Looking back, 2 years ago I was at the rock bottom. I suffered from mental health issues for most of my life, which have been dismissed by my family and doctors as a “passing phase”. I was always told that I’m “too young” to struggle this much. But, none of that made me feel better, it just isolated me more and more and made me feel so alone.
There I was October 2015, months after having to move back home to my parents. The domestic violent environment I ran away from ever since being 18. I felt stuck, scared and overwhelmed by everything. I realised that I couldn’t work anymore because of how intense anxiety, depression and panic attacks got. I was eventually home, room-bound. I couldn’t leave the house, and on good days I was able to leave my room a few times. I was in a very toxic relationship and I honestly felt like there was nothing in my life that made it worth living.
Yet, something inside of me wanted to help others. I cannot even explain it to you, but it was like this burning desire to do something. But at the same time, I felt very limited to how much I could do while being stuck at home, with no income.
I wanted to help others who were struggling as much as I was. I wanted to find people who have dealt with mental health issues. I wanted to share things that I have already learned by that point. I thought, maybe reading what got other people through their struggles could help other people who are struggling.
So, that’s when This Is What A Person With Mental Illness Looks Like, was created. It was like my baby. It kept getting me through the day. I didn’t actually realise that as much as it was helping others, it was helping me! I needed to read these stories, again and again, to plant that seed of faith and hope that one day things would get better.
Thanks to talking to people who have shared their stories, I realised I was worth getting the help I needed. Up to that point, I didn’t feel I was ‘unwell enough’ to get the help and felt ashamed that I needed it. But I am telling you this right now, no matter where you are, you DESERVE help! There’s also no shame in seeking help for mental health.
By that point, I was completely homebound, and there was no way I was going back to my unhelpful GP. I read about online therapy and how it’s just as beneficial if not more as face to face therapy. So, I researched more and came across Big White Wall, which was funded by NHS, which meant I didn’t have to pay for it. I ‘saw’ a therapist within two weeks of making an account. I started CBT and learned just how much the traumas I’ve experienced affected my life.
I made a deal with myself, that no matter what, I would stick with doing this therapy thing. Before I felt like a failure, because it seemed like I couldn’t stick with doing anything, I quit college, jobs, projects due to my mental health. What I didn’t realise then was that all those things I did quit, just weren’t for me! My heart wasn’t in them and neither was my mind. But I beat myself for that. So even when I created this blog, I wasn’t sure how long I would stick with doing it.
I reached out for help, thanks to this blog. I stuck with therapy. It changed my life!!! That’s when I finally felt like my life started to move forward!
I was so invested in the recovery process, changing my life and helping others; I still am.
I finally left that toxic relationship behind. I finally had enough courage to walk away from it! I changed my diet. I started to look after my body, myself.
Eventually, I got into yoga and meditation daily, which really helps in slowing down my overly active nervous system. I began reading more books and became more interested in the world around me.
I finally started to discover the beauty in the world. Things that were always there but I never noticed them before. I started to appreciate what I do have.
I might have relapsed and hit many more rock bottoms since creating this blog, but for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel alone anymore. I had a supportive community that I have somehow managed to create that has been there for me.
I have been able to open up more and share my own story, which wasn’t something I was comfortable with doing when I first started this blog. I felt such a relief when I was finally able to share that I grew up in a domestic violence environment, that most of my mental health issues have been there because of experiencing traumas.
My main goal still is to help as many people as I can. But now, I also am learning that I need to help myself too. The more I am able to heal and look after myself the more I am able to share and help others.
My heart is filled with so much love and gratitude, for every single one of you who is reading this. Whether you’ve been with me from the start, the last year or the past few days, you’re here for a reason, you matter and I appreciate you so, so much.
Please, believe that things really do, can and will get better!
I LOVE YOU.