📢 📢 TRIGGER WARNING, this post will discuss self harm, if you feel you cannot read through it, that’s ok, I’ll put TW prior to when it will be talked about 📢 📢
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, the theme is around body positivity, I have seen some amazing tweets and blogs so far this week, so I feel it’s time to share a little bit more with you all.
When I was younger, you would always find me in shorts and t shirts, I loved wearing shorts and would wear them as much as I could do, fast forward to now, I will never wear shorts again, no matter how dam hot it gets.
The reason I won’t wear them is due to something that I have wanted to share for while, but never had enough courage till now.
So many of you know that I suffer with IBS, have done for many many years, I eat the wrong foods and it’s game over for me, my stomach gets bloated and I feel rubbish for a while, sometimes even days, but what only a handful of people know about, is I actually self harm too, this is in the form of skin picking, sometimes I don’t even know I do it, my legs have scars on, so do my hands and arms, hence always wearing a hoodie too.
I can be sat there and all of a sudden, I will see a little blood from my hands or fingers, it can be hard at times, all I want to do is hide my scars away, when I am out shopping, I do catch people looking at my scars, no one as yet actually asked me about them, but if they did, I would probably tell them the truth.
A few years ago, I was building a new shed for my dad, honestly it had about a billion screws for it, took me ages to do it, but as it was made out of metal, the edges was sharp as hell, sometimes they would catch my arms and on one occasion, my arms was covered in little scratches, but it was a lot of scratches, part of the reason I do this, honestly, it gives me a rush, nothing else I have found as yet can replace it, sounds silly, but the more I read about it in research, the more I realise that others feel the same too.
For now, I will probably never wear shorts again because of my scars, the ones on my hands and arms are not too bad, yet they are still visible, part of me hates myself because I want to wear shorts and t shirts again, but I just can’t find the courage to do it.
Body positivity is such a big part of my life, I wear clothes that are a little baggy on me, basically because of my IBS causing me the bloat up, it causes me to be very self conscious about myself, at times I truly hate my body and the way it looks.
Writing this has been a huge help, seeing all the tweets and blogs this week, truly inspires the hell out of me, it’s amazing that in the media you see the perfect man or woman, basically nothing out of place, they have perfect hair, makeup, clothes, bodies, nothing out of place, this is how the media and other organisations expect everyone to look, they put the images all over the internet and other media, making the rest of us look a little dull.
One thing I am starting to do, is love myself and my body, it’s not easy as many of you may know, but it’s the body I have been given, it will change at times, it will be bigger and smaller, clothes might not fit me all the time, maybe one day I will wear shorts again too.
We shouldn’t have to conform to how society wants us to look, we should feel comfortable with how we are, how we look, if society and the media want’s us to look a certain way, maybe it’s them who really need to look at they way they are.
One thing I will try to remember and hopefully you all will aswell, love yourself just the way you are, because to me, that’s perfect.
This post is going to talk about suicide plus self-harm and many things to go with it, if you believe it will trigger you, please do not read on.
I am not really sure what has prompted me to write about this, I’ve barely talked about it with anyone, not even my family know about any of this.
So here is my story, the story of how I nearly wasn’t here.
A few years ago, I was in a good place, family life was doing great, work was ok-ish, so yeah it was good, I had a few issues with my mental health, but I was actually dealing with them as well as I could.
I always keep things to myself, I barely open up to people, fearing that I will get hurt because they are using me for something, even though they never show signs of it, so I just kept things bottled up, I’ve always done this and been able to just get on with things.
This was soon to be my downfall, this was soon to cause me great pain, everything was bottled up, then things from my past came into my head, the bullying I got in school (see previous blog posts), just to make things even worse.
I needed a release, usually I would drink, however, I stopped many many years before that, I didn’t want to go back drinking again, no matter how much I wanted to do it, so I started to self-harm, nothing deep or anything, just needed the release, just mainly picking at my skin, I thought it would help, it really didn’t.
Because I had so much going round in my head, family things (that I am not going into), work was starting to build up, memories from high school bullying, all building up, all the emotions, I really couldn’t handle them very well.
I shut off from the world, hardly went on Facebook anymore, stopped going out with friends, talked to the family when I needed to, but mainly just trying to act normal.
So I had a release, but it wasn’t enough, I was struggling a lot, I can’t pin it down to one singular event, there was a war going on in my head, one that I was loosing, I never reached out to anyone, no one knew what was going on inside my head, I struggled to understand it.
