Sunday, 23 April 2017

Mental health/looking up

Bit of an emo post but I think it's needed, sometimes it's good to open up. Unless you're opening up a body, in which case maybe  s t o p.

For as long as I've known in my teenage years I've suffered with panic attacks. First record of it was when I came across an old facebook status on timehop from 2009. In 2011 I got depression and in 2012 it became very very bad. I went to the doctors numerous amount of times, first they ignored me, then they blamed it on hormones so I was put on the pill, then after that it was just a case of 'It's all in your head, have some awful CAHMs counselling so you can be reassured you're just a moody teenager!'. Anxiety was a crippling thing, too. Refused to ring anyone, leaving the house just to walk up town brought on even more panic attacks and I'd cry myself to sleep most nights because I just couldn't physically handle the thing known as 'life'. Along with the depression and anxiety I also self harmed and my mind became incredibly suicidal. It's not that I wanted to kill myself, but I definitely didn't want to be alive, and I think that's another thing people can't grasp at. To make things worse my nan passed in 2012, she had bi-polar and was my closest family member (excluding my parents). Death doesn't really hit me because I know it's unavoidable but that's the one death I will never, ever, ever get over, and no amount of therapy will ever fix that. 

It wasn't until I came clean about my self harm that the doctors actually thought "Shit, she's our responsibility now". By the age of 18 I'd been on 3 different types of anti-depressants, 3 anxiety meds and had CAHMs counselling, school counselling and CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy). Things got better to an extent, I learnt ways to calm down my anxiety attacks, the self harming stopped and I managed to get a job that I loved that would help me develop and grow my social skills. Fast forward to just before my 19th birthday and I'd pretty much broken again. The constant panic attacks and crying began, my relationship was falling apart and I didn't know what direction I wanted to go in life. I just kinda sifted through it all, blamed it on hormones and at the fact I'd started University, but in reality I knew what was up and I shouldn't have been ashamed. I got assessed at the adults mental health centre of which we discussed depression, bi-polar and anxiety, but as I put up a strong front and I wasn't actively trying to kill myself no further action was taken on their part.

February/March 2017 has been a really tough time for me. I'm now on an SNRI called venlafaxine, taking 112.5mg a day, I still take propanol for my anxiety and I have weekly doctors check ups. My self harm has been quite bad but I know how to control it and for once I'm being selfish in my life. I've stopped caring about what others think of me and I've started caring about myself, because in the long run I'm the only one that matters. It may sound selfish, and it is selfish, but it's also very important. We preach about loving each other, but loving yourself is something so much more important. Like RuPaul says, if you can't love yourself, how can you love somebody else? I've also come to terms that my mental health problems will never go away. I was always under the impression that one day I'd be 'fine' but the tough reality is that I will never truly be fine, and that's okay, in fact, it's perfectly fine. It doesn't make me a bad person, it doesn't make anyone a bad person, it just shows that you've beaten a hard time in your life and you still can beat those hard times. 

Because I've started to be selfish, I've started to be happier. I'm leaving University and moving up to the London area to work at the place I feel most at home. I've made some wonderful friends in the last few months and I finally feel like I can be who I am. Independence is scary, but also very fucking brave, and I really feel like this big step is the best thing that will ever happen to me. I'm so glad I didn't succeed in killing myself because sometimes life can be pretty cool. Plus it would've been a massive waste because I'm at least a 4/10 on my funny days.

There's not exactly a moral here, because everyone is different and handles their mental health differently. It's good for me to get this off my chest because I feel like this new chapter is going to be the best thing ever for me. If you're going through tough times it's okay and it's cool. You're allowed to be down and sad, but make sure you look after yourself. Do things for you and know that there is a blinding light at the end of the tunnel. 
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