A happy Saturday hello, and I hope your day has been sweet to you. I have had an off day again today, part aches and pains, but mainly my anxiety and depression crushing in on me and stopping me from doing anything. So I, again, have decided to share my thought and feelings as it helps me with them.
Throughout my life those around me have asked: “why are you depressed, you have such a good life?” My answer has always and still is…”I don’t know.” This is something I have had for the better part of my life and it was not something I have ever had any control over; both my anxiety and panic attacks are the same. I have spent my entire life constantly criticising myself to others around me, finding fault in my words and actions before they could. I knew that I was always making mistakes when something when wrong it was somehow my error (I did not even have to have had anything to do with it), so I know I was not doing well and it was my fault.
I knew that I wasn’t doing well and it was both at home and school. School meant every lesson was a downward spiral, no controlling my emotions, and the Nuns punishing me for me destructive behaviour. I started to act out and ended up with the well-earned reputation of a troublemaking problem student and rebellious teenager. Given that I can from one of the founding families, this was very problematic for the family and further played into my lack of self-esteem.
I had sought help over the years but never the same GP and only until I was feeling okay again, any longer and I was terrified that someone would find out and I would be locked away. In August 2013 I found a female GP I instantly connected with, felt I could really be honest with and thereby really started to get some treatment. It has not been an overnight solution and I have tried various different prescriptions and therapy and we still don’t feel like anything has been totally effective in helping. Normally this is not a problem but when I am like I am at the moment with my psychical health draining my system, my mental health is impacted in a very negative way. I know this, I can feel this, but I have no control, and this only makes me feel worse. I build up within my mind and body a dreaded fear that things won’t get better. I am scared to ask to be referred to the unit for the intense care I know I need at the moment as I have done this before and been told to ‘snap out of it’ and send home to deal with it, this was the first time I tried to kill myself. It is to this day, the one comment which stays with me as for how the world views my ‘off’ periods. It created a fearful phase of withdrawal that has left deep scarring on my mind. I felt an isolation, being adrift and very lost – as if I was falling into an abyss that was my own mind, and there was no way out. I am here again and this is why I need to talk to my doctor before I hurt myself, I am struggling to stay afloat.
I would like to state that the feelings of discrimination from my family and friends about my mental health have improved but sadly, those that have lasted, still view it as a ‘just an off day’ or “Adrienne attention seeking again”. I am not having any days where I am feeling positive, and my depressive mood has control at the moment: it will not let up and keeps reminding me that it is my fault, and it is starting to win. I truly believe that it is all my fault, as my physical health, my mental health, and relationships with those around me are getting all too much for my mind and body to handle. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder but this does not make it any easier to get the support needed.
Just being there to listen makes such a huge difference. It doesn’t take much to listen to a friend when they need to get their feelings off their chest. Being a sensitive listener, and asking questions when your friend is comfortable with it, so you can know more about what that person’s going though – that’s what being in someone’s corner is about, and I am so grateful for you taking the time to listen to my story today.