I never reached out because I felt ashamed and embarrassed, I have always been so dam strong in life, you could throw anything at me, no matter what, it would just bounce off me, maybe this was the cause, I don’t actually know.
At the time, I felt empty, lost, nothing seemed to matter anymore, I didn’t matter, who would care if I just went away, would anyone even notice that I had gone, I was so tired and really exhausted from everything, could I see a way that I could stop it all, well there was one way, all I knew was I wanted peace, there was only one way that I could think of.
My head was a complete mess, emotionally I felt nothing, I didn’t think anyone cared about me anymore, friends came and went, I became distant from family, I had no meaning in life, no purpose, everything was in slow motion, I could see things happening around me, I just didn’t react to anything.
I am naturally a logical thinker, hence my job, but my mind was clouded and I couldn’t think logically for the first time in my life, I just wanted one thing, peace.
The strangest feeling I remember was that I could see things happening, but couldn’t stop it like I was looking at myself from the outside, it’s not a feeling I want ever again.
I had everything up to this point, yet I just felt like I didn’t belong here anymore, that the planet wouldn’t miss me.
This was the first time I had felt this way, I mean truly wanting to go away.
Up to this point, there was nothing stopping me, I knew how I wanted to do it (I am not getting into that) how long it would take, I literally had everything planned, I did leave a note for my family, well several notes, I had everything sorted, I knew that peace was coming.
Rather than do it that night, I didn’t and just watched a movie, falling asleep earlier than I usually do, the next things that happened were what I believe saved me.
I woke up at 2am, mainly because I needed a drink of water, I put on my nightlight, yes I have one, it’s got settings on it that I can have it bright or very low, so I turned it on low.
Right as I turned on my light, I thought of my grandad, he has been dead for years, but I have no idea why at that point I thought of him, I never slept after that, all I did was think back to my childhood and going to see the family in Ireland, but mainly the times I spent with my grandad.
I remember the stories my grandad told me as a child, we had family on the Titanic, which explained my fascination with it, one I couldn’t explain, but I forgot about what he told me, so I looked up the name that he gave me, there it was, I couldn’t believe it, it wasn’t just the surname, it was the full names of the family that I was related to.
Thinking this may not be right, I looked it up numerous times online, I found the name over and over again.
The next day I told my dad and he never believed it till I told him and shown the names on the lists, but this isn’t the only thing that happened, myself and my dad just talked for ages, we hadn’t talked in a while, well not properly.
I know this will sound stupid, but after my talk with my dad about the Titanic stuff and about my grandad, this was what saved my life, if only my father knew at the time what was going through my head, what I was planning to do, he managed to stop it happening without knowing.
If this had not happened, I probably wouldn’t be writing this now, I wouldn’t be here, it was at this point I looked up suicide online and found some interesting sites, at this point I was starting to think a little clearer, not much, it took me a long time to get my head together, I never got help, I never told anyone, it’s daft that I did it all alone.
I shouldn’t have done it alone, because even though I learned to put it out of my mind, which took a lot, the thoughts and feelings came back a second time, it was a while after the first time.
Not really knowing why they had suddenly come back into my mind, I knew this time I wasn’t going to let it get as far as they did, the strange thing this time around was, even though I had the thoughts, I had one thing keeping me going, my family, I was spending more time with my sister and her kids, more time with parents, I learned techniques to block my feelings out, put them in a box, throw them into the abyss.
To anyone who is struggling like this right now, please please please call someone, reach out for help, it is available, you can get through this, I am proof, I was literally hours away from not being here, that’s really scary to think of right now.
I know you are in a dark place, believe me, I truly know how hard things are for you right now, but you can get through this, it might not seem it now, but you really really can, I am proof that it can get better.
Thank you for listening to me ramble on, this was my fourth draft of this, I had a bad time writing it, the emotions that came back wasn’t great, but I wanted to share this.
If anyone needs to reach out, you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be frighted of, nothing to be embarrassed about, please I urge you to reach out.
I sent a tweet out over the weekend about what I was doing this time last year, well I was actually off work for over 5 weeks, I couldn’t walk, my knee had swollen so bad, I couldn’t bend it, I could hardly walk on it without crying.
So off to the doctors, the first time they couldn’t find anything and gave me some exercises to do, but it was getting worse, no sleep, but when I did, I wake up as I am trying to bend it, so back again to the doctors.
