So. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for quite some time now, but more often than not, I find myself interrupting the thoughts in my head, asking myself is that something you want people to know.
And that right there is the first reason why I decided to finally pluck up the courage to sit down, open my MacBook, and start typing.
We live in a society where we only share the best parts of our ‘highlight reel’, so to speak. It’s like when you watch a trailer for a film and you go to the cinema, only to realise they showed you all the best bits in the trailer and filtered out all the crappy parts.
Our social media pages are the trailers to our lives.
We never share the bad things, because God forbid someone finds out we aren’t perfect like our Instagram page makes us out to be. But one thing I’m coming to realise is that: it’s OKAY to have bad days. It’s okay to feel down about how you look or to feel like the world is on your shoulders.
This first blog post might be too deep and people might think I shouldn’t divulge some of the information I’m about to, but why not? What’s the worst someone can say about me? That I’m too opinionated? That I’m not afraid to speak my mind? That I’m attention seeking?
To be frank, part of the reason I’m doing this is to give myself a space where I can vent to someone besides my fiancé or my mum. I think they deserve a break, so here I am lying in bed with a million and one thoughts circling around in my head that I felt I should share with the critics, online trolls and impartial strangers of the Big Wide World.
So here goes…
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The big confession that’s kept you reading this far down the page.
I have depression.
I also have anxiety, because apparently someone decided to see just how far they could push me.
And to be brutally honest, it’s quite a terrifying prospect for me to write it down and digest it, because it suddenly becomes all the more real.
I’ve tried to shove it under the carpet. I’ve listened to self-help audiobooks for hours on end that try to tell me I can magically manifest my own happiness. That it’s all in my head.
Well, no shit, Sherlock.
Yes, the brain is an amazing organ, but it can also be very bloody confusing at times.
Think about the scenario when you have a devil and an angel on each shoulder, offering advice in times of need. Now take the angel out of the equation, and what do you have?
A nasty little shit of a devil who tries to tell you to do things you shouldn’t, think things you shouldn’t and just generally hate your life.
Now, an outsider looking at my life might say “What does she have to be unhappy about?”, merely misinterpreting Facebook statuses and tweets and falsely presuming I live in a fairytale world (although, I definitely wish I did, but that’s another story).
But this is where I’ll go back to the ‘highlight reel’ of our lives. We would never dream of admitting our failings to the world. We always want to portray the best possible image of ourselves. We compete for likes on an Instagram photo, and feel worthless when we don’t reach a socially acceptable number. Most of us won’t admit it, but I’m taking one for the team here, guys. *pats self on back*
Now, to get serious.
I was officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety in January of this year, but I’d been feeling low for quite some time. I can’t pinpoint an exact time when I woke up and felt like my world was starting to fall apart, but I could tell something wasn’t quite right.
I should have been the happiest I’d ever been in my life. In November 2016, my fiancé and I went to Walt Disney World in Florida (our favourite place and where we first started seeing each other), and then to New York.
It was my dream holiday.
Little did I know that my boyfriend of over two years had planned to propose to me while we were in the US. I was shocked, elated, overwhelmed, emotional, and totally head over heels in love. It was the best day of my life.
I continued in my little engagement bubble for a few weeks, and then returned home with the typical holiday blues. But over Christmas and my birthday, I felt the black clouds descending ever so dramatically over my life again, all-consuming and omnipotent.
*Here we go again* I kept thinking.
Most of the time, I put it down to the typical excuse; hormones. But I knew something was seriously wrong when I was going to bed crying every night, and waking up every morning unable to face going into work.
I’ll never forget how I felt sitting in the GP’s waiting room with my fiancé, wanting the ground to swallow me whole and make me disappear.
Cutting a long story short, I was assessed and diagnosed.
I was sent away with a willy-nilly prescription for anti-depressants and told to “have a bath and relax” if I felt down.
Thanks, Dr. Not-So-Helpful. All better now!
I walked out, clutching my prescription in my hand, feeling as though I was carrying a huge sign saying I HAVE DEPRESSION and like the whole waiting room could read what was on that little green slip.
I remember being sat in my car feeling mixed emotions of relief that I finally knew what was causing my low moods, and shame at the fact that I was just another statistic, freshly labelled and soon to be processed through the failing mental health system.
Ultimately, my mental health issues won.
I felt unable to carry on working as a Journalist; a job I’d longed to do since I was a teenager. A job I knew I was good at. With an overwhelming sense of failure, I walked out of that office for the last time in February, and if I’m being honest, I’ve felt completely worthless ever since. I feel as though I will break down and crumble at the thought of walking into my next job, dreading trying to impress a new group of people, willing them to like me despite the monsters in my head.
It’s exhausting having to try to give yourself an internal pep talk every day, just to get out of bed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a driven and ambitious girl. I always have been. That’s why these past 12 months or so have been so challenging to mentally and emotionally process. I feel like my hormones and emotions have been strapped into the world’s fastest rollercoaster, and forced to ride over and over again.
I’m tired. I’m sad. I feel worthless 24/7. I can’t bear the thought of trying to like myself, let alone love myself. Self-love? Confidence? These attributes don’t even exist in my vocabulary. They seem impossible.
That’s the reason for this blog. For me to try, and I really do mean try, to look my demons in the eye and not just battle them head on, but to grab them by the balls and knock them out of the park so they can’t come crawling their way back, ready to infect my mind all over again.
Writing my feelings down might not interest you in the slightest. But if it helps me try to become half of the person I was put on this earth to be, I’m going to give it a bloody good go.
Well done for making it this far.
Until next time,