TRIGGER WARNINGS: MENTIONS OF SUICIDE, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, SELF HATE
So, hi I guess?
Man, I have no clue how to start this. Maybe names? I’m Olly, and you should probably say your name aloud to the computer screen so this isn’t as awkward. Glad we got that out the way.
Welcome to my blog! I started this blog for several reasons:
- I’m finally leaving therapy and hopefully, this will help in my relapse prevention.
- I haven’t done an extracurricular activity since cheerleading club when I was 9 (which we do not speak of *shivers*) and running a blog will ~hopefully~ look good on application letters.
- I couldn’t find much on anxiety and depression when I was a scared, mentally ill child and there was very little practical advice out there. I hope this can help some people out there feel a bit less lonely.
- I gotta put my angst somewhere. Where else can a girl vent?
I’m planning on posting about my experiences with mental health issues, ways to cope and help yourself, what to do if you need professional help and just general advice.
This is a depressing life story one, my dude. Stick with it if you want. No worries if not 🙂 (Just kidding I will have to FIGHT YOU).
Let’s get back to the main point of this post – me and mental health. Mental health and more specifically mental illness have been a huge part of my life since I was a child. I don’t really remember when I first experienced it, only that as far back as I can think, I have always had problems with anxiety.
I was a worried kid. Like, really worried, about everything from being told off to friendship issues to school work. But it was just a thing I did – some people played football, some people chewed their hair, and I worried. I frequently came home in tears because I was worried I’d upset someone or my work wasn’t right, or that I’d be in trouble. I’m pretty sure I’ll forever remember the feeling anxiety gave me. It was a twist in my gut, like missing a step on the stairs or tipping back on a chair. Sometimes it lasted for hours, sometimes months. That feeling became synonymous with panic and worry – whenever I felt it, something felt wrong. I cried a lot too – I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. That feeling in my stomach made me paranoid every time I was sick, in case another worry cropped up.
I was quieter, shy and bookish, and I just wanted to stop feeling so shitty all the time. I hated drama, public speaking, anything where all eyes were on me, waiting for me to mess up. The worst things for me were friendship issues – I have always been an exceptional overthinker.
My parents were, and still are, absolute saints. I am so grateful for everything they did for me, for holding my hand and letting me cry and doing everything they could to help me.
My worst memory is New Year’s Eve in 2012. I watched the Muppets movie in my Snow White pyjamas and ate tapas with my parents and didn’t panic all night. But there was a memory in my mind, one that still creeps up on me to this day. It was ridiculous, too, from years before that night and so simple. I was in a friendship group with three girls. My memory was from when we wee six or seven, and there were only three of us. I and another girl would pick on the other friend, stealing her hairband and being typical six or seven-year-old arseholes. Things were okay after that – we grew up, we were still close, but that memory hit me like a sodding freight train, and it was all I could think of. The twist in my gut was back.
The months after were awful. The feeling in my stomach was worse, stronger and more intense and it never went away. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus. I was bordering on obsessive, replaying the memories in my head every night. I must have cried more in those months than I ever had as a baby (and I was a loud baby). Every night, I sobbed my eyes out and panicked and couldn’t breathe and begged my parents to tell me if I was a bully or an awful person. It was all-consuming and I still feel that self-doubt and hatred now.
I sat in the bathroom until midnight because my skin was on fire and my heart was pounding too fast and the cold room made me feel like I could breathe. I even prayed, and I’ve never been religious. Apparently treating God like a genie doesn’t count? I prayed that I would wake up feeling better, that my friend didn’t hate me (she didn’t. She didn’t actually remember it), that I could be a good person. But that never worked, and I carried my anxiety in my chest and after a while, I got so tired of feeling that way, that my thoughts and my prayers were a whole lot darker. Praying not to wake up the next day, praying that it would all be over because I couldn’t take it anymore.
I was ten when I first wanted to kill myself.
That was a bad time for me. But a ten-year-old isn’t equipped to deal with anxiety and depression, and especially not one who has no idea what those things are. I remember a rainy day in early Spring, and that my bedroom was pink. And I was on my computer and I googled ‘how to kill yourself’ and there were so many results that I lost track of all the things I considered, all the things I saw.
This part of my life makes me so fucking angry. It makes me wish I could go back in time and shove my ten-year-old arse into therapy and beg her to go out and be a kid instead of sitting in her room crying because her brain wasn’t doing so well.
I got better. My mental health improved, but I was still panicked and filled with insecurity. And the next New Year’s Eve, I was so scared. I was scared that the feeling that was only just ebbing away would come back and take over my life again, and I knew that I couldn’t go back to that. So when I woke up on New Year’s Day, I cried my fucking eyes out when the gut-churning anxiety was back and my mind was instantly dwelling on the past.
Another few months passed. I felt like shit. It was bad, really really bad. I was convinced that I wouldn’t make it this time. A clear memory of mine is using a wish granting service online and wishing to become a fictional character, like Hermione Granger or Sam Puckett ( I know, I know. A strange mix of culture. What can I say? *flips hair*). I was so excited to leave my life and my depression. I slept more often, hiding in dreams because at least I could catch a break there.
I got better again. I didn’t feel like me for a long time, though. To be honest, I still don’t really feel like myself. So much of my life has been affected by mental illness that I struggle to really know who I am.
It didn’t happen again, not for a while. I went to high school; I was awkward and anxious and I struggled to make friends, but at least I wasn’t as depressed as I was before. I remember how bad my anxiety got – I would have panic attacks answering questions in class, even answering the register.
Year 8 was fuckin’ wild. I was in a toxic friendship that fucked me up really badly. That still causes so much anxiety for me today – blaming myself, crying, and the self-loathing that has never gone away. I was this person’s emotional punching bag, and whilst I could be a shit friend too at times, I did everything I could for this person and it was never enough. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever enough.
I also fell for a girl – which led to more anxiety, yay! That didn’t work out so well and we drifted apart, from bing best friends to acquaintances at best. That broke my heart more than anything because I care for her so much. Things are good again now, and she’s one of my closest friends. Thankfully, we have no lingering romantic feelings! I spiralled again during that time, my depression and anxiety reaching an all time high. I cried and panicked at school, and the littlest things set me off. A kid touching my hair (hurrah for sensory overload), feeling lonely at lunch and being awkward with my friends – I felt like a freak, a fuck up, a waste of space. The suicidal urges got bad again – and I’ve never hated anyone as much as I hated myself then.
I had had enough. I went to the doctor, got sent to therapy and worked tirelessly to learn to cope with my depression and anxiety. I had relapses, breakdowns, and a pretty shit time. But my friends, my incredible therapist Christina, and my downright angelic family, I made it through. And I’m still mentally ill – I have panic attacks, I have depression and anxiety spells – that might never change. But I’m here, I’m alive, and I want you to be too. It might not seem worth all the crap, but fuck, it’s so worth it.
ANYWAY. I SWEAR THIS IS SO FREAKING LONG HOLY CRAP.
Thanks for reading my life story. If you made it this far then congratulations, and if you didn’t, then how are you reading this? Mmm, paradoxes.
I’m planning on updating this blog weekly, maybe even twice a week, so you can suffer through more of my rambling. I PROMISE I CAN BE SNAPPY AND COHESIVE BUT IT’S LATE AND IM EMOTIONAL LET ME LIVE.