This time round was different, the doctor could see me hardly able to walk, took one look at my knee and send me off to get it looked at properly, he also gave me some crutches to help me walk, honestly I haven’t used any since I was a kid, I did find it hard to walk with them too.
So I had a needle shoved in my knee to drain some fluid out, yes it hurt like hell, especially when she moved it against my knee bone, had a lot of blood taken too, by this time I was getting dam frustrated, I wanted to go out, I wanted to go for a drive, I was slowly going mad because I was watching so much TV and reading so many books, all I wanted was fresh air.
It’s safe to say my anxiety and depression was very bad at this point too, even though I had so much pain when walking, I needed to start exercising my leg to see if it helped, slowly but surely I could walk again, without pain.
The tests come back all clear, I don’t know if I should be released or not, the doctor was very honest with me and said, we may never know what caused it or how it’s got better, she apologised so much for saying that, but I was thankful for her honesty in reality, even now I still gain pain in my knee, so sometimes my mind goes back to the days I was in bed, an my mental health dips again.
Then the bigger part of the last year, I left my job of 10 years, I didn’t want to, but in all honesty, I really hate to think where I would be now if I never left there, I was in a very very dark place towards the end, I was just not wanting to be there, I lost a lot of friends, now I am very select who I let into my life, everyone else can just leave and I really wouldn’t care, the select few friends I have will do me, we meet up every now and then and it’s great.
But I was also horrible to my family as well, they had seen a change in me that I never, but since I have left, they have seen the old me start to come back, which I am starting to enjoy.
My new job is going so great so far, so much to learn but I am really enjoying it, with the added bonus of NO STRESS at all, unlike my previous one.
I also lost my little car RIP, I used my savings to buy it and thought I would have it for way longer than I did, even though I love my new car, the one I had was so great, it’s the only car that I miss, I lost a few people too, close family, friends and neighbours, so that has been very sad.
Other things have happened, that I am not going to get into either in my blog or in my tweets again, mainly because I don’t feel I can anymore, I will now be a little more select about what I share in my tweets.
But yes, it’s been one of the strangest years of my life, my mental health has been up and down, mainly down, but my family and extended Twitter family have been truly amazing, it’s really heart-warming to have so many people reach out and make sure you are ok.
The next 12 months will be better, no matter what happens, I promise to be there for anyone who needs me to be, my DM is open to everyone on Twitter, if you don’t follow me, that’s fine with me, if you reach out that’s what matters because I know from my own experience how dam hard that is to do.
If you do reach out to me and we don’t follow each other, would you mind tweeting me, just to say there is a message waiting, honestly I don’t mind that at all.
I will continue to DM and text the people I do now, just to check in and make sure you are all ok, with some of you, we will be chatting every day, an that’s cool with me.
My home life will also be better than it was in the last 12 months too, I really plan to spend more time with my sister, brother in law and the kids, just playing in the garden and looking for bugs in the grass and soil, yes we do that every summer hahaha
But this is the time when I push back against my mental health, what’s happened in the past, can stay there as far as I am concerned, yes my knee still gives me problems, which causes my mental health to dip, but just because it happened once, doesn’t mean it will again.
Lastly, I promise this is the last bit.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone on Twitter who I follow and those I don’t some of you have reached out to me and we have chatted a lot before, some of you have reached out and don’t even follow me, an some of you have become such amazing friends too, I honestly, with my hand on my heart cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me recently, this is why I love the mental health community, an that’s why I am there for every single one of you, no matter what, don’t feel as though we cannot chat because never ever will any of you be disturbing me.
It’s been a while since I have written a blog, I’ve been up and down recently and it’s been very hard, trying to stay on Twitter like I used to, got to admit, I very nearly closed my account recently, not because I was trolled or being bullied, just because I thought it was best.
But don’t worry, I’m keeping my account, an no going anywhere.
Because I’ve been up and down, I wasn’t sure what I wanted anymore, my life was just stagnant, doing the same thing and boring, but recently it started to change, I started to realise I need to do things for me and no one else.
Now that I’m seeing things more clearly, I want this to be my year, I’ve recently got a new car, mainly because my other one died RIP 😔 I did love my car, but I’ve got a great new job with more money, I’m not as stressed anymore, starting to be more relaxed about things.
I’m not dwelling on the past as much either, I think most of my time was spent wondering what if this happened or what if that happened, with having depression and anxiety it made it even worse.
