Thursday, 17 January 2013

Me, Myself and I

Hello!

So today's post is going to be somewhat different and quite personal too. I'm fairly open about my depression and have no shame related to it really but at the same time I don't normally like talking in great lengths about my personal issues (especially in person) as I generally feel like I'm either whining or making it seem like I want sympathy or something! I can assure you it's the former and not the latter! Haha! It's a weird conflicting feeling about being absolutely open but also very closed off about one thing in your life. I mean, if you ask me about sex and I'm absolutely fine talking about anything and everything...although this is mainly due to having worked in Ann Summers - no room to be shy in that job!

Anyway, I decided to do this post because I have a few friends who ask me how I deal with my depression so that they might be able to learn how to deal with theirs. I always feel like such a fraud when I answer them because I've always been very good at helping other people and helping them with certain things in their life....but then completely ignoring my own advice. I'm not writing this in the hopes that I'll help other people or anything like that (although if it does I guess that's good!) I'm writing it more as a therapeutic way to explain how I deal with depression on a day to day basis. I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to look back on this and be able to say "I don't cope in the same way anymore" and feel proud of how far I've come. That might sound really lame to some of you and I've already come quite far from when I was about 13, but it's still quite a struggle and I feel like writing it down will be the kick up the bum I need to actually phone the therapy place that my doctor has repeatedly told me I should at least "give a go".

So here is a fairly brief history of my depression (I'll try not to bore you all!): (skip to the end if you want a VERY brief history!)

When I was 4 my biological father left for the first time, then he came back and left again when I was about 6 and this kept happening for the rest of my childhood really. He used to make it very clear that he didn't really like me and that he blamed me for a lot of stuff (he already had one of each child...why did he need me right? - literal thing he said to me once) This has led to a huge amount of trust issues with men for obvious reasons. We also had a lot of deaths in the family when I was young, which messed me up quite a lot. They ranged from suicide to cancer to brain aneurysms and those were all within a year. My Mum ended up having a mental breakdown (it was all her family) and my Dad was pretty useless at looking after us 3 kids. I mean, if someone gives you a 20 pound note at the age of 9 to go to the shop...you're going to buy shitloads of sweets right? This is around the time I started comfort eating... Thinking back to what I used to comfort eat actually makes me feel physically sick now! At the age of 14 I started to experiment with self harm. I barely went to school or college but came out with pretty decent grades anyway (double distinction in Photography anyone? - the only one I can really brag about!) I went to Uni to study Forensic Science but the course changed and I hated Biology. I became lazy with my work and depressed so I dropped out after my second year of a four year course. I took a job that I hated and then went to one that I loved but was made redundant when the company went under after 5 weeks (totally not my fault!) I was unemployed twice before getting the job with Ann Summers, which I absolutely LOVED! No need for boring small talk there! Then after 6 months my local shop closed and I got transferred....which didn't work as I was spending so much on travel that it just wasn't worth my time. I then got a job with Benefit which didn't work for me either and now I'm at Bare Minerals. I do like my job now but it's still part-time which is a big issue for me as it really gets me down that I don't have enough money to really do anything significant with my life (driving, holidays, moving out etc) During all this I met Will. I say met, we'd hung out before but with mutual friends on nights out. I'd always thought he was pretty hot too... anyway, we went to a gig together to see my favourite band because he liked them too and he didn't have anyone to go with. This began our proper friendship which ended up with us dating. I found this fairly difficult to deal with as I'd never dated anyone before - not because no one was interested, but because I push people away when they get close. I was very open and honest with Will about things and I thought he understood but being unemployed and depressed takes it toll on anyone and he ended up breaking up with me. I still find that difficult to cope with because of various issues that I won't go into on here. We've recently had a massive argument via text about friendship that I want to clear up in person but he has no interest as far as I can gather, which has been very hard for me this week during a time when I've been told I have a kidney infection (turns out those aren't fun...who knew right??) and when a very close family friend has died (she was the last link to my Granny really) Granted I haven't told him this because how do you slip it into an argument without it sounding like you're trying to make someone feel sorry for you? But at the same time, there have been things that I just don't know if I can forgive him for - the main one being that when my uncle killed himself last year on the same day my last uncle killed himself....in the same way, which led to everything going wrong when I was 7, I understandably had a huge amount of anxiety about it and we had an argument after a really nice evening together where I had talked about my worry about feeling pretty suicidal myself, Will called me unsupportive about his job and refused to talk to me for 3 weeks. As much as I was once in love with him and still love his company and want to be friends, I think that's something that I will always find very difficult to overcome. I'm sure he sees it differently, as we all do, but I explained how it made me feel and he just ignored me, which doesn't work for me (much like now....) If he doesn't bother this time then I have to be done here, which scares the shit out of me to be honest because in my mind it confirms my BioDad's stance of me being worthless and unlovable. I know this is NOT what it means but as someone with deep seated depression, it's incredibly difficult to overcome those thoughts!

In a nutshell (Help! I'm trapped in a nutshell! - Classic Austin Powers joke!): Daddy issues, trust issues, deaths, issues with people leaving me, anxiety, food control, self harm, issues about being ignored by people. Bam! That's pretty scary to put down in such a short synopsis!


