How speaking about my Mental Illness has become my strength

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In society today having a mental illness is still a taboo subject even though 1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. With such a large number of people affected by mental illness, you would think it would be more widely spoke about.

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When Depression makes me numb

When depression makes me numb, the lack of feeling anything is paradoxically a horrible feeling.

People who don’t experience or understand depression are often told it is not as simple as feeling sad. This is truer than I can ever begin to describe. There are many faces of depression: one symptom I wish people understood more is the of feeling numbness. A sense of hollowness. A dull, numb lump. It is a grey zombie state of flatness. Life passes by and you won’t bother to wave, because you really don’t care. In fact, you don’t really feel anything. When the strain of depression is extreme, experiencing emotions feels exhausting. There is no joy in my favourite activities or excitement when I make plans. It is all too much.

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Don’t let others judge how you heal

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Here you are my love. You have struggled and screamed, and finally in a rush of fear and relief asked for help. Getting to this point was a tremendous fight in itself but you are here now, which is the most important thing. Help is coming and I am so proud of you.

In this place of healing there are decisions to be made. What will your healing look like? Will you go to counselling? Will you take medication? Will you see a psychiatrist? Here is the thing about the answers to these questions. They are entirely your decisions. However you decide to heal is the right way. Whichever path you decide to take to get back to your life is your choice my love.

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When returning to counselling feels like a failure

I have been referred back to counselling again. Having received different types of counselling and therapies since I was 13, being referred back again after months of feeling like I was getting somewhere felt like utter devastation to me. However, I am proud of the fact I realised I was suddenly dipping back into old ways and that I needed help and I actually asked for it. A year ago I would have just buried my head in the sand and pretended everything was okay and hope my feelings would eventually go away. But I did not I asked for help, which is nothing to be ashamed of. I am proud of the person I have become over the years and the progress I have made and will continue to make in my recovery journey.

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I’m sorry for all the times my depression and anxiety made me a rubbish friend

Since I started being honest about my mental health, I have realized that my friendships have changed – mostly for the better. There is more trust there now, we are able to talk about bigger things. Now I have opened up, others have started opening up too. It has made me think about how much time I have spent not being the best friend when I wasn’t open about what I was dealing with (Depression, Self-Harm, Suicidal thoughts, Anxiety). I want to say sorry. I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t message you back because I overthought my response and decided that completely ignoring you would make you hate me less than me taking several hours to respond to you.

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What it’s like to love a girl who has survived Trauma

A girl who has lived through trauma has lived through a situation where her body, mind, her entire self was not her own. Where she felt ripped from herself, safety, and her own sanity. It was an experience where her trust was smashed, her worth demolished and all was left was pain. A girl who has lived through trauma is the one whose been pushed into the deep end of the pool not knowing how to swim and yet somehow found herself a ledge. She walked through a fire and did not succumb to the smoke. She dealt with the burns and despite the flames all around her she made it out alive. She survived. But the thing about trauma is that even when the situation is over it never really goes away.

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Just because I’m smiling, does not mean I am ‘well’

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For the rest of my life I will live with a mental illness, a label and a diagnosis, which is hard to comprehend. For the rest of my life, I will struggle with the demons in my head. I will have difficult moments, severe depressive moments, several days of living under blankets feeling hopeless and depressed, or too anxious and paranoid to leave my house. I’ll have challenging moments when I refuse to see or speak to anyone, including my friends. I will have moments of exhaustion where my anxiety just takes over my mind. I will have days where I will struggle tremendously and the thought of surviving is enough.

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