I would have something happen in my life, then plan it out from start to finish, but when it doesn’t go aceto that plan, I would get so anxious about it, wondering why it’s not working out, what have I done wrong, why did I not plan for it this way.
Recently I got in touch with an old friend, we used to chat every single day, we knew loads about each other and even via text, we knew when the other was down, but we kinda drifted apart as she got a fella, she is now engaged and wanting start a family, we haven’t spoken properly for over a year and couldn’t believe how much had changed with her, to be very honest, I got slightly jealous and she knew it too, but it’s since my first niece was born, I realised that I would love to have this in my life, prior to this I never wanted kids or to be married and have my Disney happy ever after, yes I love Disney, an I want that lol, I guess it was just easier to work, work and do more work.
It got me thinking about what I’ve done in the last year, all I’ve done is work, work and more work, that’s not the life I want.
I want what she has, not because she has it, but because I genuinely want it too, when talking to her about future hubby, I could tell she was smiling, even though we was talking on the phone, she is truly happy now and she has been through some bad relationships in the past, like me stayed single till the right person came into her life, an I truly believe when this happens you know, an just grab it with open arms, no matter what, she did and now she is as happy as I’ve ever known her to be.
But it was nice for her and I couldn’t be happier, but that’s what got me thinking about my life, I’ve started a new job which I love, currently studying for my ITIL foundation and practitioner certifications, which is what I’ve always wanted to do, now I just have to fill in the rest.
I’ve realised friends come and go in life, most have gone out of my life, due to my anxiety and depression, but that’s ok, I’ve got a few select friends who I meet with every now and then, which is fine with me, plus the Twitter family which is awesome.
I live with parents, which I know is sad, but I have reason’s for doing so, but this year I’m going to move out, now I’m earning more than I ever have, I can put more money away for a house deposit, my parents will be sad when I leave, but I’m staying in the area as they mean the world to me, plus my sisters kids can have sleepovers too lol.
Plus I’m not getting any younger either, an I now want my own space, but finally the darkness is starting to become more clear in my life, I can’t dwell on the past anymore, or I’ll never move forward in life.
My depression and anxiety have held me back for too long, I can’t live my life in the past like I’ve been doing, it’s took me long enough to realise it, I think I always knew it, but I got there, with help from family and Twitter family too.
Yes my depression and anxiety will always be there, an if I’m lucky enough to have my Disney happy ever after, whoever I meet will need to accept that too, but it’s not going to run my life anymore, I can’t let it, hence why I’m still single because I’ve pushed people away due to it, an that includes friends too.
It’s not going to be easy, as life never is at times, it’s here to test us and see what we can make of it, so if you are struggling with your mental health right now, I’m right there with you, it’s not easy, but take it from me, it truly does get better.
Yes I will get to a low point again, but I’ll deal with that when it happens, if I start to plan that out, like I usually do, I’ll get more anxious because it’s not happening how I wanted it too, then it just spirals into more depression.
For my job I mainly troubleshoot issues, this is why I plan things in my head, then when they don’t work out, I get sad, but it happens in my personal life too.
So this is going to be my year, my depression and anxiety can come along for the ride, but they will not define it, they will not define who I am, or who I can be, they will not stop me from being happy, living in my past or having a Disney happy ever after either, mainly because it’s not fair on ME.
Sorry it’s a long one, I feel like I’ve been ranting a little lol, I know lots of the Twitter family have been worried about me, an I love you all to bits, but I’m ok.
I want you all to remember, reach out if you need it, don’t be ashamed, scared, or feel that people will treat you differently, I’ve learned this never happens and the people who truly love and care for me are still in my life, for that I’m eternally greatful too.
Don’t be scared by change in your life, I left my job after ten years with the same company, probably the scariest thing I’ve done for years, but it was good for ME, that’s what matters in life, you need to do what’s best for you and what you feel is right, hence why I’m not living in my past anymore, I’m not going to push people away because it’s easier, yes I used to do this and to everyone I have, I’m sorry, if people love me for my faults, they will for everything else too, well I hope they will hahaha.
We only get one chance in life, yes we have our mental health issues to deal with, but we also can have alot more too, it’s not easy, but I’ll get there, an so will everyone of you too, don’t wait for things to happen, learning from my mistakes and past, this only makes things worse and you just get more anxious, an worry about something that will just make your mental health worse, make them happen, after all, you matter.
