Now I could start off as a fluffy fairy tale but mental health isn’t that kind of story; well at least not to me. So what does it mean to me?
Six years ago, the topic of mental health to me was only something that I had seen on the news or read in newspapers. Naive to the whole concept; I knew it existed but as it didn’t affect me – I wasn’t interested. Then bam – something happened and my world was turned on its head.
Someone I love dearly became sick and I put my worry and health to one side to continue to work full time and care for them. I went into autopilot and religiously stuck to this new regime in my life for nine months.
Because I went into this trance of autopilot, taking no consideration for my wellbeing or health, once my beloved regained their health and showed signs of recovery, I was showing signs of burnout.
Nine months of fear, dread and insomnia had built up and developed into symptoms of anxiety and depression. I didn’t recognise the person staring back at me in the mirror! My GP advised me to follow the advice and seek further help with MH issues, to slow down and focus on myself again.
I had found ways of keeping myself occupied during those long, quiet nights cleaning the flat and jigsaw puzzles became my 2 am routine.
The flat had never looked so spotless, along with the cat’s complete confusion as to what was going on! But this wasn’t the real me?! I’m the type of person who believes in work, rest and play. Not this tired, fragile little egg who couldn’t face the world and the joys it usually brings me.
I longed for my mojo back to enjoy life and embrace joining the 30s club and shed my cocooned self whose body would screw up into a ball on a daily basis, accompanied by tears. It took me another six months of pain and despair to wave the white flag and follow professional guidance.
Six years on: can’t deny it, I will have the odd day where I don’t want to be an adult and go out and play and now and again a panic attack may creep up upon me and give me a wobble. From my own personal perspective; these odd days come and go just like the weather and it’s taken me a while to learn not to beat myself up about it and go with the flow.
So from my naivety six years ago to now; I can honestly say it’s imperative that I continue to look after myself and continue to grow and move forward as a person. To open up to a confidant if having a wobble and seek further help if these ‘wobbles’ occur more frequently.
Always in the back of my mind that I may encounter something terrible and heart-breaking again and I’ll transform into that fragile little egg again; I think we all have that fear of going backwards! Never thought I’d say this but I’m proud of my journey, my story, I wasn’t a year or so ago but that’s the beauty of growing and learning; taking one step at a time.