It’s insane to think that I’ve been suffering with anxiety for 10 years, however, I’ve only actually had an official diagnosis for probably half of that. I’ve spoken before in my ‘Anxiety Story’ blog post from a couple of years ago, about my first panic attack and how it all began, however, a lot has changed since I wrote that blog post and I thought it was about time I opened up about it once more, as I think it’s SO important to use your voice when it comes to mental health and although we live in a world that’s just about getting to grips with the true effects of mental health, it’s still important for those who suffer to stick together, after all, a problem shared is a problem halved, right?
I find it really difficult to articulate how I feel when I’m feeling anxious or down, it usually results in me attempting to explain things to my mum and boyfriend and them trying to piece it all together for me, I suppose it’s hard to see ‘what you’re like’ when you’re living it, so I do really rely on my mum and boyfriend to help me explain things – I guess sometimes I find it difficult to explain how I’m feeling when I’ve felt that way for so long, it’s almost like an identity crisis as you’re constantly mulling over ‘who am i?’ around your head and wondering whether anxiety has completely consumed you and you are now the personification of it.
Over the past year or so, my mental health has seriously hit a peak, it was as though I was 17 again (minus Zac Efron) and quite literally couldn’t function. If I was alone, I felt as though I was a danger to myself and if I was in a room of people, I wanted to scream, cry and get the hell out. I pretty much couldn’t be left alone, my thoughts would completely consume me and if I could escape my own mind, I probably would have. It got to a point where I simply just couldn’t deal with day-to-day life, I was depressed and began to isolate myself my personality pretty much flipped. I wasn’t bubbly and chatty anymore, I was dismissive and isolated myself from those who loved me. It got to a point where although I was on medication for Anxiety & Depression, I needed further help to allow me to cope with these overwhelming emotions.
I was on the waiting list for therapy for just short of a year. Which is crazy. When I first got referred back in 2013, I waited no longer than 2 weeks to see a therapist. This is one of the reasons why I think it’s so important to speak out and to ask questions about your feelings the feelings of those around you whenever and wherever you can. In that year leading up to my therapy, a lot changed and happened in my life that sent me lower and lower into the dark hole my mental health had trapped me in. I still deal with a lot of what happened in my day-to-day life, as they’re issues that will always affect me and how I feel about myself, however, we’re not going to go too into that for my own sake.
I started therapy about a month ago now and It honestly feels so good to talk to someone who doesn’t really know anything about you or your past and wants the end goal to be that you walk out of their office feeling just an inch better and more optimistic about the week ahead of me. It’s all about taking tiny baby steps to feeling more ‘me’ again. I can’t go into therapy in too much depth as of yet, just as I’m still in the early days but it’s going well and I’m so glad that I took the leap into getting further help. Although medication may take the pinch away, it’s healthy to get to the root of your problems and teach yourself how to deal with them in the correct ways. So if you’re looking for a sign or some words of wisdom when it comes to taking the leap and getting help, although its truly scary, it’s worth it and you’ll thank yourself for your bravery somewhere down the line.
Whilst writing this post, I’ve taken a couple of day breaks in-between writing it, which have now led to a good few weeks. Mental health is a rocky, rocky road and I’m not talking the chocolate kind. It’s a road you want to get off because you feel sick to your stomach. The past few days have been difficult, I’m not at peace with myself and who I am and I think that it reflects with how I socialise with people. I wish I could summarise this blog post into a happy ending and sugar coat it with a sprinkle of optimism but mental health is that weird, annoying aunt that constantly visits you unannounced and unwanted.
About 2 months ago I posted an instagram story mid mental breakdown. I was a mess, I was crying and although it’s not something I’d usually do as I pretty much exposed myself in my rawest state. It was the best thing I ever did. I received HUNDREDS of messages of people saying they’d felt the same way and opening up to me about their battles with mental health. It was so heartwarming and it’s opened my eyes that I should be talking about these things, even when I’m not in the best state.
Although sometimes my mental health tires me out and makes me feel everything that I’m not and although I’m not feeling to great as I write this, I’m doing something about it. It’s been 10 years too long and I know there’s so many people who struggle with these issues every single day just like me. If you don’t feel as though you’re ready to seek professional help, or feel to venerable to speak to your friends and family about it all (we’ve all been there) just now that my email and social’s are there for you, an although I’m not a therapist, I’m always open to a judgement free chat.
I cannot thank you all enough for supporting me and I will forever do the same to anyone who reaches out to me with a problem. I will be sure to update you all on my journey into therapy.
Until next time x