Finding the confidence and courage to write a blog has taken a while, but here goes! I wanted to share my personal experiences and thoughts on depression and anxiety, not for any attention or sympathy, but to try to show people out there with mental health issues that there’s always someone who they can relate to and to make them realise they are not alone and so many people have the same thoughts and feelings. For people to read this and think “me too” or “I can relate” is all I want.
“Don’t be ashamed of your story – it will inspire others”
I suffer from anxiety and depression. Although, I’m not really a fan of the word “suffer”- I’m not suffering, it seems so OTT to say that. Admittedly, it can be terrifying dealing with my mind, and I have my bad days just like everyone else, but I’m just going through my own little process and I’m a fighter!
People always ask questions “How long have you had depression for?” and “Have you always been anxious?” The truth is, I don’t think there’s really a “start date” – It just sort of gradually crept into my life because of a mixture of factors. Losing my mum just shortly after starting Year 7 was a struggle to cope with, there were so many transitions all happening at once with School, Family, Friends and lifestyle. I always think now, on my bad days, and my worst days, when I’m feeling panicky and unstable, if I got through all of that when I was a 11 year old girl without her Mummy, surely I can get through whatever this cruel world throws at me!
So time to open up, there’s been a few times in my life that I’ve had suicidal/negative thoughts (not recently) and that is hard to admit. The moment where my whole life turned around was when I was in my living room at 6.30.am in the morning in the month of December, when 2 female paramedics had their arms around me. I was shaking and had a wet face and red eyes from crying, I felt the lowest and weakest I had ever felt, but they began explaining how brave and strong I was to phone 111 and how taking me to hospital immediately would be a step in the right direction. Seeing my Dad get emotional next to me on the Psych ward in hospital whilst I was waiting to be seen just made me realise how loved I actually am and how I needed to open up and speak about my Mental Health, it was the biggest eye opener for me.
One of my biggest fears when I was actually diagnosed with Anxiety & Depression was having to take a tiny little pill (citalopram) every day just to keep me going. How is that tiny half-a-pea sized tablet going to get me from morning to night daily? Why do I need to take this to have happiness? But in truth, these little pills don’t make you “happy”, they just give you a bit of a boost and enhance your mood, and that’s exactly what I needed. The medicine in the pills sends more serotonin to my brain to make me think “I AM going to get out of bed today”, “I AM going to go to work and give today my all”, “I AM going to make myself happy today”.
I’m only human, I still have moments when I feel absolutely shit, but that’s normal (whatever normal is). I’ll have a bad driving lesson and think “what’s the point?”, “cba with driving anymore”, “is there any point in life if I cant drive?” which sounds ridiculous, and I try to say to myself “come on Lil pull yourself together!!” Another thing I struggle with is the paranoid feeling of people being off with me/ annoyed at me, for example in a social situation if there’s a few of us, everything is dandy and we’re having a great time, but suddenly nobody seems to be taking much notice of me, or they’re talking about something that I haven’t heard of or don’t know e.g. a friend of theirs I’ve never met, or a series I’ve never watched etc, my mind will go on an absolute rollercoaster! “Why isn’t she looking at me while she’s talking?”, “Why isn’t he talking to me?”, “Did I say or do something last week to offend them?, “Have I said something wrong?”, “Maybe I should just leave now, everyone in this group would be happier if I wasn’t here”. The tiniest things can make me feel so intimidated and small, and it feels embarrassing to admit. In some of those moments I have actually gone home, but I always regret it. I’ll wake up the next day and think “Omg you’re so paranoid and silly Lil!!!!” I’ll have messages on my phone the next morning asking why I left so early or why I disappeared and I always end up telling little white lies about a headache or that I had to be up early so didn’t want to stay out too late.
I might be flaky sometimes if I feel anxious about going out, I might not want to drink if my axiety is bad, I might cancel just to stay in bed, or to spend time at home with my family, but I have come to realise that the people who love and respect me always understand that (Love you guys) xo. Sometimes, I don’t always have that buzz to get out of bed and go out, and that’s ok! Sometimes you just gotta be lazy, stick on Netflix, have a cuddle, eat junk food and stay on the sofa or in bed til it’s dark again, and if that’s what you want to do then why the hell not! Anywaaay, at the moment, I feel really proud and really good. My job has changed my life, I work with children and it is so rewarding. Seeing children smile, laugh, achieve and go home happy makes everything worth while and gives me the biggest sense of achievement ever. I have so much support from my family, my boyfriend, people at work and the few proper, truest most amazing friends I could ask for who always check up on me and actually mean it when they say “I’m here”.
Trust me guys, always put yourself first. Be selfish! Your health comes before anything x
Everything will be ok, maybe not today or tomorrow – but eventually.
Reach out to me anytime, Love Lily x
Links for help: