Seeking Help

I’ve never felt particularly comfortable talking about negative feelings or expressing negative emotions, and have a tendency to over-exaggerate happiness to cover up when I’m feeling down. Saying “I’m fine” when I’m definitely not fine is just much simpler than explaining why I’m not fine, and adding to that feeling the guilt of talking about myself as well as the anxious thought “well, now this person probably thinks I’m depressing and weird”

For a good number of years, I’ve preferred to bottle things up, at the cost of making myself even more mentally unwell to the point of some very dark episodes. There’s been a few times where I’ve found myself in the grips of one too many Malibu and lemonades, and have in my intoxicated state unburdened myself on friends, but even then I find it quite tough. It’s just not something that comes naturally to me, or many others. But at twenty-three years old I’m aware that I need to stop kidding myself. It’s been a long time and I’m now entering a stage in my life where I need to own up to the fact that I have mental health issues and I’m not able to control them by simply willing them away

About two or three years ago, I finally went to the doctors. I’d booked so many appointments through Patient Access and had ultimately cancelled them. I eventually booked one and forced myself to go, though I was absolutely terrified and didn’t even tell anyone I’d gone until afterwards. When I got into the room and saw the doctor sitting there I immediately burst into tears and felt so ashamed. But she let me cry, told me it was perfectly okay to cry. She asked me a few questions and told me she was going to recommend me for counselling, but nothing happened and I didn’t go back. I came to the realisation that she must’ve ascertained I wasn’t a priority, and that I should deal with it myself

Now I think it’s time for me to try again. I won’t split hairs, I’m the lowest I’ve been in a long time, I’m anxious all the time and I panic so frequently that it’s become noticeable to people around me. It’s not really an ideal way to be. Not only do I want to move out with a friend and get a new job in the next few months, I graduate this summer after five long years of studying. A lot is going to change this year and at this moment in time, I don’t know if I’m going to handle it very well at all

I’m nervous but I know that this is a step I need to take, and I’m planning to use this space to document what happens. In the meantime the primary support I have, other than friends, is Elefriends. Elefriends is an online community from mental health charity Mind that gives you the freedom to openly post statuses and reach out for support, anonymously if you wish to be so. I have found it very comforting and if you’ve read this and feel like you relate to any of it, I highly recommend joining up

Thanks for reading, Hils

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