I’ve rewritten this post from it’s original format many times, because it keeps coming across as “woe is me” and that’s just not me at all.
I started 2017 with such high hopes for this blog, for my life, for everything. I was hyper organized, losing weight, doing well at work.
And then 2017 hit me like a tonne of shit.
It started with a cancer diagnosis. Not mine, or my partners, but one of the most important people in my life. Treatable, yes, but terrifying. I started to become angry. How could this happen to this person, who was healthy, hardly drank, never smoked, worked out 4 times a week? I started questioning whether or not it was worth looking after myself, if these things can happen to someone so healthy anyway, what’s the point? The more is thought about it, the more stressed of the unknown I got. I had to watch people I loved break down in tears, I had to explain to people why I was running out of the room on my phone crying. I got angry. I was lazy, unmotivated and took no pleasure in things I’d previously enjoyed (hence this blog not being touched since February.)
Then my partner proposed to me. On a lake, surrounded by fireflies. It was beautiful, and has truly been the shining light in the shit hole that has been this year. I started to wedding plan, everything was calming down in life, the road forward for the cancer diagnosis was much clearer and I was starting to see some semblance of my former self again. We had a family gathering in the Lake District, which was amazing and lovely, work settled down and I was in the throes of wedding planning. Then life seemed to drop shit storm after shit storm on me and my fiance.
But this experience, and other shitty life experiences that have happened in 2017 really brought to my attention how I handle stress, anxiety, and it made me open up to myself about how I was truly feeling. I was depressed. I am depressed.
I have struggled with my mental health for 10 years. It started as a seasonal thing, and over the years it seems to have become more and more year round. I’ve reached out for help twice; once when I was 17, and once when I was 20. Both times, I was turned away, told “someone will be in touch”, and then heard nothing, or “you’re not depressed, you’re just a bit sad.” Since then, I’ve refused to accept that there is something medically wrong, and resolved to handle it myself as opposed to seeking professional help. I wasn’t coping very well, and it all came to a head in the middle of July. My doctor prescribed me Citalopram, and wanted to follow up in two weeks. I didn’t find that Citalopram did anything for me, except for a slight burst of motivation, so when I went back, they upped my dosage. The doctor also deemed that I was not fit for work due to ongoing stress and anxiety, and signed me off for 2 weeks. This is when the nightmares started. After upping my dosage, I started having these horrid, vivid dreams, about insects sucking out spinal fluid and rooms full of cockroaches. I had dreams that my little sister went missing after trying to find my dogs, who had also gone missing in the middle of a sickness epidemic. I wasn’t sleeping well when I was sleeping, so I slept more. Obviously my doctor was concerned, is switching me to Sertraline and running me of Citalopram. The nightmares are still going on, I’ve been signed off for another 3 weeks (two weeks in already.)
My doctor recommended trying to get back in to the things that I used to enjoy, and I’ve been wanting to pick this blog back up since I saw my fucking domain renewal rob me of £100. I want to spend the next week focusing on this space, making it more me, making my plans for the rest of the year, and hopefully bringing around some level or normalcy. This is my last chance at this blog, if I can’t make it work this year, then I can’t make it work.
My advice to anyone out there, regardless of age or history, to not let being turned down stop you from reaching out in search of aid for your mental health. Shitty doctors? Change doctors. Unsympathetic friends/family? Fuck them, reach out anyway. Being turned away hurts, but living your life, day in day out down, depressed and terrified of the future hurts more. I promise. Just do it, help yourself. Keep trying, don’t take no for an answer. You deserve to be taken seriously, and sometimes you have to demand that.
This is the start of a very long road for me. While I dont feel any better, and possibly slightly worse, I am so thankful that I forced myself to make that doctors appointment. I’m still angry, unmotivated. I don’t sleep well and I’ve neglected to take care of myself for the whole of August. But I took the first step, and I’m so proud of myself.
Peace out guys.