First things first, a little background on me and whats going on in my world
over the past 6 years i’ve been battling with depression. I’ve always put it down to circumstantial as its only ever really made an appearance in times of work or social stress. each time before its gone away on its own within a week or so, so i’ve never sought help from a doctor
from february 2014 i started feeling really low again and on top of that over the past year ive been experiencing increasing anxiety – quite often with no correlation to whats going on in my life. at the time when my depression started making a reappearance i was dealing with a lot of stresses both in and out of work, leaving me feeling like as i was escaping one i was having to face another. as it didn’t look like it was passing in the same way it had before, i went to a doctors to ask for help
it turns out anti-depressants are as easy to get as smarties over the counter. straight away i was put on medication with very little advice given about how these were going to affect me or any of the side affects. working in the hospitality industry, dealing with people face to face every day the effect the medication was having on me and the side affects were extremely notable. I’d gone from being a bubbly, out-going, chatty restaurant manager to a quiet, unmotivated, shell of my former self with my only aims each day involving a duvet fort, my pyjamas and a cuddle from my other half.
after going back to my doctors and requesting referrals for therapy and expressing how the medication seemed to be aggravating my anxiety as well as causing me to have horrid thoughts of self harm and suicide – things I have not considered before taking medication – i was advised to increase my dosage.
not only did this make me incredibly sick, moody, faint, irritable it further increased my anxiety and my desire to end my life. i was struggling to see anything in a positive light and saw myself as a burden on everyone around me. i was so poorly, low and felt so vulnerable and unreliable I ended up leaving my job.
soon the frustration of being out of work started really getting me down. having the time off to get better was what was necessary but it also left me too much time to think. concerns over letting my colleagues, family and boyfriend down, money concerns, having to be dependant on everyone when i’m so used to be being independant and being the shoulder for other people to cry on. i thought everyone in my life could do so much better without the worry of me over their heads, everyone could move on and get back to normal. all of these feelings built up so much, and on top of this i had a months worth of medication in my cabinet from the doctor and all of these strong thoughts of ending my life taking over……
with one of my favourite bottles of red, i took half a packet of my anti-depressants. something i even researched to check if it was enough to make sure i didn’t wake up again.
i don’t know why or how, but i did wake up. i honestly couldn’t be more grateful. i feel as though i’ve been given a second chance, like my body doesn’t want me to give up so easily and let this horrid illness win. before i knew it, i was in an ambulance on my way to hospital, dribbling on paramedics trying to remember how to spell my name
that night in hospital was the lowest point, but the silver lining in it all is i can confidently say things in my life will never be that bad again.
since coming out of hospital i’ve chosen not to go back on the medication but to deal with this demon naturally. With lots of books on self help, exercise, eating well and support from my amazing friends and family i know i can get through this
my reasons for doing this are mainly cathartic – ive heard writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a means of therapy and a healthy way to release the demons in your head. i’d like to hope that maybe someone somewhere reads this and it breaks down a barrier or two in stigmatisation of mental health and opens someones eyes in what its like to live with an “invisible illness”. romantically, i’d like to think someone somewhere might read this and it help them. if it could reach out and just help one person in need of support then it makes all of my struggles worth it
keep smiling & stay safe