Thursday, 17 July 2014

One year on

It's been one year since I had my breakdown. It's a shame I'll never forget the date as it's the same day as my best friends birthday. Yet, sometimes I think it's important to not forget so you can see how far you have come. When this week rolled around I found it difficult to digest.

Has it really been one year?

Because it sure feels like just yesterday I was having panic attacks and sobbing uncontrollably at 'the mess' I was in. On the other hand I have learnt so much about myself and in a way I am kind of thankful for what happened, as I wouldn't have the mindset I do now.

I have learnt...

1) That I know 'me' best. Before the breakdown I would always worry about not pleasing people and I always felt like I was running around putting everyone else first. I still do worry at times but nowhere near to the extent I did. I know what I need and I know which foot is goes in front of the other. I do not need to follow anyone else's lead. If I need a day to relax and do nothing then I will. If I need the chance to be alone and away from people then I will. I have no-one to justify my decisions to right now and I am a lot happier for it.

2) If you do not seek help then you're fighting a losing battle. I remember on the day I broke down my mum marching me to the doctors. If I am honest the day is a real blur but I do remember her saying I needed to speak to someone. I am so thankful she did. I would not have had the therapy and counselling I needed, the right medications to take and the understanding at work. No matter how strong we think we are, we can't do it all. This was a huge monster I was facing and it still is, but I can handle it now and that's thanks to the help I received.

3) It's okay to say no. This kind of goes in line with the first one but I have always been a yes person. I take on more than I can chew. If it meant less sleep, I would still do it. If it meant i had to skip a meal, I would still do it. If it meant using my one day off to work overtime, I would still do it. I never ever put my needs first! And now I know why I would be so ratty and snap people's heads off. I have lived in a world where it seems we have to please other people in order to gain recognition or score more brownie points. I have had enough of that. So now if a request is made to me, I think about it, and really question if I can put 100% of my effort and time into it. I feel so much better for it.

4) The people who were around then are still here now. I have always heard the saying that you only know who your true friends (and family!) are when you go through something difficult. It's very true! I only bother with people who are willing to bother with me. It's sad that it takes something bad to happen in order to make that realisation but it's also helped me no end. I know who I can go to, who I can open up to and if it were to ever happen again. They would still be there at the top of the staircase cheering me on.

5) The pain is not in my head. I remember this time last year I kept trying to tell myself that all the sadness, anxiety and paranoia was all in my head. Since I could not pin point physically where the hurt was sitting on my body, it therefore couldn't be real! I remember the only time I felt better was when I had a shower because I felt 'cleansed' and that I could wash all the negativity away. Through therapy and counselling i have accepted that my pain is real. It exists and it has made all the difference in acknowledging that.

6) I do not need to fix or change myself. I rather like me now. I never used to. I would always blame myself for having this dark cloud loom above me. I was my own worst enemy and it was my fault that all this happened to me. Since seeking help and being on medication I have learnt that I am fractured. I have faults but I am not to blame. I think that's been the hardest part of this whole journey, to accept that I did not do this to myself.

I really hope I continue to get better. I know I will never be healed, and to be honest I don't want to be. Of course, I hate having depression and getting anxious over things. Yet, I have loved seeing what help is out there. The charities, the counselling, the therapies etc, they all exist for a reason and they are fantastic services. Sometimes trying to see a positive in a negative can be a wondrous thing. Just like now, it sucks that this time last year was very difficult but it's also awesome that a year later I can tell you what it's like on the other side...

...and I'm okay.


Mary said...

I am so proud of you! 2 of my sons have gone through a bit of counseling; there is definitely no shame in it!

Ashley said...

I'm so glad that you are continuing to get better. I'm glad you like you now :) And I'm glad that you keep learning, and that you know you have resources/help out there available. And I honestly think that you are helping others out there since I don't feel like a lot of people are sharing that they are going through the same things.

P.S. I LOVE that picture of you :)

<3 Ash

Ashley said...
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