World Mental Health Day 2020

I have clinical depression, PTSD and chronic anxiety. I will always have them. Sometimes they are overwhelming and all-consuming. Other times they just sit under the surface, an ever-present threat but something I can, increasingly, control.

They manifest in various ways. I withdraw. Stop socialising. Stop speaking to my friends and family. I cry. A lot. Leaving the house becomes a chore that can last all day. I can’t step foot in a supermarket without experiencing an anxiety attack. My dreams can be so vivid that I wake up exhausted. I constantly worry about what I’ve done or said. I make bad choices. I stop caring about myself. I self-harm. I become suicidal.

As I write this, I’m actually in a pretty good place. I am starting work again after a hiatus of a few years. I am starting to feel like my ‘old’ self. I am beginning to have a sense of purpose again and I’m even starting to like myself a bit. But I still have bad moments. Bad days. Bad weeks.

This week I had a full day of crying and torturing myself because I truly felt worthless. I genuinely couldn’t see why anyone would want to spend time with me, care about me or be there for me. In hindsight, I can see that I was being completely irrational. The evidence doesn’t match what my brain was telling me. I have amazing friends and a wonderfully supportive family who have been with me every step of the way. In the moment, though, it was impossible to see anything but darkness. I was trapped in a cycle that went something like this:

Me: Of course nobody is going to want to hang out with me. I’m nuts.

Brain: You’re right. You’re pretty nuts. You push everyone away and this behaviour doesn’t help. Who wants to be around someone who just cries at everything?

Me: I know. I can’t see why anyone would bother with me when I’m like this.

Brain: Stop being like this then. You’re just being pathetic.

Me: I am pathetic. That’s why nobody should bother with me.

AD INFINITUM

Bloody exhausting, right?!

Mental health funding in this country is appalling across the board and continues to get worse. The cuts that will follow the Government’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic will inevitably impact Mental Health Support Services hard. We have to help each other.

Talk. Listen. Reach out. Find the things that help you and let other people know what they are too. That way they can help you do them when it feels impossible or you can’t think straight. For me, if I can get on the yoga mat, or out for a walk, or if I message a friend or meet someone for a brew, then I can start to pull myself out of the darkest moments. Look out for your friends. Reach out to them if you notice they’ve gone quiet – it can be incredibly difficult to ask for help.

I’m writing this to say that you are not on your own. I understand. I am here. You are never alone.

#WorldMentalHealthDay #WMHD2020

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2 Comments

  1. dumbwitness

     /  October 10, 2020

    And the smiley pic shows that you can, and will, shine through this. You’re a fighter Peej, you’ve been dealt some shitty hands along the way, but you always get back up. Keep shining, even if you have to hide it now and then. Hugs. X

    Reply

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