If you’re new here then to quickly recap – I’ve been battling anxiety and depression for a long time. I don’t know exactly how long, as I thought how I felt and what I thought was normal. Then a few years ago it got bad enough that I finally realised something was actually wrong. At my lowest point I wasn’t able to leave my home for weeks without having a debilitating panic attack. Not fun, in case you’re wondering.
But I did get help and it started to get better. Pretty much nearly as good as it could get, I think. I’ve had my ups and downs, of course. Definitely not an easy journey to undertake, but better than what was waiting for me before.
I do realise that pretty much everyone’s grandmother and their dog are talking about their battle with depression and/or anxiety, and even though it’s horrible that there are so many people going through it, at least we can discuss it openly now. Yes, in many countries/regions it’s still something to be hushed up and ignored, you may get looked down upon if your illness isn’t immediately visible. That’s why he HAVE TO keep talking about it. Share our journeys if we’re able to, reach out a helping hand whenever we can. We are not alone with this.
So, where am I now? I’ve had some more lows. Days when I know for a fact that I’m happy but I’m unable to feel it. Instead I have knots in my stomach, numb arms, dizzy head, struggling to breathe, fighting to exist. It’s a fight I’m always going to win in the end. That feeling will pass, it’s not here to stay anymore. Something may have brought it on – a random thing I heard, a passing thought, a fleeting memory. Sometimes, if I dig really deep into places where it hurts and am completely honest with myself, I may be able to find the root of those feelings in that moment. Often I can’t pinpoint the reason though. It simply is what it is. Those days are far and few in between nowadays however. Mostly I’m striving to be a fully functioning alien.
How have I gotten to this point? My support system. My husband is always my first go-to person. Or my cat/dog, whoever is closest. My mum and sisters are also always there for me when I need them (albeit over the phone/messenger at the moment). I know I’m incredibly lucky to have them and the rest of my loving family around me, especially in these times. I’m also about to restart counselling/therapy sessions. Maybe with some help I’ll be able to dig deeper and get closer to the root of it all or at least manage everything better.
I have anxiety, depression and PTSD but they don’t define who I am, as corny as it sounds. I also won’t stop writing about it every now and again. It needs to be talked about. They’re very real illnesses and I know very many people aren’t as lucky as I am, having the kind of support that I do.
I’m going to have to wrap it up now before I end up a preaching sobbing mess. If you take anything from all this – don’t dismiss (people with) mental illnesses.