“I’m a quiet guy, always have been since young. I thought it’s just because I’m introverted, but something happened that triggered a mental illness that’s always been there.
About 4 years ago, I lost my job because of my chronic back pain and that happened just a few months before I got married. On the wedding day, I couldn’t really enjoy it as my mind was thinking about how I could support my family without having a job.
I tried looking for a new job, but I was rejected every time. My self confidence dropped significantly.
I then isolated myself for over a year, didn’t leave my house at all. I couldn’t let anyone see me as I felt as if they were judging me and looking down on me.
My wife is always by my side, supporting me and doing her best to understand me. She even had to lie to her family about why we couldn’t meet them for a long time.
That’s when I decided to seek help. To better understand what I have so that I could take the steps to become better.
I went to a local hospital specialising in mental health and I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. The doctors told me that I have this condition all along and that my chronic pain and the circumstances that follow (the loss of job, couldn’t get a job) trigger it.
Whenever I’m in social situations, my hands would sweat, my eyes would be so blurry and uncomfortable, and lots of things would go on in my mind…like negative things mainly about me. Then this would turn to anger towards those people whom I perceive to have negative thoughts about me…I didn’t understand why these happened.
After knowing that I have a real illness, that it’s not just in my head, it helps me to give me hope.
All I need is to understand, to be aware of what is going on with me, so that I can take the steps to recover.
I’m still not fully recovered yet. I still have problems going out of the house. I still can’t answer or make phone calls. I still don’t meet strangers unless I really have to. I still can’t do all these things that many people have no problem doing.
Furthermore, ever since I openly share that I have a mental illness, this time there are people who actually look down on me. Thinking that I’m weak, that I might do something bad to my wife and daughter. Thinking that I don’t have the capability to support my family.
It takes a while, but I have accepted that not many will understand. No matter how much I’ve tried, they still will not be able to understand if they are not willing to do so.
So it’s ok. I have people like my own family and close friends who understand. And that’s good enough for me.
They motivate me to continue improving myself and keep moving forward.
That’s why I stepped out of my comfort zone and created my own Facebook and Instagram pagse, where I share more about myself and my journey. I even posted videos of myself singing!
While I still have lots to improve on, I believe that I have made tremendous progress so far. They are baby steps and I may fall many times, but what matters is I keep moving forward.
Thank you for reading. I hope my story will inspire you to always keep moving forward too. And remember, you are not alone. “
P.S We have been nominated for the UK Blog Awards!!! Last year we won highly commended. This year the MH Stories team has expanded and we are now in the company entrants!