter what life throws at you, you are not alone.
There are plenty of others, living in silence, in the same position.
Depression doesn’t make you crazy or incapable, it actually makes you stronger and most of all a survivor.
If you are suffering, in the first instance you should seek help from your doctor and there are organisations that can help, like Moodzone on the NHS Choices website, just search: nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/low-mood-stress-anxiety.aspx.
n Sara Pollard is originally from Portsmouth and now lives in Fareham.
She is the award-winning director of Free From temptation Ltd, in Napier Crescent, which specialises in gluten-free cake and fine confectionary.