Facing my demons: My Mental health struggle
Updated: Nov 24, 2017
Sorry I Have missed couple of blog post but have been crazy busy and just wanted to focus on this particular issue before I uploaded any others.
With the promotion of “Heads together” and Price Harry opening up about what its like to struggle with mental health, I thought maybe it was time to talk about this topic.
Anxiety, bipolar, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia, out of these mental health issues I honestly can say that I have suffered from three in the last 15 years.
I had a terrible bout of depression in my late teens. My mother was diagnosed with Kidney Failure and times were very hard to deal with, I sunk into a depression as my whole world was falling apart, I hit rock bottom, I didn't want to live this life anymore. Every morning it was a struggle to get out of bed, I cried almost every minute of every day. To me my life really wasn't worth living. How on earth I managed to see that tiny flicker of light and find some strength inside of me to admit that I needed help, I really don't know, but somehow I did. The minute I admitted that I had a problem and sought professional advice from a doctor, my whole live changed in an instant.
Walking away from the doctors, the sun seemed warmer, the sky clearer, the flowers brighter and the birds were softly singing away. The heavy darkness, that had been weighing on my shoulders had been lifted. For that moment in time, I felt a little bit of the happiness that I had lost return, even though it was for a few seconds. It was really there. That little flicker of light was all I needed to convince me that I could get better. With this new found determination I took myself off to the library, I wanted to read and research every meaning of the word “depression” and every self help cure I could find. I didn't want to feel like this, I really wanted to be me again, and was willing to do anything I could to get "me" back. I stumbled upon a book that completely changed my life....
This book help me understand how the brain really works, why I felt the way I felt, and thought the thoughts I did. Im a person that has to understand everything, and by understanding this illness I could then deal with it. I never wanted people to feel sorry for me, I wasn't that I was scared to tell my friends I just didn't want their sympathy. I dealt with this myself and a year on from that day I sought help, I was probably the happiest I had ever been. Life was good again. Then when I was 21 my mother sadly lost her battle and past away. This was a moment that could have completely broken me. I could have hit lower than I ever had. I wanted to. I didn't want to live my life with out her by my side, but I didn't really have a choice. I had to live on. I think the first year without her passed in a blur of numbness, anger and pain, It was then I started to feel low again. This time I was stronger and I could see the signs, I was angry, very very angry. Anger mixed with sadness were the only emotions I felt. I recognised this as the start of a depression and knew if I wanted to stay focussed on living my life I had to seek help again. This time I was in a better place to start with and only need a little help for a few months , then I was back to me again, obviously sad about my mum leaving us, but I was stable and could get on with life. And to this day I have never felt that low again,
As most of you that have read my early blogs will know that my life was completely turned upside down again a few years ago leading up to my Heart surgery. I was going through some life changes as well as health issues, I started to feel panicked most of the time, I was starting to get paranoid, I couldn't sit still, I couldn't sleep. I was angry, I was scared. Then one day I felt like my mind completely broke down. All the walls in my brain had fallen down, and with this, the past and present were getting jumbled, dreams and my thoughts were confused, I couldn't tell the difference from reality and fantasy. That day was complete madness. I felt every emotion possible, I knew I had to find help and put this brain back together again.
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and OCD. Again I managed to have enough of my mind still pieced together that I could actually see my issues before I lost complete sanity. I was again determined to feel better. I felt completely lost as this didn't feel like depression and I didn't know what this was. I was under a lot of stress, working self employed and feeling extremely unwell and feeling worse as my condition weakened. My relationships were shifting, I wasn't able to advance in my business and my mum wasn't there to support me, sometimes when a little girl is ill she just wants her mum to give her a cuddle, so life was a struggle more than ever. I was terrified of surgery, but I was more terrified of the strain my heart had been through and was going to give up at any point. There was no doubt that my mind was going to crumble under that stress. But at least I knew how to deal with it. After my surgery my anxiety eased dramatically, but it is definitely still with me to this day.
I struggle in day to day life, some days are so easy and it doesn't effect me at all, some days are awful. I find it so hard to meet new people, I get panicked and stressed. I cant always make plans to do new things or go places I don't plan things in advance as it will play on my mind and I might pull out. I have to make decisions on a spare of the moment so that I cant get anxious about it. I try to over come these situations and I force myself to go against these feelings. Right now i'm righting this blog, slightly terrified that you might judge me. But this could possibly be one of the bravest things I'v ever done. The next few weeks I will elaborate on my issues and highlight what I have found that helped me escape them . I don't want sympathy or strange looks, I just want to feel free from all of that, I want people to understand that not every one is confident and 100% happy all the time. Life is about hurdles and learning how to overcome them. I hope this blog will help someone one over that hurdle, because no one was there to help me and I know what that feels like. You are never alone no matter how hard that is to believe.
Mental health effects 1 in 4 people in every year. Thats 1, 2 or 3 people in your close circle of friends. So next time you all together have a look around and see who might be finding life just a little bit hard, or even who didn't turn up, who's missed a couple of the events now with no real explanation. Maybe don't be to hard on them for not turning up, as you never know how much they might have wanted to be there but "couldn't" as stupid as that sounds, it is almost certainly the case for mental health suffers, they just cant, there is no other explanation.
My little sister is competing in the Edinburgh marathon in few weeks time. She is running for MIND. A charity that helps people like myself. If my story has touched you in any way please pop over to her page and donate a few pennies in order to support these complex minds. If you do so maybe just mention "WHDNblog " so she knows where you are supporting her from, incase Jess doesn't recognise your name.
Thanks for reading, it means so much.
Thank you for reading and feel free to contact me at any time.