Honestly, writing this feels weird. Its been so long since I wrote anything.. do I even know how to anymore? Will anyone actually care about what I have to say? I honestly don’t know, all I know is I’ve missed writing and I’m truly ready to start again now I’m in a better place.
So where have I been?
Well, the past 15ish months have been a struggle. Without going into too much detail, my mental health had hit rock bottom. I had awful anxiety which went untreated and manifested itself into borederlining severe depression over time. I did three months in a job where I felt so undervalued, not supported at all, and overworked. In all honesty, it was a mess. Add personal family issues and a pandemic to the mix.. I was not coping and barely thought I could get from one day to the next. I couldn’t get out of bed, I slept all day and night, stopped eating and cried far too much. I just felt empty
Im not saying this to get sympathy, far from it actually. I am certainly not a fan of remembering that part of my life. I say this because I want to help people. No one deserves to feel thar low, its painful and miserable, it truly changes you in ways you won’t understand unless you’ve experienced it. But it doesn’t have to be the end of you. Its 2022, I’m here ready for my fresh start now I’m in a much healthier place and I want to help you if its what you need. Like a big sister, if you will.
So sit up (if you can), wipe those tears and take 1 deep breath. I want you to read this, and re read this so you make sure it sinks in. I want you to listen, as this is what I wish someone had told me and now I’m sharing it with you.
1. Open a window. Shower. Put on fresh pyjamas, if you can’t do that just wipe yourself with a baby wipe and spray deoderant. Brush your teeth, of you can. It sounds silly, but I’ve been in a place where I couldn’t even do that, I was so down. I felt empty and would just wallow in the depression. but you have to do it. Force yourself, even if it takes all day and is the only thing you do. You will feel better for it.
2. Give your mental illness a name or image. I used Annie Anxiety and Debbie Depression. Remember in the UK, the covonia cough mixture advert where the hairy monster jumped on the man in bed and wouldn’t let go? That is how I pictured anxiety and depression. Two heavy, ugly beasts that thew themselves onto me, and wouldn’t let go. Now imagine yourself doing everything you can to shake them off. Eat the food, take the meds, have a shower… just get rid of them. I know its easier said than done, but giving my illness’ a name and image really helped me to fight them.
3. Take medication offered to you from a professional. I’m stubborn anyway, but depression and anxiety made it 10x worse for the wrong reasons. I spent 3 months refusing antidepressants. However when I eventually caved and tried them, the key is be consistent. It may cause insomnia for a bit and if you forget a dose itll really bring you down, but once you’re settled they can really take the edge off it. If its really not working, go back to your doctor as there’s plenty of other brands out there that might suit you better!
4. Cry. Cry as much or as little as you need. Keeping it in will make it worse.
5 talk to people. This is probably the hardest one out of my list, but its also one of the most important. Write it down in an anonymous support group (I would highly recommend side by side, formerly known as elefriends,) sometimes it helps knowing other people are going through the same things as you.
6. Give it time. No one gets better in just one day, you’re not expected to either. Each day you get through is a win, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Remember, its not the destination that matters, its the journey.
Here are some contact details i hope can be of use. Please reach out to me on twitter at @littleharto of you would like a listening, non judgemental ear. I am here for you.