Mental Health Awareness Week: A personal story

People have turned their back on the topic of mental health since, well, forever. But, gradually it’s being talked about more frequently.

Seeing as it’s Mental Heath Awareness Week, I thought I would post my personal story, to show people that they aren’t alone. For me, knowing that someone else was going through a similar situation and that they felt similar things…that was helpful. It helped me to fight.

I have been off of my medication now for almost two months, after spending two years on Sertraline, a drug used to treat anxiety and depression. There was a time when I thought that there was no light at the end of the tunnel, but I dug deep and kept myself going.

The thing is, living with a mental illness is like riding one continuous roller coaster. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re in floods of tears, unable to leave the house for several days and wanting to barricade yourself in your room. You can’t explain why you’re shutting down, or why you’re unable to communicate. It just happens.

It is confusing in the sense that you want to push anyone and everyone away, even those who have always been there for you. Scream. Shout. A constant vicious cycle of destruction. You unintentionally hurt those who have been there the most.

Create scars that will haunt you forever.

Depression and anxiety have filled me with regret. The things I have missed out on because I was unable to face going out in public. The so-called friends that have walked away because I am boring, or merely seeking attention.

The hardest thing is that people, for the best part, fail to understand what is going on in your head. But that is plausible when you don’t even know yourself.

It’s just a dark tunnel and it feels like there is no way out. Everything is black and white, there is simply no colour. No life. No hope.

Living with the above led me to be in an everlasting state of fear. You can’t control these thoughts that rattle around your head. You can push them away but they’ll only come back and eat away at you. It is ugly, the antithesis of pretty.

Living with anxiety and depression has taught me that the mind is an immensely powerful thing. It is capable of constructing your darkest moments, whilst finding the strength to survive.

Anxiety made me want to quit. Depression made me not care about a single thing.

Living with anxiety and depression has led me to have a greater understanding of what other people may be going through. If people are down, I now feel sympathy for them. Because I know how bad it can feel.

I know what it feels like for your world to feel like it is crashing down. And you’re paralysed, stranded in this nightmare that is in fact reality.

The terror behind the pseudo-smile.

But, living with anxiety and depression has made me who I am. And I will be stronger. I am so much stronger now.

Together, we can stand up to mental illness and fight it, if we talk to one another and be there for those in their darkest hour.

I know I owe my family and friends the world.

If you feel down, I urge you to talk to someone. If you feel sad, give a friend a text. If you feel like you have no one, reach out on social media. While humans may seem like your worst enemy at times, they are there for you. We are there for each other. We support everyone through the tough times.

It WILL get better x

Mind: 0300 123 3393

Samaritans: 116 123

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