I’ve been writing about mental health for 4? years now. I’ve posted a lot of detailed, private struggles in the hope of creating more awareness of what it is like to live with chronic mental illness.
Honestly, I’m tired. Every world mental health day that passes I realise how little has changed, how many are still suffering and I wonder how many haven’t made it.
I have met a lot of others who unfortunately suffer too and we are all at our wits end. I requested my medical notes from the UK this year and I found something very shocking. It was hard to decipher the handwriting but as far as I can make out the doctor had written that I had chest pain caused by anxiety at age 2.
I was always extremely shy and nervous. I used to cry every morning I had to go to school and I absolutely hated parties and social events. I remember as a child spending months obsessing that I was pregnant (I didn’t even know HOW you got pregnant at the time – I just knew that babies grew in your stomach, and my stomach felt weird). I think I’d seen it on coronation street. I was so scared I was going to be in trouble.
By year 7 I was self-harming. A boy died in school and I became extremely scared that it was going to happen to me too. I cried every morning because I was so scared of going to school. I also stopped eating at that age. At first it was because I was told I had put on puppy fat but then it became about control, it was the one thing in my life I could control. I also felt too nervous to eat and like I would be sick if I even put any food in my mouth.
I went to the doctors a few times about stomach pain and they said it was IBS and that I needed to stop “being a worrier”. Every day I used to walk home over the bridge and every day I had to persuade myself not to jump. I used to tell myself if I stayed alive at least I could play the Sims. I had countless turbulent relationships, I went through numerous best friends. We would argue or I would take something the wrong way and it would blow up into something massive. I was a drama magnet and they even called me drama queen. By the end of school I was convinced everyone hated me, my teachers especially. I had no confidence or self esteem left.
I was 17 before I went to the drs and told them I was depressed. She phoned the school and asked for the councilor to see me. When I went, she asked me to draw a picture of how I felt. I felt patronized and left. At university I got to see a counselor but she just sat there waiting for me to talk which was never going to happen. Uni was bad, I couldn’t go to lectures or seminars without having panic attacks.
By the end of uni I was basically housebound. My anxiety was constantly all consuming and the only way I could leave the house was with my fiancé or best friend. I have been on and off medication now for 8 years. Only since moving to Sweden have I received any real therapy. The drs in the UK never helped, they made it impossible to get my medicine without a constant monthly battle. It’s not good enough.
Without Samye Foundation Wales 🏴 mindfulness center I’d never be where I am today, they are there for people who need help as the government won’t provide the health care we need. Please consider supporting them if you can.