I have not written a blog post in a while, due to the fact that recently I do not feel as though I have anything positive to say towards my mental health, or mental health in general. The past 3 months have been really challenging for me mentally, and I have been suffering a great deal. I have not felt that I can tell anyone how I feel, especially my family and friends. Writing these blogs is a way for me to express all of my feelings, a way to rid my head of negative thoughts. However, these past 3 months have been so unbelievably challenging that the negativity has taken a hold in every aspect of my life. No matter how many times I write down these thoughts and then throw the piece of paper away, they keep coming back and coming back until eventually I was struggling to find the positives in every situation. I feel that I cannot talk about my current mental health state because I am “supposed to be getting better”, which is something I have been telling myself over and over again.
Whenever I felt down, anxious or paranoid, I told myself that I could not talk about my feelings because I am “supposed to be getting better”. Recovering from mental health is in no way a fast process, it takes it’s time. I am starting to come to terms with the fact that my 4-year mental health journey may still be continuing, and that is okay. You recover and you grow at your own pace whether that is 2 months or 2 years. So, I am finally writing a blog. It will not be as positive as I would like it to be, but not everyday is as good as the previous ones and I want to show that despite the fact that some people may see me as “getting better”, I still have my bad days and I can still experience a relapse.
I made the choice several months ago to stop taking my anti-depressant tablets. I felt that I was getting better mentally but I also felt the slightest amount of embarrassment that I needed to take tablets in order for me to be happy (which is something that no one should feel. Anti-depressants are nothing to be ashamed of, you are not being judged for needing that little helping hand with recovery). This was a decision that I made alone and without consulting my mum or my doctor. When taking anti-depressants, it is important to know that you never just stop taking them, you must do it step by step and slowly reduce the dosage, which is something I did not do. Mistakenly, I kept this a secret from my mom and dad for quite a while. I must admit, I felt in control of my own mental health which was something I have not felt in a long time however it did not take long before I could feel my mood slowly become lower and for my anxiety to increase in intensity.
Despite the fact that I could feel myself getting increasingly worse, I was determined not to take my tablets. I was back to barely sleeping due to my paranoia and some days I was suffering with panic attack after panic attack. My anxiety had become so severe that I could not remember anything that happened throughout the day. On a few occasions, I would slowly come back round to reality and realise I was sitting in my lecture with no recollection of how or when I arrived. My mood had become increasingly low, I was struggling to get out of bed, to shower and to eat. I constantly felt angry and extremely down. I struggle massively to stay in any room without feeling anxious about germs touching me and infecting me. I dettol my bedroom on a daily basis in order to rid my room of germs. It is something that is constantly on my mind no matter where I am, which is one of the reasons I struggle to go to the doctors about my mental health. I am extremely particular and my need to do things in 3’s has increased along side my other “quirks” that help me feel safer and more relaxed.
There has been no real order to this blog and there is no real positive message apart from that things do get better. I will still have bad days and I will continue to have my bad days, but I feel it is important to show that recovery is never linear and it doesn’t happen overnight. Recovering at your own pace is completely fine and is something that I now continue to tell myself as much as I can. I decided to start taking my tablets again and although I am still not feeling my usual self and I do not think I will do for some time, I have accepted that I will not recover over night. I felt a slight feeling of disappointment in myself for going back to my anti-depressants and not being able to do it myself, but there are many different ways I can help myself whether that be meditation, breathing exercises or even telling myself that every small thing I accomplish, like being able to get out of bed, is one step closer to achieving your goals, whatever they may be.
Just put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.
Olivia Boddy (19)
Colour Your World Teen Ambassador
Samaritans: Call 116 123 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)