World Mental Health Day 2017: My Story (containing mental health triggers).

I’m going off topic for this blog post because it’s World Mental Health Day and this is important. It’s important people who suffer from mental health issues are not ashamed. If you’re off work for 6 months with a physical condition you get flowers, if it’s mental health it’s like you’re forgotten. People don’t understand. People don’t talk about it and all this does is create a cycle of shame.

So, I’m going to talk about it. I’m getting it out there. It’s not a cry for attention. It’s not attention seeking. It’s peeling back the layers to show what isn’t on the outside.

I started suffering with depression and anxiety in my teens. Having been bullied at school for being ugly and boring, I felt worthless and I believed them. I wanted to die. I started self harming at fifteen. I tried to take an overdose of sleeping tablets. A number of bad things happened in these years, including an attempted sexual assault when I was 17. I was self harming until I was in my twenties, once it was so deep I needed stitches. This was when I broke down and had to take a year out of university.

Picking myself up I recovered and went back to complete my degree. When I fell pregnant with my first boy, it changed things and it gave me something to live for.

The trouble is sometimes mental health issues trick you. You think you’re better but they hide under the surface. My husband nearly died a few years back with a bad attack of Crohns disease and my youngest son was diagnosed with autism. I was a duck, paddling frantically under water and appearing to glide over the water. I can’t even remember what year it was but I ended having a black out and broke down. The smallest things seemed to reduce me to a sobbing wreck. Panic attacks came. I could see the sweat coming from my pores, my chest felt tight, and I couldn’t stop crying.

I feel so ugly I want to scratch my face off. I feel dirty. Dirty, fat and disgusting. I feel freakish. I feel I look about ten years older than what I am. Every comment people make about my appearance I can twist it to make it a negative one. I’ve covered mirrors up so I don’t see myself. I wear sunglasses and glasses to hide behind.

Now, I have been diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression. This also includes emotionally unstable personality disorder traits. I ended up off work for about 4 months last year. At my worst, I believed the police were coming for me because I pulled out in front somebody driving. I also thought I had scabies and obsessed over picking my skin and googling the symptoms. I felt so dirty but I couldn’t go to the doctor. I could see insects in the flour and in my drinks, one day it was blood. I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror because I think I look wrinkly and haggard, freakishly so for my age. I have a small chip in my front tooth and I would check it over and over again to see if it had changed. What’s in my head does not always correspond with mirrors or photographs so I have to check and check and check again. If I spend money I have to check and check and check my bank balance. I’m not the OCD cliche of being an obsessive cleaner but I have to count and check, count and check. It is EXHAUSTING! It sucks the joy out of everything because I constantly worrying about what people think or that I’ve made a mistake with my counting. It’s a compulsion that you feel you must do, you have to check or something bad will happen.

I take 2 anti-depressants and 1 mood stabilizer. I have been pushed from one mental health professional to another hoping for some useful therapy with no joy. At this moment I’m waiting for an assessment for ASD. Surely there must be an answer for me somewhere to stop this cycle.  To help myself, I colour, I craft, I journal, I blog, I exercise and meditate.

If I ignore you in the street it probably means I’m having a bad day. It’s my problem not yours. I’m the one who feels too disgusting to face you and chat. When I refuse an invitation somewhere, it’s not that I don’t appreciate it. I DO. Please never stop trying. It just means that the thought of socialising sets off my checking and anxiety. If I’m grumpy and unwelcoming when you pop to my house it means I feel unworthy of your visit, that my house isn’t good enough and that I’m not good enough.

This has been so personal and so painful to write down. But we have to share our stories so we know we’re not alone.

About thewytchinghourblog

I'm a horror loving librarian with the need to share reviews of everything horror, gore and spooky related. I'm an avid reader of books, mainly horror, definitely supernatural. I'm a pagan and like to define myself as an eclectic witch. Halloween/Samhain is my favourite time of year from everything pumpkin spiced, the scent of decay and the veil between worlds thinning. So, here we are to share all things blood splattered, things that go bump in the night and crawl out of the darkness.
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9 Responses to World Mental Health Day 2017: My Story (containing mental health triggers).

  1. oldmetalandmoody13 says:

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you’re sharing your story and it is definitely going to help many other people. I just want you to know that things do get better and it may not seem like it but it will.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for share, it is so important for people to see true life experiences to better understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing something so personal and so completely important. We do need to talk about mental health. We need to acknowledge it as a condition, and we need to feel able to share our experiences.

    I do not have mental health issues, but my husband does. He refuses to seek medical help for fear of losing his job, and subsequently our home, and failing our family. Some days he will ignore me, he will be irritable, he will seem totally disinterested in his family. Other days he holds me tightly and allows me to comfort him when he feels weak. But he will not talk about it. And we need to. We need to care.

    https://spookymrsgreen.com/2014/10/08/mental-health-awareness-week-sayitforward/

    Like

    • It’s hard. My husband was apprehensive about me posting because he thought what if future employers see it? But what if they do? If shouldn’t matter but it does. My husband has mental health issues too and I know that it was hard for me to get help because I felt I was holding everyone together. I hope your husband reaches out to get the help he needs, it impacts on those he loves too…so I hope you remember to look after yourself as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. Yes, I practice mindfulness and reiki, and am learning to recognise when I need to take time out so that I can continue to care for him and our children. You are absolutely right, we should not concern ourselves with what other people might think. They should not have such prejudices.

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  5. Caron Allan says:

    I can completely relate to several of the things you suffered – especially the sexual assault/abuse. For me the circular nature is what always gets me. Every time I think I’m over it/past it/through it/secure, something comes back to bite me on the backside, usually completely out of the blue on a bright sunny day. It’s taken me many years but a lot of time I’m completely at peace, it helps just knowing it is a repetitive cycle. It can also be a huge help to know you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SLOAH says:

    Raw and powerful. Be proud of what you’ve just shared. One pebble makes mighty ripples. x

    Liked by 1 person

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