Hello! It’s been a long time since I last posted. Thanks to those who’ve been reading the blog, leaving comments, and sending messages. And thanks to those who are reading this ?
I am writing this as a confession, not only to myself but to those around me and to those that decide to take the time to read this.
If you decide to read this, that ultimately means that you care in some way or another in order to click the link in the first place, so thank you for that.
I have always been fond of writing, whether or not I have been very good at it is a different story, but nonetheless it is something that is incredibly important to me. As you are reading this you are probably wondering what this is all about and why you have read utter nothingness up to this point, so I will get on with what I want to write.
For those of you who know me, you will probably have met me through school, through work or just through social media. Chances are you will know me as a relatively energetic person with, what I’d like to think as a decent sense of humour, a passion for shoes(fashion sense also) and music. However, those of you closer to me will know that I am a very sensitive person. Alternatively you might not know me, or may know of me, or we just know each other through some other means.
Essentially what I want to admit and confess is that, Depression and anxiety have been kicking my ass lately. Anxiety especially. It’s funny, in a way: generally, I feel like I can control my anxiety pretty well, but when it gets bad, I become quite aware that my anxiety controls me. I sometimes wake up anxious. As soon as my eyes are open, the anxiety sets in. My mind starts going a million miles a minute trying to worry about every little detail of every little thing. On occasion, my anxiety wakes me up in the middle of the night. It’s exhausting. I think that makes the mental illness harder to combat – sometimes you’re just too tired to fight.
Panic attacks have been a frequent friend over the past few months. The heart palpitations are always disconcerting, no matter how often I experience them. The palpitations aren’t a medical concern for me, but when my heart is thumping away like that, I can’t help but take notice. My poor heart works so hard for me; I don’t think I treat it well enough.
I’ve begun the process of seeking treatment. Meds and therapy again, probably. It’s slow going (partially because it’s a struggle for me to get anything done and partially because the health system can be slow if you’re not dying on their doorstep (I’m not complaining though; I might actually be dead if it weren’t for socialized medicine). I’m not exactly jumping up and down at the prospect of treatment, but medication and therapy were a big help to me in the past, so I’m fine with trying again. Really, I probably shouldn’t have been off meds or out of therapy in the first place, but I wanted to try going without, and I was fine for a while. My brain caught up with me, is all!
This is something I never thought I would say to people, neither is it something I have ever wanted to say to people. With a person filled up with as much feminine pride as you can fit into a female’s 5″3 frame, It embarrasses me to admit it. I also understand that what I have just said doesn’t bother many of you very much, and might actually make you say, “yeah so what? we all have problems” and will not hit you emotionally in anyway whatsoever. But I want to change that.
Why am I admitting this in a blog for anyone to read?
Within my experience of depression up to now, I understand that there is stigma attached to it, that doesn’t alert people like other illnesses would. If I wrote that I thought about suicide at least once a day. If I told you that I hated the person I am, how I look, the way I speak. If I wrote that I genuinely believe at times that my life is worthless, then you might take that more seriously. Depression involves all of these things and more, Depression is an illness just like Drug addiction, alcoholism, excessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, anorexia, bulimia and all other mental health issues you can think of. It is not just an adjective to use when you feel sad because your phone screen has broken, or because you have ran out of green top milk.
That is just part of the stigma which I have found so far. Telling people is one thing, but them understanding what you have told them is completely another thing.
The other part of the stigma is after considering that perhaps you have a mental health issue, accepting it, is actually finding the heart to go and tell somebody, and is trying to get over the embarrassment and shame that comes with admitting that you are being affected by a mental health issue.
The stigma really does exist; admitting that I am depressed is like admitting that I am weak, that I am not the macho alpha female I am supposed to be(And subconsciously trying to be). The embarrassment is something that I can’t shake, however what I can do is to try and raise awareness so that it might help others feel that they can speak up, and to also give people who have friends in need the insight and courage to not shy away from the situations they are faced with, to stand up and be counted, like friends and family should do.
The reason I am writing this is because, despite the embarrassment, it is necessary for me to admit and confess this but also so I can try and begin to make a difference for others and for myself again, and look forward and up instead of backwards and down.
In the meantime, I try to keep myself occupied – read, listen to music…whatever distracts me for a little while. I’m taking things day by day. Today is a little better than yesterday. Maybe tomorrow will be a little better than today. I can hope at least!
Hopefully you are having a good day ❤