I will always talk about mental health. I will always say it is okay to not be okay. For years I suffered in silence. It all started when I was around 16 but in some respects earlier. I was bullied and because of that I became a very anxious person. Growing up I started to get mood swings, they have been labelled as hormones, a bitchy attitude or just who I was.
As I grew older I started getting into bad places at times. I wondered if everyone would be better without me? I wondered if it would be easier for everything to just stop. I realised this was not normal but I never really felt I could speak to my family or boyfriend at the time. I’ve always kept myself to myself. It wasn’t till I started working in care when I was more responsible to other people where I started to get affected by stress. I became a insomniac and I stared to get severe ocd. It became horrific. I was running on empty looking after others while feeling awfull about myself. I still put on a happy face and pretended I was ok when I really wasn’t. Little things would upset me and I would cry. Everyone would think I was over emotional and a cry baby not knowing the struggle I was going through every day just to exist. I’d get defensive and snap and broke up with my boyfriend at the time and felt nothing. I was desensitised and didn’t give two hoots I’d thrown away a 3 year relationship. But I made the right decision and he was one of the worst things in my life and something I could change easily. He made my anxiety worse and made my depression worse and was never there when I needed him.
I still struggled on but eventually one day at work something set me off and I went to see a doctor. I spilled about everything, how I had spent years feeling wrong, how I wondered why I got out of bed in the morning, how my days of would be spent in bed and I was unable to give my all to a job I should love. I explained how I’d become fixated on doing tasks over and over and I would get a panic attack if not done wrong and hot and itchy. I explained I had started flicking light switches on and off and there was nothing I could do. I explained how I’d have to double check every switch was off and correctly in a room as I left as I’d worry the house would burn down. I explained I had to do certain things as in my head my family and friends would die if I wouldn’t do it. I knew I didn’t need to in my heart but my head wouldn’t let me stop. I was diagnosed with ocd, depression and anxiety. I was offered counselling and tablets. Tablets didn’t work just made me feel shit and I tried so many. I gave up in the end. Sometimes tablets are for you and sometimes they’re not the only things that help are mega strong ones that make me feel even more exhausted. Counselling was ok it started over the phone but when it came to a in person day I panicked. I went in and was basically told by some old man I was too young to feel how I was. I felt so stupid and worse I screamed back how many people have you looked after that beat you for washing them and caring for them? How many times have you had someone scream at you for days on end while you try to help them?How many times have you took a hour to get out the door as you didn’t feel you turnt a light switch off right and sobed? I left feeling horrid and refused anymore counselling. I kind of blacked it out and pretended I was fine for a short while it worked.
I met James and my mental health improved by itself. We moved out and I was the happiest id ever been. Eventually my work pattern changed and I basically worked 4 nights a week and saw James three nights a week and I felt horrendous. Work got really stressful and I had personal things at work where I was made to feel like crap and I ended up having a breakdown. I came home from work sobbing rocking back and forth unable to move I was so sad. I called my doctor and went in and was signed of work. I was due on shift in a hours time and had only had a few hours of since my last two days straight and sleep ins and was due for another that night. I hadn’t slept in days I was exhausted and my feelings got the better of me. My mum came over as I called her as my manger was saying I wasn’t aloud to be of work sick as they couldn’t cover my shift. I wasn’t allowed to. Which made everything even worse my mum came round and told my manger to stop calling me I’m off sick and if she harrasses me anymore she’s be explaining to me how to go elsewhere to complain. She explained I was shaking sobbing in a corner and they expected me to come into work to look after a vulnerable adult when I couldn’t even look after myself. She explained if I’d been hit by a bus I wouldn’t be told to come into work and they wouldn’t tell me I was not aloud to be off work and put the phone down. For the first time I fully allowed myself to feel everything again and had a month of despite my managers telling me I had to come back daily and forcing me to have meetings while of sick and telling my work collegues personal confidential things and doctor telling me not to go back. I eventually felt a bit better and left where I was based for elsewhere in my company, things where a bit better and I was back on medication and just looked online at counselling and learnt to talk to people when feeling down.
I was ok with the odd down stage until I had my son. I was a nervous wreck at first I worried I’d be a terrible mum and I wasn’t like the rest. Everything made me anxious. I was sad and had nobody to talk too. When I returned to work when I first went back I was a wreck. My ocd came back along with my anxiety I was annoying people, questioning things. My arms and hands would be red raw from my hand washing from my ocd and I’d get palpitations. My pulse on shift once went to 144 bpm sitting there relaxed. I cried at night because I knew I was annoying others and felt terrible for it. My insomnia returned. But things calmed down I stopped caring so much.Over time I calmed again. Eventually though I became stressed again and everything flared up. On top of work I was a mum and had all the mum guilt to go with it and worry and decided I couldn’t work anymore. I had that thought again about how everyone would be happy without me so off to gp again and signed off. I decided to leave and concentrate on my family. I have felt better since stopping work. I’m not stressed. But I still have times I’m depressed. I still have times I’m a bit of a mess. I still have severe anxiety and always will. I will always question everything and that’ll never change. I will always have difficulty accepting love and and not questioning everything my loved ones do. But I have found that talking helps. Relaxing helps and taking the time to step back and excuse my self from situations has helped massively.
We need to talk about mental health and normalise it. Suffering in silence is hell and makes everything ten times worse. Sometimes we need a little cry or to go out for coffee and talk. Sometimes we need to know that others have similar feelings and your not just crazy. Sometimes we need a little break and to put our self’s first. Sometimes it’s ok to concentrate on you before others and that’s ok. If you need help or someone to talk to I am always there. But most importantly if you feel not ok, pop to your gp. Sometimes a diagnosis is all you need to start feeling better about yourself. You are important and you are loved. You are not alone and never will be.