I have always been a person who carries the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am easily affected by things I see in the news. I am very emotional and always want to help. I think that's one of the reasons I adore my job because I everyday I get to help people in whatever way I can and it makes me happy.
I very rarely help myself though.
Throughout my whole life if you have given me a task I will work on it until that job is done. Even if it means taking on several tasks at the same time. I will do it. I have to do lists in my head as long as my arm. I am sometimes quite jealous of people who are given a job and then when they realise they can't do it- they give up. I have never understood it because surely you would want to complete it?
I guess I am strong like that, to persevere and makes others happy.
That is until a few weeks ago the world came crashing down on me and I had felt the weakest I have ever felt in my life. This is not an easy post to write but I want to be frank and honest on here. I have been blogging since 2007 and I have met many people on the journey since. There are many bloggers I call my friends in real life. Plus, I have always been honest on this blog up until now. I live as I mean to go on.
For the last year or so I have had many down days. Some months were worst than others but I had many days where I just had very 'meh' moments but put it down to stress, work, money etc. At the end of June I woke up and felt different. I kept putting it down to the fact we had just got back from Florida and had holiday blues. Yet, this felt like so much more than that. I felt like I didn't want to get out of bed. I would choose the latest opportune moment to get out of bed before I had to but I felt so miserable. In fact I didn't even want to go to work, which says a lot because 9/10 I always look forward to work. Life just didn't feel like it was worth getting up for. I felt really low and sad all the time. Then it happened the next day and the next day until anxiety started to over take me. I felt nervous all the time. I felt judged by other people and was so paranoid.
I felt like I was going crazy. The world was spinning and I was stood there motionless in time. What the heck was wrong with me?!
Then on the 10th July I broke down. I will never forget that day and throughout all this mess I have gone through since, that day remains so clear in my mind. I had text my Mum saying I needed to see her ASAP. She text me back, clearly concerned, saying she would finish work early and we would have the house to ourselves to talk. I walked through my front door at 3pm and did no talking.
I cried. I broke down. My Mum was hugging me on the floor and the anguish from years of built up stress, anxiety, worry, grudges and grief came tumbling out of me. I barely made any sense but the relief. Oh the relief to be heard was almost euphoric! I spend my life caring for other peoples ailments, worries and concerns (I love it!) but now it was my turn and it wasn't a pretty place to be in. The same evening my Mum booked me an appointment with my GP. This had been going on for too long and I needed to seek out advice.
I was told there and then that it sounded like depression and that to tackle it I need to seek help. I needed to seek help? In a world where I help others. In fact it is my profession to do so. This was totally alien to me. I was started on anti-depressants, taken off my contraceptive pill and referred to my local mental health team. But worst of all?
I was scared. So scared.
That night I went to bed relieved that I had a diagnosis. It wasn't something I wanted to have but there was relief. However, there was panic, sheer panic at how the bloody hell I was going to get through this!!! To the world it may seem I had it all. A good job, a car to drive, great social life, loving boyfriend, lovely holidays to go on but to me all of that was just mediocre. I could not feel happy about having those things in my life because I couldn't even appreciate myself let alone what I have to show for it. The following morning was harrowing. I had an early shift to get to for work, I knew I had to explain to Simon that day how I had been feeling and I felt like a disaster.
Then there was the panic attack. Everything came on top of me again, but instead of crying this sheer terror swept through me. I couldn't breathe and was hyperventilating. I remember holding on to my chest willing myself to calm down. My pulse went through the roof to the point my head felt like it was going to burst. And the pacing...just pacing manically round my room muttering how crazy I was being!!! 'STOP IT REBECCA! JUST STOP THIS!!!!' I kept repeating to myself. I distinctly remember going over to my window sill and trying to breathe any air I could and thinking 'am I going to die? Is this what it feels like to go insane?'And then the falling. I fell down to my bedroom floor as the weight of the world crashed around me again. My Mum found me in a heap on the floor sobbing my heart out and I called in sick to work.
When would this end?
That evening Simon and I decided to break up whilst I sorted myself out. Some people have said I am shutting him out but I cannot be in a relationship whilst this is going on. In fact I do not care for others opinions on it. At the time it was the best decision and still now I agree with it. I have let Simon in and continually update him as to how I am doing. As sad as it is to go through I knew I had to be fair to him in what I can only imagine is an unfair situation.
The last couple of weeks have been a blur. I have sought help and currently going through the motions of it. I am slowly working out why this has happened. A lot of it has stemmed from my childhood, life events from the past couple of years and personal relationships. I will not be sharing anymore into this right now, simply because this is still the internet and has room for judgement. I feel the important thing is to try and adjust to this and find tools in helping me cope when everything gets too much. Once this happens or helps then I can let more people in. I find I am happiest at work. Many of my work colleagues keep saying how well I am handling all this but it is far from the case. As soon as I leave work I realise what I am facing. Work is a great distraction and nursing is one thing I am good at, so it keeps me grounded and most importantly sane!
This is going to be a long road to navigate. I am not clueless in thinking some pills, counselling and therapy will get me through it and cured. But this really isn't easy either. I am 24 and living with depression. It's hardly something I want handed to me at this age - who does at any age to be honest?
But I wanted to share with you guys, quite simply because in the last two weeks I have had help from so many people both in real life and through social networking. They have no idea how therapeutic it has been in allowing me to open up to them. Also, because I want to read this post in the future and see how this journey first started.
Depression: It's the curse of the strong and boy do I know it now. Yet, there is one thing I do know. I can't beat it but I can sure give it some tough battles.
If anyone has any stories, books or places to source that they know have helped them or others please let me know. Thank you for reading.