*Before you start reading, this post may be a trigger for some. Contains personal experience with Mental Health*
I have always been the type of person who plays it safe. No matter the situation, playing it safe and keeping things subtle was perhaps my specialty.
I am never one to say no to someone who needs help.
I shaped myself into becoming a safety net for other people. I got used to carrying the weight that came with my own problems and those that were ‘gifted’ from loved ones.
This isn’t anyone’s fault, I just grew accustomed to people pleasing and keeping situations as calm and easy as I possibly could.
It has taken roughly three years for me to accept that I had a mental illness and thankfully managed to over come it with a lot of help and support.
Yet that doesn’t make it any easier coming to terms with it, nor is it a topic that I even feel comfortable bringing up in conversation.
However, as I’ve matured and started to realise who I am as a person over the years, I have come to the realisation that I am a hypocrite of sorts. I constantly rant on Twitter and share things on Facebook about how important mental health is, how it needs to be recognised and spoken about openly rather than immensely ridiculed like it is in our society these days.
And yet I feel too shy and embarrassed to talk about my own personal experiences.
There wasn’t much to my ‘case’, it started off with issues at home and as a young and impressionable young teen who had full access to the internet (which isn’t all bad) but there are black holes that you can easily get sucked into. And I did.
The feelings I had started off with were no longer focused solely on the fact my parents were getting divorced and my family home wasn’t a happy one, but the feelings had switched and spiralled into hatred towards myself and convincing myself that it had been my own doing etc.
I had somehow managed to find blogs that channeled what I was feeling, which of course wasn’t a healthy mind set.
But, I was depressed I just didn’t know it yet. I had the thought that I could switch off all of these feelings whenever I could, I convinced myself that I had complete control, which later on I realised that my thoughts were so deluded and I had no control whatsoever.
It’s something like that which is so tremendously hard to not only comprehend but try to explain. I don’t mean that someone else was controlling me because there wasn’t, it just wasn’t me. The me, I knew anyway.
A few months on I had found blogs and posts about how self-harm is something that really helps with coping. They had made such convincing cases to me that I thought it must have been true. I felt that I had no other option left but to go through with it and then I would have one way to escape the ‘madness’ if you will.
The first time I ever tried it, I thought that it was crazy that anyone could ever enjoy that and I didn’t want to be crazy. I thought that trying it once was my wakeup call and when I finally decided to let the teenage angst go. But after that, it was something that would constantly cross my mind. Somedays I couldn’t go without thinking about it.
The second time I tried it seemed to have a totally different feeling and meaning to me. It felt like it had done what those blogs had said. There was a rush of adrenaline, I felt that for the while that my skin had been pierced open, my problems were flooding out. Obviously this wasn’t the case at all, instead I was pushing the problems deeper down.
The next few months were all about planning when I could harm next, what I would need to wear to cover up my secret.
It was a sick and twisted game that I would play with myself,I would push it too far some nights and then panic as no-one else knew. More and more nights would end with a freak out of thinking about what would happen if people found out, but that never seemed enough for me to stop.
This cycle went on for too long and I didn’t want to be like how I was anymore but I had no clue how to not be that person and telling anyone was too scary of a thought.
I always had a soft spot for writing and using it as a form of expression, even then. One night I just couldn’t sleep and I wrote my mum a letter, and to this day I feel such deep regret but relief that I wrote that.
I told her all about what I was doing, how I felt I couldn’t escape and I didn’t want to be that person anymore, I just wanted out. I slid it under her door at some point that night and it was done.
The next day everything changed and I felt that wave of ‘I want to die’ all over again, I had been the one who caused a massive, unavoidable and embarrassing problem. My mum phoned the hospital, we had an appointment and everything was out in the open and I felt completely exposed and embarrassed. It was the most uncomfortable and horrible day of my life, and then I had to go back into school and just pretend I was at the dentist in the morning. Nobody seemed to have a clue, it was just surreal.
I don’t want to rush the end of this blog post but I’m taking baby steps of getting used to talking about this so publicly considering only a handful of people know this part of my life. I just think that for today this might just be enough for me.
I don’t by any means want or need any sympathy for this. Mental illness is just a topic I feel passionate about and so much so I want to release the weight of a secret that I’ve been carrying for years, I don’t have any reason to hold on to it any longer or feel embarrassed. I just want people to feel comfortable to talk about mental illness and that it can be helped rather than it be scrutinised and used as a trend or a joke.
In no way was any of this easy for me to write, my palms have been in a cold sweat since the beginning. I have been fighting with myself for a long time about writing and publishing this blog post and I’ve made a step and just went and done it, the hardest part for me is to post it purely just for the probably silent judgement, then again that could just be me just being paranoid.
But I made a new place for writing, this blog!
I want a clean slate. No hiding any secrets. So heres to new beginnings!
Lets just be honest 🙂
Thanks for reading,