This is a post that I was not expecting to be writing any time soon but there is something about Mental Health Awareness Day that makes me wanna help people and give them my experiences every year. Somehow, I’ve been embarrassed to share my story of mental health with others and it makes me sad that I’ve been ashamed to share. But I shouldn’t be embarrassed because like many others with a mental health problem, I have struggled deeply.
Having a mental health issue is sometimes seen as crazy or has certain stigmas attached to it. Also, the fact that people can’t see your mental health issues like you can with a broken leg is hard and you feel as though sometimes you have to validate yourself in order for your problems to actually exist to others. This is what is most shocking about mental health in this day and age; 2016 and we still see mental health as ‘imaginary’ and something that’s ‘in our heads’. Yes, I guess you’re right. It is in our heads. But it is something we deal with on a daily basis that is definitely not imaginary.
My struggle with depression throughout my teenage years was extremely tough. My life literally came to a halt and my memories from ages 12 to 16 were spent crying every single day, having 3 hours sleep at night and terrifying thoughts rushing through my mind all at once. On top of this, I became prone to self harm which I have now been free of for the last 2 years. I am extremely proud that I have kicked that habit in the butt and with the support of those around me, I will hopefully never relapse into that state. After feeling horrible with myself each day and with demons prodding at my shoulders and very bad people in my life, when I was 15, I decided to attempt to take my own life. This is not something I say with a smile on my face and it has taken me complete bravery to be typing this knowing that people I know will most likely be reading this.
After that experience, I decided to seek help and go to counselling with CAMHS (Children & Adolescent Mental Health). I endured CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for a matter of weeks and was discharged a better person. Also a week after my suicide attempt, something brought the best thing that has ever happened to me into my life; my boyfriend. I honestly believe it was meant to be and without him, I definitely would not be here today.
I still struggle with depression, but it is not as often as before and I can actually function for once. I cry less often, I’m getting much more sleep, and I smile and interact more with people which is a big leap for me in my life. I also suffer with social anxieties which is my current demon but I know that I can deal with it with determination, ambition to not be afraid of the world, and to live my life without fear of others judgement.
Mental Health is something that is serious and it should not be taken for a joke. If your friend tells you they feel depressed, talk to them about it. A cup of tea will not fix their problems, but a chat might help them to aim towards the right direction and with your support they can succeed. If you feel that you have a problem that you need to talk about, please do not sit there and cry. There is more to life than crying! Seek help and seek happiness. You are stronger than you think and you can make it through the rain and find the sunshine.
This post has taken me a lot to write out my experiences and I hope you appreciate my bravery writing this. And if anyone who knows me has a problem with it, well, I don’t care. Because if you judge me from this post then you don’t deserve to know me. Thank you for your support and I wish you all the best and all the happiness in the world.
Stay Strong x
Lots of love,