I’ve noticed that my mind works in mysterious ways unlike others around me. My emotions are like I’ve only just gone through puberty, crying and breaking down at forgetting to brush my teeth. Constantly concerned that my friends only pretend to be my friends because they feel bad for me. All sorts of nonsense. Although, I’ve learnt I’m not quite the only one like this.
Unfortunately growing up, life wasn’t the simplest. I was captured in a traumatic home with a narcissistic, alcoholic mother and five siblings to care for and keep safe. Events would constantly be bouncing from high to low. In the same messed up mentality of a Eastenders or Coronation street series. My one and only dream was to escape and live a normal life. Deciding to leave meant finally finding the greener grass, escaping my past and dedicate to a positive, trouble free future. Realising who I finally was away from all the stress and upset of my teenage years.
At eighteen, I’d achieved a place at university. As I found myself in a new setting, free from my past, I realised that something was still wrong. That I was wrong in some way. Observing others, I discovered that my behaviour wasn’t like others surrounding me. It started with the little things, such as constantly worrying over everything. From being too scared to call a friend to walking around the shops afraid of judgement. I’d hear constant thoughts of negativity about me. I couldn’t accept myself.
All those negative thoughts I’d been told in the past haunted me daily.
One moment I’d be happy and contained, the next I’d be a miserable nightmare. Out drinking with friends would be lethal as I could be happy drunk to suicidal drunk. I’d return to my student room and cry over the simplests of tasks that I wouldn’t understand or do wrong. Not exactly how you’d expect student life to plan out, especially after everything I’d previously endured.
After coming to terms with the fact that something was wrong, I’d decided to find some mental help. I’ve been assessed by numerous counsellors, doctors and psychologists that have really just summed up that “My trama has changed me. Changed the way I think and that behave”. That basically I’ve become this way and I’ll most likely forever be like this. Hearing this at first was incredibly daunting. With how scary, uncontrolled and unpredictable it seemed, I couldn’t believe I could survive like this for the rest of my life.
Coming to terms with having anxiety and depression was a rollercoaster. At times I felt I’d learnt all of my triggers and how to cope with them, and then a new one would hit me and I’d become a deer in headlights. After a while of learning about the symptoms and general strategies and etc, I realised that just that wasn’t going to help. Mental health and illnesses are such a personal concept and just working on the generic “Walk more” and “meditate” isn’t going to fully transform you.
It’s about learning about you. What boosts your mood. Meditation kills me, but dancing around my room to my favourite songs soothes my soul. Spending time with others does help to a degree with me, however I need alone time to survive. Learning to deal with and understand how to function with your mental illness is through finding what works for you personally.
This year I finally got diagnosed with BPD/Borderline Personality Disorder. Reading the overview of symptoms and behaviours it left me feeling like I’d found my home. Reading others experiences felt comforting in a way. Validating the way I felt and the thoughts and behaviours I deemed wrong for so long. It’s strange to feel so positive about a diagnosis, and although this doesn’t solve my problems it means I’m not as lost as I was before. As you’re learning about your mental health and coming to terms with who you are, remember that self-acceptance and belief is key. Key to finding recovery, to learn more about yourself and be authentically you. Don’t think of the way you are as a burden, but as a puzzle piece to the wonder that is you.”
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