A bit of background…
Me: A 26 year old homelessness advice worker..living and working in London. A city I didn’t realise how much I’d love until I moved. A part time masters student (who is currently avoiding my assignments). My favourite animals are pigs. My wardrobe is either floral of stripy. I like taking pictures of skylines. Binge watching netflix. Music is life and life is music. I love my bike but my bike doesn’t like me. All in all, a bit weird (yet lovely and wonderful).
So, I’m going to add a TW and CW here as I talk in some detail about mental health and although it would absolutely not be in my intention, I am aware how triggering that can be.
To anyone that follows my social media or knows me in person, knows i’m fairly vocal about my mental health. Those same people will also know that I really never used to be. I fought for years on end to try and keep every ‘dark’ horrible thought/feeling/behaviour a secret (not always successfully I will add)..until unsurprisingly after a lifetime of suppression, pretending, and outright lying…I completely imploded.
I don’t like the term ‘mental breakdown’ because I think it’s used so facetiously (hope that’s the right word lol) but that is exactly what it was. To anyone who has ever experienced that ‘pop’, you may understand when I say it’s a conflicted, bittersweet moment.
To try and give you an idea..it was like I’d been kicked out of the box I’d been suffocating in, breathed for 0.3 seconds and then I was thrown straight into a pit of quicksand. I’ve never been physically been in quicksand. I’m not sure many people have. Maybe most, if not all nonetheless, have had that dream where you need to run but you’re trapped? and in that dream, all you know is that you’re sinking and you’re trying to run but you’re getting sucked back, and you can’t move but you need to move and you absolutely can’t run but if you don’t run you are literally about to be sucked into whatever it is?
That’s prettyyy much how I felt from the moment I opened my eyes to the moment I closed them. The only reason I could close them is through medication (self medicated or prescribed, depending on the day) and it was like my body was in constant panic. It was like every time I swallowed I was swallowing my own nerves, trying to swallow them away? I wish I could describe it better but I can’t. I thought I had anxiety, then this hit me like heyyy gurlllll hey…no no, this is what anxiety is.
This, then partnered with the overwhelming, unbearable, sadness. Most times, I would cry so much I was sick. I was tired. Emotionally, mentally and physically tired. My depression was no longer something I could ‘manage’. You know when you’ve put something away in the cupboard or fridge and you know 100% whoever opens it is going to have it fall on them? That’s exactly what I used to do. Except it would just be my face it fell into. Woahh I’m just going to shut this up in here haha unlucky to whoever opens THAT mess (Char its you, pls stop doing this).
I had basically always thought that happiness was going to come, I just had to complete all the ‘things’.
‘Just got to finish school and go to college then i’ll be happy’
‘Once I’ve finished college and go to uni I’ll be happy’
‘I will be SO happy once I’ve got this job’
‘I just gotta lose 10lbs’
‘You know what will make me happy? doing this volunteering’
‘I’ve just got to get through the next month and then I will be less stressed’
All I thought I had to do was brave it, fake it, and oneday it would all just slip nicelyyy into place and suddenly all my worries would disappear. So easy, I had this. Then each milestone would hit and instead of feeling better…I would feel worse. So then I told myself I had to reach the next one to combat this one and I was… stuck. Stuck. Just chasing. Continuously jumping from goal to goal hoping one of them just ‘bopped’ out my darkness and I would be bathing in sunshine and lovely warmness and perfect lifeness…
It took me to reach the point where I then had no control over anything my mind was telling me to do, to confront that the way I was treating myself and my mental health, was damaging & toxic (to me and everyone around me). Although it wasn’t the first time I had wanted (or attempted) to take my own life, this was the time it felt ‘different’ and faced with the only two choices there was..literally die or live. I (reluctantly at the time) chose the latter.
The last couple of years have been the most difficult & rewarding years of my life and I couldn’t put into words how grateful I am for the ‘journey’ I have been on. (Some or most of which I hope to keep sharing with peoples). I’d like on that note, to take a moment to say how thankful I am for the people I have been lucky enough to have around me, present and past. There are particular moments or memories that may have felt unimportant to you, but would have had great significance to what I felt that day.
So, I think that gives maybe a bit of an introduction to me! I realise there’s huge gaps and I have only touched on certain things..but that will come I’m sure.
I’m going to maybe try and end each post with a ‘tip’, or ‘learnt lesson’ and I don’t mean that in a way to tell you how you are supposed to act or recover…mainly just things I wish I had of known sooner, or felt I had the ability to do..if that makes any sense at all.
- You don’t have to just talk to immediate friends or family. There are many great services out there where you can remain anonymous (if you want to be) and have a level of honesty that you may not be ready to share with your close ones
- No matter what you may tell yourself, you are BRAVE. You are WORTHY. You deserve it. It does get better.
- ‘Everyone has the same 24 hours’ – no they do not. Listen to your mind and your body. If you need to rest, close your curtains and take time out YOU CAN. If you want to get out and run, shout, swim and dance YOU CAN.