Thanks for listening.
So this is my final post for this year, for me personally it’s been quite busy, but also kinda big too.
2018 is the year that I finally admitted to myself about my mental health, as I’ve said previously, I always knew something wasn’t right, this was for years I knew this, but I kept it hidden, why did I do that, mainly because I felt ashamed, embarrassed, that the world wouldn’t take me seriously, the high possibility that my family would be ashamed too.
So rather than seek help down the years, I hide it away, I put on a happy face to hide what’s going on inside, I drifted apart from friends, kinda drifted apart from family and shut myself off from the world in every way I could.
I stopped going out, when people would ask me, I said sorry I can’t tonight I’m babysitting, when work functions came round, I did everything I could to get out of them.
Also I put myself into my work, I did long hours, going in for 7am,not finishing till 7pm for a very long time, but this also caused me problems, the more I worked, the more my mental health started to get worse.
Down through the years I lost myself, I lost who I was i life, my mental health was getting worse, I would snap at people who I work with, plus my family, for me, all that matters to me was my work.
My mind went into overdrive, I would act out things in my head based on one question I needed to ask, I would get from that one, to the end, without even asking it, this was OK for my job, but for me personally, it started to become a problem.
Then earlier this year I had a 30 minute meeting with my boss, there was a new position becoming available that I had been doing for two years, then towards the end, my boss asked me if I was OK, that simply little question opened up the floodgates for me.
I never opened up before then, my preeboss knew a bit about me, but it took ages for me to open up to her, this time round, my 30 minute meeting ended up being two and a half hours long.
She knew I was active on Twitter for mental health, one of her friends was suffering so I gave her my account details and the hashtags to use, but that mweting ended up with her basically forcing me to ring my GP.
I tried to get out of it, telling her I can only get an appointment when I ring at 8am, but she forced me to try, so I rang my GP and got an appointment.
The GP I seen chatted with me for a few minutes, then said to me, from everything you have told me and written down, which was three pages long, she said you have Depression & Anxiety and recommended I see a therapist.
This was my moment, so down through the years, all the time I knew something wasn’t right, now I knew why.
My GP wanted me to take medication, but I said no, after three appointments, I said ok I will try and now I’m on antidepressants and had theropy sessions too.
Honestly and truthfully, I think doing this actually saved my life, seeking help getting theropy and being on antidepressants has helped me alot, but also the mental health Twitter family has also been a huge help too, you are all just simply amazing and cannot thank you all enough.
So 2018 the year I reached out, the year I got help for depression and anxiety, the year that I seen a therapist, the year I started taking antidepressants and the year that saved my life.
Anyone who who is reading this, but yet to do what I’ve done this year, especially all the men out there, please please reach out, help is available, slowly it can get better, that I csn promise you.
Yes I still struggle, I have days that I just want to shut off, days where I cry for no dam reason at all, but I also have good days too and my family have been truly amazing too.
I’m glad that I’ve opened up about my mental health, writing these blogs have been therapeutic too, there is now shame, you don’t need to feel embarrassed about your mental health, so please reach out, get the help you need, my DM is open to absolutely anyone who needs it.
There are times when you just want to hide away, put your feelings and thoughts in a box, but not on display, why would you want the world to know them, you fear embarrassment, hate and judgment too, but always remember your mental health, is part of you.
Yes we all struggle, we fight every day, to wake up and feel down, to not want to live, is something we all tend to struggle with.
But remember your strong, loved and admired too, so your story is valid but those who follow you.
To all who have yet to reach out, to get the help they need, there is no shame, no embarrassment, or judgement, so please take heed, help is available for your mental health, please don’t sit back, an keep it on the shelf, open your box and let your feelings out, tell the world how your feeling, even scream and shout.
To keep those feelings hidden away, can cause more harm to you each day, so please if you remember just one of these things, your feelings do matter, you matter, you are loved and cherished too, your mental health battle is important too.
We need the world to hear your story, to know they are not alone, those feelings are valid, you don’t have to fight on your own, we are all with you each and every day, so please reach out, get help, remember your here to stay.
I can’t promise your fight isn’t going to be tough, but you deserve to fight and you are enough, help is out there for you and for all, no matter how much you may fall.
You are strong, you are inspiring and empowering too, with help your bad days can be but a few.
Crying and admitting you are not feeling it today, is nothing be to embarrassed or shamed of because #itsokaynottobeokay.