Monday, 16 January 2017

Hello again

Hello! It’s been a long time since my last post on here and I’ve been trying to find a way to put into words the reason for my absence for quite some time now. I think the best thing I can do is to just jump right in so here it goes, I have been pretty ill.

Now I don’t mean ill as in throwing up or coughing or in any way that you would be able to see, I mean mentally. Now I know a lot of people that write blogs have mental illnesses and it’s thanks to their strength that I’m here writing this post today.

I don’t want to go in to the full back story of what caused me to be the way I am as I would like this blog to be a way for me to focus on my future and aid in my recovery. However, I would like to talk about what’s happened to me over the last year.

For a few years prior to now I’d been feeling really low and struggled to control my emotions (something I’ve mentioned in previous posts). I’d struggled with depression in the past but thought I was magically all better since I didn’t cry every day and ignored what my brain was trying to tell, I now know that’s not how mental illness works. Then around this time last year all of these issues came to a peak.

I was stood on a platform waiting for my train to arrive and I remember waiting there and thinking about jumping onto the tracks, apologies for being blunt but it is how it is. I remember calculating where I’d have to jump from for the train to still be going fast enough to kill me before it pulled into station. I was stood not far from the car park and it was like something just snapped in my head and I just ran away from the track and started crying in one of the stations bathrooms. That was the day I realised that something really wasn’t right.

It took another few weeks for me to speak to my boyfriend and tell him how bad things had gotten in my head, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made as he then encouraged me to go see a doctor, I was reluctant at first but after he showed me the statistics of how many people actually see a doctor for these kinds of things I felt more calm about the situation, knowing I wasn’t the only person in the world that had thoughts like this really helped.

I was fortunate enough to be seen by a wonderful doctor who took the time to sit and listen to how I was feeling and soothed me while I sobbed that ‘nothing was wrong with me and I have a good life I shouldn’t be like this’.

Dr Smith (name withheld for privacy reasons) explained that sometimes little things can build up when we don’t deal with them straight away which seemed to have been the cause of my depression reappearing with a vengeance and she also diagnosed me with a social anxiety disorder, meaning I struggle to deal with certain social situations leading me to have panic attacks – which have been regular this past year.

I was put on anti-anxiety medication along with anti-depressants and was also given the details of a service called ‘First Step’ that helps to put you in touch with local counselling service in your area who I now speak to regularly. They helped give me the strength to speak to my family and explain to them what had been happening and, instead of telling me that I'm crazy and to get on with it like I expected, they offered me all the help and support I could have hoped for.

So yeah, one year on I’m still here. I’m a far cry from being ‘well’ but I’m on the right tracks to getting where I want to be emotionally. I’m still on a lot of medication as it’s trial and error as to what works with these kinds of meds but I’m starting to see progress in the sense that I can control my emotions better. I have found it so much easier to speak to family and friends about my issues since getting in touch with First Step but I know that counsellors are always there when I need to be set on the right track.

This is such a personal post and I’ve been so scared to write it but I’ve decided that it’s time to come to terms with who I am and what I’ve been through and I refuse to let it hold me back any longer. So I’m back, hopefully for good, and plan on writing again regularly.

I would also like to say thank you to the wonderful mental health blogging community for helping me to realise that I’m not alone in this and that it’s normal to experience these issues and to even write about them!

I hope that this post might have helped someone like me to stop being afraid of what other people might think and if you’ve ever experienced anything similar I’d love to read your story in the comments below.

Thank you for your continued support.
Alice x

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