I was taken into a small office, which housed two chairs, a table and a desk which had a computer sat on top of it. On taking a seat in this office, I opened up to someone for the first time about my Anxiety in a way that kind of surprised myself. When times were hard, I used writing as a way of expressing my inner thoughts but hearing my own physical voice trying not to break down into floods of tears was one of my most emotional moments in my entire life. I had to take an assessment, done purely on the questions the lady asked me and at the end, she would match my answers to the numbers on a chart.
For an eighteen year old, I was scared out of my wits. I’d known for months that my moods weren’t quite right, my sleeping patterns constantly changing and having the littlest thing said to me cause such a great effect on my confidence. After a pause which felt like an eternity, the lady said to me, “You have depression.” For a split second, my heart stopped and then, the statement started to sink in. She was right and I finally had the answer to many questions I had about myself as time had gone on.
From that moment, I learnt that my health and wellbeing have to come first before anything and anyone else. Not afraid to speak up face to face with someone about your mood swings and actions towards you that you find uncomfortable. I never really spoke at school, keeping things to myself and my many diaries I kept hidden away. My handwriting has changed so much since the time I was 11, writing about my year 7 experiences and unfortunately writing whilst crying over the death of my best friend from cancer aged just 12. I keep these cute notebooks safe away from preying eyes but I try not to look back on them because I don’t want to dwell on the past. When I was a College student, my main goal was to try and find people to mingle with even if they weren’t into the same things as me. Some days were rough, others I will always cherish.
When you hear the word ‘Depression’, you automatically assume the worst. That you’ll never get a job, fall in love or buy a car to take on those long summer road trips but for me, I actually assumed this for the better. I knew just what were causing the emotional states of one minute being happy and free as a bird to the next feeling like utter crap. It was time to have a breather, step away from the stresses of education and get myself into a better place knowing full well this wasn’t going to be an overnight fix. Change has to start now. If I ever have a tattoo, the word ‘Change’ would be across my right arm to tell others that I came from a rough, dark cave filled with negatives and into the bright sunlight full of positives.
Getting to this office in particular wasn’t easy. I wasn’t even told about this mental health service until a few months ago when my Anxiety had taken a turn for the worst. It was only after I referred myself to a youth service one morning after a massive panic attack did I learn about what the mental health service was about and how I could benefit from it. All I had to do was go through my GP which I agreed too.
The waiting was long but when the letter confirming meeting times did arrive, I did feel a sense of achievement that I actually managed to reach out to them and see if there was anyway I could spend time with someone and figure out the best methods of keeping my Anxiety under control.
I’ve only had one meeting with them where I was diagnosed with Depression but I have another one coming up this week before they decide what the best course of treatment for me will be. Options include taking medication, going to wellbeing classes. The list is endless, I am positive that something on that list is going to work wonders for me.
At a course interview last week, I was asked a big question. Do you have any disabilities or mental health difficulties? I could have ticked the box for no and not talk about it but if I started the course and ended up having a massive panic attack, how would others react? Would I be thrown off the course because I lied on the application form? On the other hand, do I tick the box for yes and then disclose the fact that I am currently having treatment for Anxiety and risk loosing my place on the course?
I hate lying, always have, always will. So, I decided to tick the box for yes and then talked with the teacher who interviewed me honestly to her directly and told her about my Anxiety expecting the worst. Instead, she thanked me for being honest and said my offer for a place on the course still stood. It was a huge accomplishment. My family were very proud and I felt that too for the first time in years.
Just recently, I went through my blog and decided to delete some old posts which were written when my Anxiety was rough. And I feel so much better for doing that, I would like this blog to be a positive place where I can record my thoughts down in new posts as well as sharing my love for books and the exciting blog tours that I take part in often. I would like everyone to know that I will not let having Depression stop me from getting in the way of my dreams of going to University and becoming a published author. It just means I need a little longer to do things and you know what? It’s perfectly OK to tell others that you need longer to find yourself and get treatment for the things that bug you and stop you from living your life to the fullest.
For anyone reading this who has Depression/Anxiety or know someone who does, it’s important to know that you are not alone and it is OK to use your voice or writing things down like my mini 11 year old me did all those years ago and then show it to someone. My goal now is to share my experiences in the hope that they help someone else.
There are going to be days when you wake up and feel rough for hours like today was for me as an example but you have to remind yourself that you have the right to be yourself, I live by the motto, “Why born to fit in when you can stand out?” I read books a lot, not a lot of my friends do but that’s OK. Do whatever you feel represents you the best and for me, that’s books. Never try to change yourself into a person that is the total opposite. Believe me, it’s not pretty since I have fallen into that trap myself.
My goal for 2017 is to discover the right treatment for me enabling progression back into a positive mindset and live my life just like the confident Alice used to live hers. With a place in education now secured starting from this coming September, I am focusing my thoughts on returning to the subjects I am passionate about and continuing my therapy up until the time I feel able to walk outside of the house feeling able to be myself.
If you have any questions surrounding this post, please don’t hesitate to ask either in the comments section for this post or my Twitter @marriedtobooks3. If you also have some reading recommendations for me surronding characters who have Anxiety/Depression, that would be great too.
I would like to thank you guys for your understanding. I hope that you all have a good day/night, and please don’t worry about me. Writing this is the first step to my recovery and coping with Depression. No-one told me to write this post and upload it here, it was sorely my own decision.
Love you all ❤