I'm almost 25 (my birthday is February 14th if anyone wants to send presents! Haha!) and I still comfort eat/starve myself in equal parts and I'm still self harming (just in areas where it's not easy to spot, which I think is more dangerous) and this year alone (the whole 17 days of it), I have been very close to the edge. Therefore I made the incredibly difficult decision to go to the doctors and ask for help. People who don't suffer with depression may read that and think "well....obviously you need help!" but those of you who suffer even vaguely will know how difficult it can be to say to someone "yeah...I'm going to need some help here" because you can feel weak and pathetic. I'm very honest with people about how I feel but am constantly told off for making it into some sort of joke. Most people ask when I'm going to quit my job and become a stand up comedian (the BareMinerals trainer actually asked me this when I went for my new starters course!) I just find it easier to turn it into a joke rather than face my feelings in a serious way....so when the doctor recommended a new therapy branch that has recently opened in my town, I was very reluctant. Having done therapy before and for it to have backfired by fixing me a little bit but by then making me a bit more stubborn on things, which ultimately didn't end well for me, I really didn't want to go again. So I didn't phone and went back to the doctor who discovered my kidney infection and told me to stop being a twat and go to therapy (literally in those words too!) because she didn't want to put me on medication as it ultimately wouldn't help me with the long standing issues. I have currently filled out the form and will phone them...soon....next week maybe. I will do it as I do believe that talking to someone impartial can be very helpful, especially if they are qualified to help too! But it's a really tough step to take.

I highly urge anyone out there who suffers with depression to talk to someone about it. It's not something that you should suffer with alone or feel ashamed about, after all 1 in 4 of us suffers with some sort of mental illness in our lifetime (and that's only estimated because so many of us just "cope with it" and never see anyone about it. I personally think this number is probably be much higher. Fun fact for you: I actually only really properly realised that I had mental health issues when watching Children in Need with my housemates at Uni and they had a bit on "1 in 4 of us have mental health issues" and then had a bunch of people saying things like "schizophrenia" and other such severe issues...and then one girl said "self harm" and everyone just looked at me as it dawned on me that I was actually more mental than I had originally thought!) I urge you to be brave and tell those closest to you that you're not feeling ok and that you need some help. There are some great services out there if you don't feel like you want to tell people close to you for fear of repercussions. The NHS has got a "services near you" bit on their website which is useful if you need to find a service near you and Mind has a really good website as well for anyone suffering with mental health but also for people who knows someone who has mental health issues. I always worry about how my friends must cope when I talk about my feelings, which is why I don't talk about it much with them - I don't want to be a burden you know? (That's not at all how they make me feel but it's how I feel it must make them feel....if that makes sense?) The section about how you can help with people's depression and such like is incredibly interesting to read if you think that someone you know might be suffering with any sort of mental health issue. They also have a section on there with list of very useful contacts if you need to talk to anyone.

I hope that this post hasn't made anyone feel horrendously bored or annoyed by me (I promise to finish off that daily routine series asap!) and that you don't think I've written this so that I can get sympathy or anything like that - I'm aware that there are people out there who have much tougher lives than I have and some people are able to cope better than others with things. I always feel like I shouldn't be so down because I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and at least a part-time job to go to, but I was once told that "your problems are the worst problems in the world to you" which kind of made some sort of sense to me. If anyone wants to talk or ask me anything feel free to leave a comment or feel free to email me if you'd rather not leave a comment. I'll always try to help, but I'm not in anyway professing to be an expert in anything!

Hopefully this post hasn't bummed anyone out to much, but I know so many people at the moment who are struggling that I thought that maybe putting a small portion of my story out there might help even one person to not feel quite so alone.

Until next time,
xoxo

6 comments:

  1. Fair play to you for putting it all out there. I really admire you for being so honest about it. You should pop over on twitter if you are ever having a bad day :) the support there is always brilliant and it'll keep your mind off of stupid boys :P xx

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    1. Aw, thank you very much! That comment has made my day :) I was so nervous when putting this up that it took me about 10 minutes to hit the publish button! I always feel a bit weird about putting stuff on twitter incase people think I just always moan (I mean, I do always moan but I don't want people to THINK that!lol!) But next time i feel down I might just give it a go and see what happens. Boys are pretty stupid though aren't they ;) Thanks again for the lovely comment :) xxx (ps your nails in your profile picture are AMAZING!)

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  2. I don't think you should apologise for writing about yourself on your own blog! :)

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    1. Haha! Thanks :) I just always feel like I should apologise to people when they probably just want to see pictures of pretty things that I've found in a sale or something! xxx

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  3. I went through very similar things and now have siblings (one 10 years younger, one 20 years younger) who are being treated the same. It's so hard to watch, but them seeing my life now and having me close helps them and my husband and I do everything we can to encourage them. I'm so very thankful for the redemption & hope that I have found in the gospel...would you mind if I added you to my prayer list?

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    1. It's one of those things were I always think I'm over it and then bam! it'll rear it's ugly head in an unfortunate way one day. I'm osrry to hear that you and your siblings went through a similar thing. It's always sad to hear of such things happening. It's nice that you and your husband are supportive of them, I think that's really helpful :) I'm not particularly religious but if you'd like to include me then that's really nice of you :) Thank you xxx

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